Family & Education

BBC Holocaust film shortlisted for children's Bafta

Steven Frank took his teenage granddaughter Maggie to Europe to learn more about what he experienced during the War


A film about a teenager’s trip to Europe with her grandfather to learn how he survived the Holocaust has been shortlisted for a children’s Bafta.

Watford Grammar schoolgirl Maggie Fleet, 14, accompanied her “opa”, Steven Frank, then 83, for a half-hour film, Finding My Family: Holocaust, made for Holocaust Memorial Day by CBBC Newsround, the BBC current affairs programme for young children.

A second HMD-related film made by Newsround, Anne Frank: A Life in Hiding has also been nominated in the factual category of the children’s Baftas, which take place next month.

Finding My Family is also in contention for another honour as best school-age children’s programme in the Royal Society Television’s North-West awards later this month.

Maggie’s mother Jo Fleet, an assistant head teacher at Immanuel College, Bushey said the family was “absolutely delighted and somewhat humbled” by the nominations. “We are thrilled that the story has been given so much coverage in so many different areas,” she said.

Maggie goes with Mr Frank first to Amsterdam, where he recalls his happy childhood before the Nazis occupied Holland. When they visit his old school, he sees a red line through his name in the register, indicating his removal after the Germans decreed that Jewish and non-Jewish children could no longer be educated together.

They visit Theresienstadt, the camp in the Czech Republic which Mr Frank survived with his mother and two brothers.

And finally, they go to Auschwitz where his father, who had been active helping fellow-Jews to resist arrest in Holland, perished with other relatives.

“As soon as you start forgetting what happened in the past, it will surely happen again,” Mr Frank warns his granddaughter.

Narrated by the writer Anthony Horowitz, the film uses animation rather than photographs or documentary footage to convey the more graphic scenes from history.

Mrs Fleet, who joined them for the eight days of filming, said the film-makers had done “a fantastic job. It’s very sensitive and the way they have put it together was just right for young children”.

Mr Frank, who was awarded the BEM in this year’s New Years Honours, has for many years spoken to schoolchildren about his experiences.

He had appeared in a video to promote HMD with Maggie and her younger sister Trixie, 12.

Mrs Fleet recalled, “We were on holiday in Spain when we got an email from the BBC saying they’d like to follow up our story.”


You can see Finding My Family on


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