The Impossible Auschwitz Love Story Between Dr. Mengele's Friend and a Jewish Prisoner

Maya Sarfaty tells Haaretz how she pieced together the story of the affair between the SS officer and the young Jew in her new award-winning documentary

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Helena Citron in Auschwitz. She is seen smiling, well-fed, standing straight and radiant in the photo, atypical for prisoners at the death camp.
Helena Citron in Auschwitz. She is seen smiling, well-fed, standing straight and radiant in the photo, atypical for prisoners at the death camp. Credit: Ziv Berkovich
Nirit Anderman
Nirit Anderman
Nirit Anderman
Nirit Anderman

In 1972, a letter landed in Helena Citron’s mailbox on Tel Aviv’s Allenby Street. A woman she didn’t know had written her: “I hope you’re not shocked by the fact that in my total despair I’m writing you at this time. I know from my husband that when the two of you were at Auschwitz you were very close. Despite the horrific pain and sorrow you experienced at Auschwitz, I hope you’ll be willing to help my husband, who is now on trial for murdering many prisoners.”

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