Lest We Forget: A Survivor's Story
About This Episode
A Survivor's Story traces the life of World War II veteran Gustav Potthoff, from his birth in Indonesia to his imprisonment in the Japanese slave labor camp responsible for building the infamous bridge over the River Kwai. Potthoff survived the brutal heat, lack of food and vicious captors but remained haunted by his nightmarish four-year captivity in Thailand.
Decades later, he began painting visceral yet spiritual scenes of POW camp life — the guards, beatings, jungle, escape attempts and those left behind. During the film, Potthoff, his family and friends, museum curators and an art collector each convey the historical and cultural value of Potthoff's work.