Harpenden Holocaust survivor features in anniversary film

Kitty Hart-Moxon and writer of Kitty's Fortune, Sophie Shad

Kitty Hart-Moxon and writer of Kitty's Fortune, Sophie Shad - Credit: Archant

A short film honouring 70 years since the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau through the eyes of an influential Holocaust survivor is hoping public support will help it become a reality.

The project, led by Sophie Shad, a student at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, will focus on the life of Harpenden resident Kitty Hart-Moxon and her first night in Auschwitz, when she met a palm-reading gipsy who told her she would survive.

The film, entitled Kitty’s Fortune, will rely entirely on crowd funding to help reach its £12,500 goal.

Sophie said: “Kitty is the grandma of my boyfriend Dan Hart and it is just a weird coincidence that we are both grandchildren of Holocaust survivors.

“I’ve had this idea simmering away in my head for years and because of the year it feels right that we do something to keep the memories alive and bring their stories alive, especially while some survivors are still here with us.

“Kitty’s story has been told many times before but it’s never been done in a cinematic way and we hope that the film would be easier for people to digest.”

She went on: “It’s only 10 minutes short but Kitty wants to make it clear that this is just tiny fragment and small snippet of a very long journey.

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“She was on the run for three years before she even went to the concentration camp and had all the best years of her education taken away from her and now she is dedicated to teaching the next education about it.”

Together with a team, including an actress who will play the fortune teller with Sophie stepping into the character of Kitty herself, they plan to rent out a space in Roundwood Lane in Harpenden and replicate the camp.

The idea is also to keep the script in German and Polish to keep it as authentic as possible.

She said: “Kitty has been amazing and completely supportive and helping us along the way, by telling us things we wouldn’t otherwise know, for example that Jews used to have a red cross painted on to the back of their clothes so the guards could see them from far away.

“We deliberately chose a location near to where she lives so she can be involved.”

Despite support for the campaign being largely positive, Sophie revealed she had received some “shocking” comments from Holocaust deniers.

She added: “But in a strange way, it makes what we are doing even more real and reminds us how important it is.”

To find out more visit www.kickstarter.com/projects/109452634/kittys-fortune-short-film.

Donations can be made until Friday, July 3.