Based on the recorded memories, diary and love letters ofSaartjeWijnberg(SelmaWijnbergEngel) andChaimEngel, Dancing Through Darkness is a true story that exists only because of the strength of love and the power of dreams. From Poland and Holland, and with no common language,SaartjeandChaimmet and fell in love when forced to dance together for the entertainment of the Nazi SS guards atSobiborDeath Camp in Poland in April, 1943. As their love grew, in defiance of the brutality that surrounded them, they promised each other they would survive. Their dream of living to share a normal life was simple, but it gave them the strength and the courage to survive the unspeakable atrocities ofSobibor, one of Hitler's most efficient Death Camps. On October 14, 1943, the largest escape from over 300 concentration camps took place atSobibor.ChaimEngel'sinvolvement included killing an SS guard and holdingSaartje'shand as they ran from the camp and kept running and hiding for ten days in a hostile country. A Polish farmer and his wife, Adam andStefkaNowak, agreed to hide them in the hayloft over their cows for the moneyChaimhad risked his life to smuggle from the camp. Life in the camp, the escape, nine months of unspeakable deprivation in hiding and the birth, and the death of their son are written inSaartje'sdiary and reflected in Dancing Through Darkness.
SaartjeandChaimnever knew why they survived and others who tried just as hard did not, but they vowed to speak for the 250,000 who died atSobiborand could no longer speak for themselves. As they lived the American dream with a successful business and an active family, they made their story a priority. Refusing any compensation, they spoke to schools, businesses, civic groups, churches, synagogues, at the war trials inHaagen, Germany--anywhere a group would listen to their story of the horrors created by prejudice and hatred when good people remain silent. Their voices were temporarily silenced whenChaimdied on July 4, 2003. At 89,Saartjeis no longer able to travel and speak as much as she would like, but by sharing her memories, her diary and their love letters in Dancing Through Darkness, she continues to honorChaimand their love of 60 years. She also speaks for those whose voices were silenced forever.