Klara Prowisor has lived to 92 years old, years she partly credits to the man dying in the hospital room next to hers when she was very ill with diptheria as a young girl. The man said to her mother, “I am dying—but the years that I could have lived, I will give those to your daughter.”
“That’s why I am 92 years old today,” she says. “Those are his years.”
But that would not be the only time Klara narrowly escaped death. Documentarian Matan Rochlitz had heard Klara’s story of survival, heartbreak, and redemption from his grandmother, Lea, who lived next door to Klara and her husband Philippe in Tel Aviv. He never forgot the tale,
and when he grew up and became a filmmaker, he decided to find Klara and have her tell her story, which he captured in the film here.
Klara was born and raised in Belgium; she was living there during the German occupation, and recently married. “At first [the Germans] left us alone,” she says. But eventually she, her husband, and her father were arrested. Her sister had already disappeared months earlier.
She, her husband, and her father were reunited in the Mechelen camp. Some time later, they were all loaded, with hundreds of others, onto a train headed to Auschwitz. “We understood we were headed to our death,” says Klara.
The resulting story must be heard in Klara’s own words, through Rochlitz’s beautiful film. We should all be so lucky as to live to 92. But Klara is doubly so, and has an extraordinary tale to tell about what she suffered.