Out of the Ashes
written by Anne Meredith, from the book by Gisella Perl
(From the donator: This movie is about a doctor named Gisella Perl (Christine Lahti) in Auschwitz during WWII. She is best known for saving the lives of over 1,000 women in Auschwitz by aborting their babies with her bare hands. After the war she goes to America and tries to become a doctor there. She has to pass all of these medical boards. Screenwriter Anne Meredith builds the movie around a postwar immigration hearing in which Perl, bidding for American citizenship, had to defend herself against charges of collaboration with Nazi Doctor Mengele and his colleagues. It amounted to a defense of her own survival. This scene is at the end of the interview for her citizenship, her final thought.)
Gisella Perl: I can recall wanting to be a doctor when I was a little girl. And I became a doctor… a very good doctor, if I can say that. I knew each child I helped bring into the world was a gift, not from me, but from God. But everything changed when I was deported to Auschwitz and began working there as a doctor. You know about some of the things I did there, for the pregnant women. But yes, I did sent unknowingly many women to their deaths within the day of my arrival. And yes, some of the things I did there, some of the procedures I was forced to do there…they were not honorable. So you are right, I have blood on my hands and believe me I can see it as clearly as you can see this tattoo here on my arm. Both of them will forever identify me as having to be a doctor in Auschwitz, not only to the world, but to myself. And I know this is very difficult for you to understand gentlemen not having been there, but it is the truth. I only did what I had to do to survive. Those of us! who did not survive somedays they are for the best of us. (starts to get emotional) My family, Fredrick my husband, my mother and my father, David, all of my brothers, Emir my…my son. They will not be joining me here; there is no coming home for them. Why did God allow me to survive? Who knows? Well I must believe it was so I can help bring more children into the world. Free children, children with a chance to live. Do you see if I can help deliver on Jewish child (starts talking fast and with a bit of excitement) and she grows up to have children and they have children and the nazi’s will have not succeeded, do you see this? Yea, one million innocent children were destroyed by them; well I want to help bring one million children into the world. Until the day I die, I must help rebuild what the Nazis worked so hard to do, please gentlemen allow me to do this here in America because if I cannot, then believe me God should have not allow me to live.
Kudos and much thanks go to Nicole for this monologue, it is very much appreciated.
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