Last Supper In Poland: Hulu Series About Jews In WWII Hits Home

What can we learn from the experience of the Jews in Eastern Europe when the gravity of the German onslaught and occupation became understood and escape routes formerly open were soon closed?

When should they have packed up their trunks and suitcases to flee to the West? When is it ever the right time?

These questions arose while watching Episode One of “We Were The Lucky Ones,” Hulu’s eight-part limited series about the separation of a closeknit Jewish Polish family and what they endured under the jackboot of the Nazis.

According to the series -- adapted from a novel of the same name by Georgia Hunter -- the Jewish experience in Poland began with a creeping anti-Semitism that started to set in even before the Germans invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, and started World War II.



The word “Lucky” in the title should not be misconstrued. If it seems to indicate that the family at the center of “We Were The Lucky Ones” skipped gaily and unscathed through the Nazi nightmare years, then that inference is dead wrong.

In the show, the definition of “lucky” is relative. Their so-called “luck” under the terrors the show depicts stems only from phantom twists of fate impossible to foresee that suddenly appear out of nowhere and at random.

In this way, watching “We Were The Lucky Ones” is an uncomfortable, hold-your-breath, edge-of-your-seat experience.

The story starts in a small city called Radom in Poland, where the family is enjoying an upper middle-class lifestyle. 

The patriarch is a merchant with a successful store, and the various grown children include an accomplished musician making a name for himself in Paris, one son studying law and a daughter who works as a physician’s assistant.

In a single episode -- the first one -- the family goes from comfort to degradation in what seems like the snap of a finger.

But that’s not the case. The Passover Seder in spring 1939 (pictured above) is intended to symbolize a last supper.

After September 1, the vise tightens quickly, but the family seeks refuge in denial until it’s too late.

The process of the persecution of the Jews in Poland and elsewhere started gradually with the passing of a series of anti-Semitic laws.

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine who is Jewish (as am I) told me he and his wife have been having conversations lately about moving to Israel. 

She is more eager to go than he is, he told me, so they made an agreement: They’ll leave when someone starts making laws. They no longer feel safe in America.

“We Were The Lucky Ones” starts streaming on Thursday, March 28, on Hulu.

1 comment about "Last Supper In Poland: Hulu Series About Jews In WWII Hits Home".
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  1. Michael Giuseffi from American Media Inc, March 27, 2024 at 1:30 p.m.

    Is it hyperbole to wonder if Trump gets re-elected how long will it be before I have to start seewing on pink triangles to my clothing?

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