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Fettle Animation brings Holocaust horrors to life for BBC Learning Zone


The remarkable stories of six eyewitnesses to Nazi atrocities during World War II have been brought to life for a young audience by a West Yorkshire animation company.

Fettle Animation collaborated with Leeds charity The Holocaust Survivors’ Friendship Association to produce Children of the Holocaust for BBC Learning Zone.

A scene from one of the animations A scene from one of the animations

The short animated films are narrated by elderly survivors, who tell the stories of what happened to them as children. They also describe the impact of these experiences on their later lives in short follow-on interviews to camera.

Nazi ideology advocated killing children from “unwanted” groups such as Jews, gypsies and children with disabilities.

Animation director Zane Whittingham created animations based on artwork and photography of the period.

He said: “Animation is the perfect medium to bring these stories alive for a young audience, who can find it difficult to imagine what previous generations must have been through during this dark time in history.

“Animated images weave together memory and historical fact in a way which can really help young people to understand how people must have felt faced with such difficult situations.”

Another scene from one of the animations Another scene from one of the animations

Lilian Black, chair of the Holocaust Survivors’ Friendship Association, added: “Our members have really enjoyed being involved in creating these animations. Their families have been really moved by the way that their testimonies have been brought to life, and everyone is excited to be bringing their stories to a wider audience.”

Original accompanying music has been composed by Paul Honey from the ComposerWorks, based in MediaCityUK.

The programme will be broadcast at 4am on September 11th as part of BBC2’s Learning Zone, and on BBC iPlayer until the 18th. Children of the Holocaust will also be available online here.

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