Thursday – BBC ONE
British-born Jane Seymour is an award winning Hollywood actress and lives in Malibu, California. She shot to fame as Bond girl Solitaire in Live And Let Die, and went on to star as Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman. She has played historical figures such as Wallace Simpson, Marie Antoinette and a Jewish mother fleeing the Nazis in the drama series War And Remembrance.
She has earned an Emmy award, two Golden Globe Awards, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She was awarded an OBE in 2000.
Jane was born Joyce Penelope Wilhelmina Frankenberg and knows that there is Jewish ancestry on her father’s side of the family – but beyond this knows very little. She suspects that they suffered in the Holocaust, but has never known what happened.
“I really care about memories and I want to know more than just the names and the dates of birth and the family tree. I know that some really extraordinary things must have happened to them, especially my Jewish family, the Polish family. I want to know more than just their names.”
Jane is keen to find out about her Jewish great aunts Michaela and Jadwiga and their experiences under Nazi occupation. Jane’s search for the truth takes her to Warsaw where she discovers that although Jadwiga managed to escape the ghetto she was tragically separated from her family; and to France where she follows Michaela and her family in a terrifying flight to Switzerland as they flee the Nazis.
“To have survived so much, to have had the strength to keep going, the strength to lose your husband, the strength to not know where your children are, the strength to go on this unbelievable journey, and then when you are finally safe and you’re with your sister… to just give up.
“This has just been the most incredible experience for me to learn about Jadwiga and Michaela’s stories. I realise that in my family were two incredibly strong women that survived against all odds. I think the fact that I had the privilege of following both of their stories and that they actually found each other at the end. It’s about the indomitable human spirit.”
Pictured: Herman Temerson, Jerzy Temerson, Hanna Temerson, Jadwiga Temerson