With a varied repertory that focused above all on folk music, Belina – the stage name of the Polish-Jewish singer Lea-Nina Rodzynek (1925–2006) – was a performer who was able to build bridges between nations and cultures.
Traumatized by the murder of her family and by an adventurous flight from Warsaw to enemy Hamburg, where she was denounced and arrested while staying in a camp for foreign workers, she escaped and spent months hiding in Lübeck, where she lived in fear of her life. After the war she set out on the road to reconciliation, championing the ideals of tolerance and of equal rights between Germans, Jews and the other nations of this earth. For this reason her life story, her ambitions and her social commitment must never be forgotten.
Statement on the outstanding significance of the film. Filmmaker Marc Boettcher met the singer Belina personally in 2006 in Hamburg, where she lived unrecognized and in seclusion. He wanted to learn more about the
artist who, as a Polish Jew, lost almost her entire family during the war, was
denounced by her own countrymen, and narrowly escaped deportation with the help of a pastor.
Boettcher wondered how Belina, despite her trauma, could represent the young Federal Republic in more than 120 countries through the Goethe-Institute, which celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2021, and call for reconciliation and tolerance.