100 Children

| 68 mins | ,

Lena Kuchlar Silverman knew that all you need is love. At the end of World War II, this extraordinary Polish Jewish woman, who had studied psychology, gathered 100 Jewish orphan children in Krakow–some who had been in camps and some who were hidden–and loved them back to life. This inspiring documentary is based on her book My 100 Children and features footage of Kuchlar (who died in 1987) and contemporary interviews with children she saved. Kuchlar’s daughter Shiri and some of the hundred children (including one who was aided as a young girl by the late Pope John Paul II) journey to Warsaw in 2001 to visit the Jewish community archives and then meet for a reunion in Israel. The survivors, now in their sixties and seventies, reveal their real names (Kuchlar’s book used aliases) and share their love for the egalitarian, affectionate woman who welcomed them with open arms to the orphanage in Zakopane, Poland. Kuchlar, who fled with the children to France and then ultimately to Israel in the face of rising post-war anti-Semitism, won over 100 cynical hearts and in the process healed herself.

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