Synopsis by Hal Erickson
This powerful, politically charged cable TV movie was based on the memoirs of Hungarian gynecologist and Holocaust survivor Gisella Perl. Having spent the WWII years in charge of the woman's infirmary at Auschwitz, Perl (played by Christine Lahti) hopes to leave her living nightmare behind when the Allies liberate Europe. But when she applies for American citizenship in 1946, she is hauled into military court to explain the extent to which she "collaborated" with the Nazis during the war. The U.S. officials are especially disturbed by the number of illegal abortions Perl performed at Auschwitz without her superiors' knowledge. But as Perl struggles to explain to her relentless interrogators (the explanation taking the form of extended flashbacks), she terminated the lives of the unborn to save thousands of pregnant women from the Nazi gas chambers. Filmed on location in Canada, the U.K., and Lithuania, Out of the Ashes made its Showtime network debut on April 13, 2003.
abortion, concentration-camp, gynecologist, Holocaust, Hungary, interrogator, military-trial, Nazi, survivor