Harbour of Hope is a heartbreaking, but life-affirming documentary about the life stories of Irene Krausz-Fainman, Ewa Kabacinska Jansson and Joe Rozenberg. In 1945, they were among the 30,000 survivors that were rescued from German concentration camps and brought to the peaceful harbour town of Malmö in Sweden. There, their lives began again.
Coming to Sweden in 1945 was a defining moment in the lives of Irene, Ewa and Joe. In Harbour of Hope they reveal their stories – from the complicated moments of freedom to the mysteries and questions that still haunt them today.
The film is based on a wealth of unique archive footage. In Swedish news reels from April 1945, we see the 10 year-old Jewish girl, Irene, taking her first shaky steps of freedom and new-born Ewa being carried onto the harbour by her Polish mother (pictured).
Irene, Ewa and Joe
Irene was 8 years old when she and her mother arrived at the harbour of Malmö. “My mother used to cover my eyes in the camp, and after the war she refused to talk about what happened”, says Irene, who today lives in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Ewa was born in the Ravensbrück camp. Her Polish mother had become pregnant just before the Warsaw Uprising in 1944: “Had we spent one more week in the camp, my mother and I would not have made it… The big question in my life has always been: Who is my father?” Ewa now lives in Ystad, Sweden.
Joe came from a Jewish family in Lodz, Poland. When he arrived in Malmö, he was a sad and angry young man who had lost almost everyone from his big family. In Sweden he met 15-year-old Red Cross volunteer, Stig Kinnhagen, a meeting that changed Joe’s life forever. “Stig invited me to have a dinner in his home. Seeing a normal family like his made me dedicate my life to building a new family”, says Joe, who today lives in Minneapolis, USA.
Harbour of Hope is a film about people dealing with unimaginable war memories and how a helping hand makes it possible to move on. It’s a moving homage to the humanism and unsung heroism that occurred during the darkest chapter of Europe’s history.
Read more about the Harbour of Hope heroes, portrayed in the film.