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Judge Rob Rinder visits mass Holocaust grave in powerful new documentary: ‘It’s the most articulate expression of human evil’

Reiss Smith November 3, 2020
Rob Rinder

Judge Rob Rinder helps Jewish families trace their history in My Family, The Holocaust and Me. (BBC)

Rob Rinder reflects on the horrors of the Holocaust in a new BBC documentary, My Family, The Holocaust and Me. 

The Judge Rinder star, himself the grandson of a Holocaust survivor, helps Jewish families uncover the truth of what happened to their relatives in the new two-part series.

A clip released ahead of broadcast on November 9 shows Rinder visiting a mass grave in Voranava, Belarus, where Jewish people were shot and buried during the Second World War.

“It’s strange because it’s on the one hand just a mound, just a piece of nature, yet it’s the most articulate expression of human evil I’ve ever come close to,” he says, visibly moved.

Rob Rinder meets 97-year-old who witnessed the Holocaust.

In the documentary, Rob Rinder speaks to a 97-year-old who shares her memories of seeing Jewish people being rounded up by Nazi, shot dead and put in the earth.

Some time later, she said, she could still see the ground moving.

Reflecting on her story, Rinder continues: “What’s in a piece of in a piece of earth? In a piece of earth is a story we heard, of people still alive, buried here, moving. It’s impossible to describe.”

The barrister stresses the important of naming the victims of the Holocaust – noting his own relatives, the Levin family – in order to “in the most limited extent, give them part of their humanity”.

“Their humanity which was deprived,” he continues. “That’s the most powerful, ugly, dark thing. This is the death of humanity, here.”

Rob Rinder visits a mass grave of Holocaust victims
Rob Rinder visits a mass grave of Holocaust victims. (BBC)

“The hardest part” of the experience, he adds, is “imaging the last moments of terror” for the victims of the Holocaust, “but also asking myself standing here what do we do now?”

“This is not the only place of earth like this in the world,” Rinder adds.

“There are more… in other parts of the world and there are more even after the Second World War, and the hardest part is maybe they’ll continue to be more.”

Six million Jewish people were murdered in the Holocaust.

Gay men (including gay Jewish men) were also targeted by Nazis along with other minorities, and it is estimated that 100,000 were arrested for homosexuality. Half these men were sentenced, and between 5,000 and 15,000 are estimated to have been sent to concentration camps, many of whom died.

It is estimated that between 11 and 17 million people were murdered in total.

My Family, The Holocaust and Me begins on BBC One on November 9 at 9pm.

More: Holocaust, judge rinder, Rob Rinder

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