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also known as Polish Hotel

Hotel Polski2009

  • 3.9
A mysterious and little known event that occurred in Warsaw during the summer of 1943 that was referred to as the "Hotel Polonia Affair" is the subject of the short documentary from director Kama Veymont, who puts himself on a quest to find out what happened to around 2500 Jews who obtained false passports and documents of deceased citizens from South American and other neutral countries. At the moment when Warsaw had already been announced "Judenrein" (free of Jews), in the Hotel Polski, an embassy for the Jews was created, where they could safely disclose their identities, and for outrages amounts of money buy false documents to save their lives. It began with the romance between a rich Swiss man and Gutta, a beautiful Jewish woman trapped in the Warsaw ghetto. The man and his family used his diplomatic contacts to obtain a Paraguayan passport for her. When they realized that such a simple trick was enough to get Gutta out of the ghetto, they decided to make a list of people for whom it would be possible to issue valid documents not quite legally obtained. This is how the "Sternbuchs' list" was born. Unfortunately only about 260 people would survive. Using extraordinarily disturbing found footage from the Warsaw ghettos, and interviews of historians and holocaust survivors from the Hotels Polski Affair, the director discovers what prevented over 2,000 others who obtained documents from escaping and what happened with those who survived. - Stela Jelincic

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Member Reviews (5)

top reviewer

Another surprise from the second war. bizarre. a good lesson in history of a terrible epoch. Highly recommended for history buffs.

I have a passion for holocaust films and documentaries.I did not know the sad story of the Polish Hotel.Stories of the Holocaust are like fingerprints no two are identical.The film was well told and educated me. I have recently learned of others who survived in Poland with the help of passports issued by the Japanese Consul.Too survive in occupied Poland you either had to obtain forged papers,be hidden by sympathetic Poles,or escape to the Forest and fight withthe Partisans.The unfortunate reality is that 90% did not survive

Survivors of the German occupation of Poland return to the Hotel Polski where their families survived or were eventually murdered. Hotel Polski was unknown to me and through this documentary the history was examined in an accessible but invested way. It's always touching to see survivors be so strong and grateful. Great film.

Vey well done.

Another slice of a very dark and sad part of human history called Holocaust. Very honestly told story.