Viewers calls My Family, The Holocaust and Me a ‘powerful must watch’ (Picture: BBC)
Following the first part of Robert Rinder’s documentary My Family, The Holocaust and Me airing on BBC One, moved viewers felt compelled to look into their own family history.
The first installment of the documentary followed Robert Rinder and two other families as they retraced their own history and travelled overseas to find out what had happened to their relatives during the Holocaust.
Emotional scenes saw Robert head to a small town in Lithuania where his family came from and he spoke to a local woman who had been alive at the time his family, the Levines, had been forced to move there.
He later learned his relatives had been killed along with 1800 Jewish people by German soldiers and locals at a site on the edge of town in 1942.
Robert visited the mass grave site and was left in tears, as he said: ‘I have seen many things over the years in my professional background. It’s strange because it’s on one hand just a mound, yet it’s the most articulate expression of human evil I have ever come close to,’ he said.
‘People still alive, buried here, moving, it is impossible to describe,’ he reflected.
Robert was overcome with emotion as he visited a mass grave site (Picture: BBC)
He found out his relatives had been killed by German soldiers and locals (Picture: BBC)
‘I’d like to name the Levine family, just to know that they’re remembered, they had lives, we told their story, name them and so for the most limited extent give them back part of their humanity, their humanity that was deprived,’ Robert said.
‘That’s the most powerful, ugly, dark thing, this is the death of humanity. The hardest part is just imagining the last moments of terror, but also asking myself what do we do now? This is not the only place of earth like this in the world, there are more, what’s hard is that there will continue to be more,’ he pointed out, as he broke down in tears and walked out of shot.
Viewers watching were just as moved by the harrowing experiences of those who suffered and praised Robert for highlight the stories of those who lost their lives.
They described the documentary as ’emotional and painful’, but an important must watch, with many revealing they now felt compelled to research into their own family history.
‘Feeling emotional after watching #bbc ‘My family, the holocaust and me’ with @RobbieRinder It’s making me want to try again to find out what happened to my own family who were murdered in Eastern Europe during ww2,’ tweeted one viewer.
Another said: ‘I’m watching “My Family, The Holocaust and me” it’s so very sad. Knowing that my Grandma was Jewish makes me want to look into my family history.’
Others thanked those involved for sharing their stories, with one viewer posting: ‘Such powerful stories @RobbieRinder My Family, The Holocaust and me on BBC1 tonight. Thank you for sharing. We must remember the horrors of the past and love with love and hope.’
‘Incredibly moving programme with @RobbieRinder My Family, The Holocaust and Me. Such courage to find out about the evil killing of his family during that horrific time,’ tweeted another.
One more viewer agreed: ‘My Family, The Holocaust and Me is very moving if painful viewing. Thank you to the families who agreed to share the stories of their ancestors
Robert’s celebrity friends made sure to throw their support behind him, with Coronation Street star Anthony Cotton tweeting: ‘The documentary with @RobbieRinder – My Family, The Holocaust and Me – is harrowing and extraordinary in equal measure. It’s a must watch. I visited Auschwitz at the beginning of this year and it changed something in me forever. It’s important that these stories are told.’
Kate Garraway posted: ‘So proud of my friend #robrinder – such a personal, moving and important story told so well. On now on @bbcone.’
Monday night’s episode also saw Bernie Graham travel to Germany for the first time, where he found out his grandmother was killed at an extermination camp.
He also learnt how his grandfather had lost an eye, with old documents revealing how his grandfather was beaten, had his eye gauged out and was hung from his arm, causing it to become immobilised for two and a half hours.
Sisters Natalie and Louisa Clein, who’s grandparents survived the Holocaust, had been looking into the story of their great aunt, with their research taking them to a former Nazi transit camp.
The documentary’s second and final part will see Robert and his mother visit the Treblinka death camp where his grandfather’s parents and siblings had died.
My Family, The Holocaust and Me continues Monday 16 November at 9pm on BBC One.
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