This incredibly emotional story is about revisiting the past in order to move forward. 100 Things creator Sebastian Terry connects with Leo Jassy, an American man whose Jewish mother had been interred at Bergen-Belsen in northern Germany but had miraculously survived its horrors. Terry says Leo grew up hearing about the atrocities and couldn’t stop thinking about them.
“It was like a nightmare in his head, and he felt he had to come full circle and get a true understanding of what his mother had gone through. Plus, his daughter, Sarina, was intrigued having heard the stories and also wanted to see it with her own eyes. This story is really about a father and daughter going back to a place of such horrors, and about the human spirit, and people’s powerful will to survive. As soon as you reach that place, there’s an air of uneasiness, thinking of the history. And I saw Leo and Sarina show such courage to turn over the stone and see what was underneath.”
Today, the camp area is a big lush field but there’s a memorial there, and you can view an iPad presentation that shows where the original buildings were. Terry adds: “They really had a very emotional day going through it—at one point we went to an area where his mother would have lived and slept. A female curator gave us a tour, and the episode includes Sarina, an aspiring actress, who’d heard of her grandma starting a theater group after the camp’s liberation. And through the curator’s help, we saw actual photos of the theater that her grandma had started near to the camp. Wow, just a powerful experience and a testament to the human spirit.”
Watch a teaser below, then check out the full episode on the go90 app.