Return to the Burning House

Return to the Burning House

"Return to the Burning House" tells the forgotten and amazing story of of a remarkable Israeli heroine HAVIVA RIECK during WWII. She parachuted into Slovakia and was murdered by the Nazis.

“Return to the Burning House” tells the life of Haviva Reick (1914-1944), the heroine of the Slovak national uprising, British intelligence* and Israel. The film brings unknown archive materials, memories and follows Haviva’s foot-steps in Slovakia, London and Israel, but above all it’s a inspiring the story of an attractive personality. The film delves what is the link today between Haviva Reick, Banska Bystrica, Slovakia, Israel and Europe today in the time of rising anti-semite nationalist movements?

Haviva came from poor social background and became active in the Zionist movement. She was among the few women of the pre-war era who rode a motorcycle. She escaped the Nazis to Palestine she parcipated in building kibbutz Maanit. She enlisted and trained in the semi legal units (Palmach) to end the British occupation of Palestine. In spite of that she joined the British SOE units to help persecuted Jews. She was dispatched to Slovakia during the Slovak National Uprising she helped Jews and saved British and US pilots. After the Uprising she was arrested and executed in Kremnika by the Nazis. To remain in Palestine meant a great hope to survive to live; yet to parchute into Slovakia meant risking one’s life. Yet she did not have second thoughts.

Haviva’s story opens a wider theme on the activities of women, in the Palmah, Israel & British Army and Slovak National Uprising. Women were and are active in the armies today. Theirs was an irreplaceable role. Telephone operators, medics, but often also warriors,. In any case, they were risking their lives.

*During WWII only 16 women recieved medals for bravery in the British army only Haviva was from Israel (Palestine)

Film  dialoge in English & Slovak, English Subtitles


More information on web-site

"Retun to the Burning House " should/could interest students of, Israeli, Slovak, Holocaust, History of WWII, Political Science, East Europe, Film, and Women Studies, a worthwhile document for every academic library andJewish/Slovak Film Community Club .

Haviva lost her life during the mission in Slovakia “a Burning house”. We wanted to make her immortal to keep her memory.Anna Gruskova’s documentary will achieve this. It will trigger interest among those who have no idea about Haviva, the documentary touches upon the key features of her personality and mission makes a wondeful film.

Tehila and Zeev Ofer, authors of the biography of Haviva

University/College Libraries:

University of Chicago
Concordia University Toronto

About the Film

70 Minutes
Slovak & English, English Subtitles

Director: Anna Gruskova
Screenwriter: Anna Gruskova
Producer: Mirka Molnar Lachka
Dramaturgy: Alois Ditrich
Photography: Ivo Miko
Editor: Jakub Fiser
Sound: Tomas Gregor
Sound Design: Tobias Potocny
Israel Production: Avi Ofer
Voice over for Haviva’s letters: Janet Livingstone

Produced by Anzio in cooperation with Museum of the Slovak National Uprising

Funded by European Union, Europe for Citizens Program




To place an order, please contact Nahum Laufer.

Fax: 972-3-5291726
Mail: Shlomo Hamelech 93 #5, Tel-Aviv 6451228




$300 DVD or MP4 HD quality link for library & PPR (Public Performance Rights) when no admission fee is charged.

Add $100 = $400 for 5 years license for streaming rights from institution's own internal server for all students, faculty & staff.

Add $200 = $500 for perpetual license for streaming rights from institution's own internal server for all students, faculty & staff.

Shipping and handling fee for DVD is $7.

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