I’m afraid people are going to spit atmeon the street
The decision to convert and turn her back on the Catholic Church destroyed Sarah’s relationship with her mother.
The couple were in Paris when the Nazis arrived in 1940. They worked in the Paris underground, distributing anti-German propaganda.
In 1942, they were arrested, but her husband convinced the Germans she was innocent of any crimes. He was sent to Dachau, where he died.
Events eventually led to Sarah being arrested and sent to Ravensbruck camp in 1944. She survived and was liberated from this camp at the end of the war.
Researching Sarah’s Jewish heritage — and particularly the Holocaust — deeply affected Dusseldorp.
Dusseldorp is best known on TV as senior crown prosecutor Janet King in Crownies and journalist Lillian Hillier in the Jack Irish telemovies.
‘‘ I didn’t know how to come at someone like that until I had done the background work,’’ Dusseldorp says.
‘‘ It was through the research that I met her. It became so overpowering that I remember one night my husband saying to me ‘ you have to stop for a minute, absorb everything now and walk away for a while’ because it is quite painful.
‘‘ I watched a lot of documentaries (on the Holocaust) including Shoah for hours, read Primo Levi’s Surviving Auschwitz and went to the Jewish Museum and I also have Jewish relatives so I sat down and spoke to them.
‘‘ It (the ramifications of the Holocaust) is still in a lot of people’s lives today. That is the thing about setting it ( A Place to Call Home) in 1953.
‘‘ There are people alive who remember that quite vividly. It is important to represent them with the dignity and the courage that they deserve.’’ APlace to Call Home, Channel 7, Sunday, 8.30pm Behind the mask: Jenni Baird is nervous about the reaction to her character.