The extraordinary tale of a Holocaust survivor who captured Nazi war criminals and helped reunite hundreds of displaced Jewish children with their families has been told in a new documentary.
The Survivor’s Revenge recounts the heroic actions of survivor and Nazi hunter Josef Lewkowicz, now 93 and based in Israel, who rescued hundreds of Jewish child refugees displaced during the war and living in monasteries and orphanages in Poland.
The film, which premiered at the Apollo Theatre in London on 17 November at an event attended by Lewkowicz, was researched using declassified US intelligence documents.
It was produced by the charity JRoots after its founder and director Rabbi Naftali Schiff learnt of Lewkowicz’s bravery during an educational journey to Poland. “Josef’s story is more than a story of Holocaust survival, which is an incredible feat in itself. Through Josef’s actions and commitment to justice after the Holocaust, he was able to bring some of the worst men in Jewish history to justice,” he said.
“Alone, Josef’s Nazi hunting is remarkable, but then combined with finding hidden Jewish children throughout Poland and reuniting them with their families and bringing them back to their Jewish lives saved the Jewish souls of hundreds of Jewish children. Josef is a remarkable man and we are so grateful and honoured that he chose to share his story with JRoots,” he added.
Lewkowicz, the sole surviving member of his family, worked as an intelligence offer for the US Army and went on to capture Nazi war criminal Amon Goeth, the Plaszow concentration camp commandant played by Ralphes Fiennes in the Holocaust drama Shindler’s List.
A three-week search for Goeth led to his capture and transfer to a high-security prison for senior Nazi officers in Dachau. Lewkowicz also became a key witness against Nazi officers Julius Ludolf, Otto Striegel, Johannes Grimm and Hans Kreindl.
Lewkowicz will share his testimony with pupils across 10 schools in London and Manchester. His story has been told in a new biography, To Life, produced by JRoots, available for £10 plus postage by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.