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Saved by Deportation

Directed by Slawomir Grunberg

Tajikistan-USA-Uzbekistan-Russia-Poland | 79 minutes | 2007

English, Polish, Spanish with English subtitles

In 1940, a year before the Nazis started deporting Jews to death camps, Joseph Stalin ordered the deportation of approximately 200,000 Polish Jews from Russian-occupied Eastern Poland to forced labor settlements in the Soviet interior. As cruel as Stalin’s deportations were, ultimately, they largely saved Jewish lives, for the deportees constituted the overwhelming majority of Polish Jews who escaped the Nazi Holocaust. Saved by Deportation not only tells this story, but it re-traces the path Asher and Shyfra Scharf traveled more than 60 years ago from Poland to Siberia to the former Soviet states of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan in Central Asia. It is in those largely Muslim societies, in the cities of Kuhjand, Jeezax, and Samarkand, that the film demonstrates a remarkable spirit as the Scharfs are welcomed by the locals who recall fondly the sojourn of Polish refugees in their midst. This little-known story of survival is both a harrowing adventure and an affirmation of human goodness during a time of great darkness.
Director Slawomir Grunberg
Countries of Production Tajikistan-USA-Uzbekistan-Russia-Poland
Year of Presentation 2007
Language(s) English, Polish, Spanish with English subtitles
Premiere Status
Runtime 79 minutes
Principal Cast
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