The Auschwitz Escape
Slovakia’s entry for this year’s Oscar race, Peter Bebjak’s taut drama tells the true story of two Jews who planned their escape from Auschwitz.
Alfred Wetzler and Rudolf Vrba, two Slovak Jews, were deported to the concentration camp in 1942. Even at this point in the war, and so far into the Nazi’s programme of riding the world of Jews and other marginalised groups, few in the world knew of the existence or the scope of the Final Solution. Meticulously planning their escape, Alfred and Rudolf’s aim was to share with the world what was happening in the camps.
Noel Czuczor and Peter Ondrejicka impress as Wetzler and Vrba, while Bebjak’s film balances suspense with a sense of horror at the atrocities the men witnessed. Films about the Holocaust have come along frequently in recent years, so it’s to Bebjak’s credit that The Auschwitz Escape, like Son of Saul before it, feels like a vital addition.