Documentary Film / Holocaust Survivor Story
"Veronica Phillips The Secret Survivor"
Veronica Phillips (92 year old living in Johannesburg, South Africa) is a Hungarian Jew who was arrested by the Arrow Cross in Budapest and deported on 1 December 1944 from Budapest to Ravensbrück (a Nazi concentration camp for women) where she could have ended up in the gas chambers. While in Ravensbrück, Veronica was "by luck" selected as laborer and taken to work in Penig (a sub-camp of Buchenwald concentration camp) where she suffered inhumane conditions.
After surviving a period in Penig, she was part of a group taken on a death march. At Johanngeorgenstadt, the group was liberated by the allies – only after many were killed by either the Nazis or starvation and fatigue.
She started an incredible journey, in an emaciated physical condition, back to Budapest to find her mother and brother… After WWII ended, Veronica became a Microbiologist and Geneticist at Brunel University and eventually moved to South Africa where she was a Microbiology lecturer at WITS (University of the Witwatersrand) for 20 years.
As a result of what she endured as a teenager under the Nazis, Veronica suffered eight miscarriages and could never have children. The only child she gave birth to survived less than two days.
The film features Veronica telling her story of surviving the Holocaust, with historians and experts providing insights into aspects related to the time when the story took place.
Featured In The Film
Veronica Phillips ... Holocaust Survivor
Tali Nates ... Director of the Johannesburg Holocaust & Genocide Centre
François Wisard ... Chef Service historique - Département fédéral des affaires étrangères, Switzerland
Agnes Hirschi ... Stepdaughter of Carl Lutz
Lior Keinan ... Ambassador of Israel in South Africa (2018)
Martin Schäfer ... Ambassador of Germany in South Africa (2018)
Robert Rozett ... Senior Historian - Yad Vashem, Jerusalem
Helene Budliger Artieda ... Ambassador of Switzerland in South Africa (2018)
Film Premiere & Release
The film premiere took place on 13 November 2018 at Ster-Kinekor Rosebank Nouveau. This was followed by national Ster-Kinekor Nouveau film screenings in South Africa in Cape Town, Durban and Pretoria.
The Embassy of Switzerland hosted the screening events in the four cities by making available free tickets to the public to attend, while the Embassy of Germany sponsored 100 tickets to fill an additional cinema in Cape Town. As a result nearly 1000 people were able to watch the film and share in the remarkable story!
27 January 2019 Ster-Kinekor Film Screening Project
Support our project to reach as many people as possible for a special screening of The Secret Survivor on 27 January 2019 in commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day!
The film was made in proud association with: