The Terrifying Details In The Zone Of Interest Came From Actual Holocaust And WWII Survivors


The Polish girl is not named, nor is it explained why she felt the need to leave food for the Auschwitz prisoners. It seems that this was a regular action performed by youths who were part of the Polish Resistance. Indeed, one of those Polish Resistance fighters, by coincidence, lived in the home where Glazer shot most of “The Zone of Interest.” He told the story: 

“The girl in the film is based on a woman I met. A 90-year-old woman who has since passed away, but she lived in that house that we filmed in. Her grandfather built that house. It’s about two kilometers from Auschwitz. She basically told me her story, which was that she was a 14-year-old girl at the time, and she joined the Polish resistance. A lot of children did at the time, and their job was [doing] dangerous errands, really – running information back and forth. But for her, it was about leaving food. So that’s what she did.”

Indeed, not only was the Polish girl based on a real person, but the props and costumes used in the movie were vintage items of hers that she still had in her home, decades later. Glazer continued: 

“So the girl you see in the film is based on that [woman], her name is Alexandra. In fact, everything in that house, in that attic, remained and in fact the dress the girl wears was her dress. The bike she rides was her bike. The backpack she uses was her backpack. So it’s very realistic to what happened there.” 

Also in “The Zone of Interest,” the Polish girl would find artifacts hidden in the dirt. Pieces of music, for instance, or letters. These were left behind by prisoners in the hope that they would be recovered. 

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