We were the lucky ones: New mini-series chronicles true story of Holocaust survivors, featuring all-Jewish cast

The show’s all-Jewish main ensemble stressed the importance of revitalizing WWII and Holocaust education, as antisemitism has skyrocketed in the past months.

By Shiryn Ghermezian, The Algemeiner

The cast and crew behind the new Holocaust drama We Were the Lucky Ones streaming on Hulu have emphasized the continued need to share stories about the Nazis’ systematic slaughter of the Jewish people amid a global rise in antisemitism and Holocaust denial.

The limited series is based on the 2017 New York Times best-selling novel of the same name by Georgia Hunter and is inspired by the true story of how Hunter’s Jewish relatives, the Kurc family, were separated at the start of World War II in Radom, Poland, and made all efforts to survive and reunite.

Logan Lerman and Joey King lead the show’s all-Jewish main ensemble and play two of five Kurc siblings in the eight-episode series.

Lerman’s own personal connection to the Holocaust stems from his grandfather, who was born in Germany and had to flee his home country at the age of seven to escape the Holocaust.

He and his family found refuge in Shanghai. In We Were the Lucky Ones , the 32-year-old plays Addy, who is Hunter’s grandfather.

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At the We Were the Lucky Ones premiere in Los Angeles, Erica Lipez — showrunner, writer, and executive producer of the limited series— told Variety about the importance of relaying stories about the Holocaust.

“I think I took for granted growing up that it would be a subject matter that was always taught, and it’s not being taught in the same way that it used to be,” Lipez explained.

“I think Holocaust denial is still out there and antisemitism is on the rise. And I think we need to understand how something like this can happen more than ever.”

Actress Robin Weigert, who stars as a member of the Kurc family, echoed similar sentiments while talking to Variety about the show’s impact on young audience members.

“I think a lot about World War II has been a bit buried for younger people,” she said. “They don’t necessarily understand the extent of the horror perpetrated upon the Jews in the second World War. [In We Were the Lucky Ones] the camera stays very tight with these young people as they’re having an experience of it and the empathy that it evokes — because it’s good storytelling — I think that has a tremendous value.”

Israeli actor Michael Aloni, who also stars in the show, said he hopes the mini-series will educate audiences about World War II and the horrors that many Jewish families faced under the reign of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.

“I’m thinking [that] this series can do a lot of good in educating people and telling them [that] this [the Holocaust] is not stories, this is real life that happened and not so long [ago],” the former Shtisel star told the New York Post. “We Were the Lucky Ones is about a family that survived, so many families weren’t that lucky … This is a black hole in human history and it’s an important lesson to know so you won’t repeat it again.”

King, who is Jewish but does not identify as religious, told People magazine she felt “lucky to be part of a show that celebrates Jews.”

“I was always really proud to be who I am, but working on a show where it’s the theme 24/7, you are dealing with this heavy subject matter and your own background tied with it, it was a really beautiful thing,” she noted.

We Were the Lucky Ones is now streaming on Hulu.