Anna Rottenberg was born into a wealthy and observant home in Lodz, then studied psychology in Warsaw with the legendary Janusz Korczak. When war came, Anna fled to Lwow, but when she heard her family had been taken to the Warsaw Ghetto, she was determined to try and help.
In her 2004 interview with Alexandra Bankowska, Anna paints a picture of almost indescribable horror, yet she worked with orphans and starving children in the Ghetto. When she could not save her own family, Anna made her escape, joined the partisans and killed Germans. Anna married a partisan leader Eduard Lanota, and together they fought the Germans during the August, 1944 Uprising.
Eduard was killed. Eight months later Anna delivered their baby. Anna then went on to become a noted magazine editor, publisher and psychologist.
The sweep and tragedy of 20th century Poland is told through Anna’s story, as well as the determination and resilience of a remarkable woman.
Anna’s role is read by Joanna Szurmiej in Warsaw. Script by Edward Serotta, the film was produced by Kristijan Robic in Slovenia. Special thanks to Anna’s family, grandson Piotr Topinski and his wife, Ursula Slawiec. Photo research by Michal Maziarz.
Be sure to listen the English language podcast version of this story, read by Sara Kestelman in London https://podcast.centropa.org/season/5
This multimedia film was made possible in part by CERV--Citizens Equality, Rights and Values of the European Commission’s Education and Culture Executive Agency