"Auschwitz – unique symbol of methodically perfected horror, and at the same time destination for daily streams of tourists. How can an encounter with this place avoid the banality of a visit? Every November an interfaith retreat is held at the notorious Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps in Poland, where more than 1 million people, nearly all of them European Jews, were exterminated by the Nazis. Why would someone participate in such a retreat? How could anyone attempt to pray or meditate in a place that silences the heart and chills the soul? This question was asked by New York Zen master Roshi Bern. His answer: the „Auschwitz Retreat“. He invites people of different ethnicity and belief to face Auschwitz directly and without cover. The group will spend five days in meditation, silence, prayer and sharing on the very grounds of the termi- nation camp. An encounter happens between Christians, Jews, Muslims and Bud- dhists. Descendants of victims meet descendants of perpetrators. The film portrays five participants and follows closely their inner development. They are changing. Beliefs are undermined, old wounds torn open, reconciliation begins. It is no longer they who come to Auschwitz, it is Auschwitz that comes to them. In silence they bear witness to what happened there. “In Spite of Darkness. A Spiritual Encounter with Auschwitz” wins the Prize for the best documentary at The V. International Catholic Festival of Christian Documentary Films and TV Programs MAGNIFICAT '2009."