Your Guide to Hulu's 'We Were the Lucky Ones' Episodes – Kveller
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Your Guide to Hulu’s ‘We Were the Lucky Ones’ Episodes

We will be breaking down each episode of the excellent limited series as they air.


Via Vlad Cioplea/Hulu

Hulu’s excellent Holocaust drama “We Were the Lucky Ones,” based on the Georgia Hunter book of the same name, is incredibly expansive. It has a lot of characters — which we’ve written a guide to here — and the limited series also covers a lot of terrain, in Poland, where the Kurc family is from, in Europe and outside of it.

We’re here to recap the “We Were the Lucky Ones” episodes as they’re released, and also help you follow what happens in each of the locales in every episode. Happy watching!

Episode 1: Radom

Air date: March 28, 2024

Recap: In this episode, we meet the Kurc family. We first see young Halina after the war, at the office of the Red Cross, getting good news.

We’re in Radom, Poland, where we get to witness two seders: one in 1938 while Radom is flourishing, and one in 1939, with war looming. The rituals in these seders are on point — the matzah, the songs, the cups of wine, we are here for it. We also really get a good feeling for this family — they love each other, they tease each other. Youngest sister Halina is the free spirit, clashing often with eldest sister Mila, who is married and expecting a child during the first seder, and has given birth to Felicia in the second. Genek, the oldest brother, is a playboy in the first, and married to Herta in the second (they are worried about getting pregnant because of the war, but decide to ultimately go for it). Jakob is in love with his childhood sweetheart Bella in both. Halina and the Kurc’s tenant Adam start a fling in the first, and are together by the second (he woos her with pretty architecture sketches, but also, Halina is not really up for being tied down, what with the free spirit thing). Addy is stuck in France, unable to travel to Radom for the second seder.

When the German forces march into Radom, Jakob, Adam and Selim are conscripted into the Polish army. They head to Lvov. After the Soviet forces take over Lvov, Selim disappears.

Sol and Nechuma’s shop gets taken away. Sol removes the mezuzah from the door, and Nechuma sews precious possessions into their clothes. Halina is conscripted into forced labor at a beet field. She sees a soldier beat a woman for stealing the produce for her children. She then confronts Sol for stealing potato peels from his place of forced labor. Bella decides to join Jakob and her sister and husband in Lvov, and Halina joins her.

Episode 2: Lvov

Air date: March 28, 2024

Recap: From now on, the episodes go all over the place, quite literally, in Poland and outside it, so we will divide the storyline by location!

On the road to Lvov: Halina and Bella make their way to Lvov, to join Adam, Genek and Jakob, smuggled in through a helpful local with a cart, pretending to be on the road to visit their sick mother. Bella’s father empties out a loaf of bread and fills it with money. Bella pretends she is pregnant by stuffing it into her dress (smart!). The girls are dressed pretty nicely for this trip, and chat about romance. The Germans stop them. They run and are captured by the Soviets.

In Lvov: Bella and Halina manage to escape the Soviets too, and make it to Lvov. There, Bella marries Jakob in the most romantic of clandestine Jewish weddings. The rabbi is kvelling. Halina, on the other hand, gives Adam a “let’s just be friends” rejection. She does want to join his work with the Jewish resistance, though. Genek gets arrested by the Soviets for forging his documentation to rent an apartment in Lvov. He gets declared enemy of the state, and deported to Siberia.

In Radom: The Kurcs are kicked out of their homes. They pack all their valuable stuff. They say goodbye to their beloved dinner table. They join a family in the Jewish quarter. A friend, Issac, has cut his payos (sidecurls); his father was last seen saying the Shema outside, and was killed. Sol talks to Leo, a politician now part of the Judenrat, working for the Germans. Sol reproaches him for collaborating with the Nazis, to which Leo says, “Someone needs to advocate for our community.” Sol bribes him with a “donation for a school” to get the family lodging in the old Jewish quarter. The family that left the home abandoned plates of food on the table. Nechuma says they’ll watch their home until they come back.

In France: Addy has been drafted into the Polish arm of the French army, but our entrepreneurial friend manages to forge his own discharge papers. Truly a jack of all trades. He gets back to France, where he tries to obtain a visa to go to the U.S. He acts on rumors about Ambassador Souza Dantas, who helps fellow Jews like him get into Brazil despite the unsympathetic Brazilian government. The ambassador tells him to be on the SS Alsina, which is going from Marseilles to Brazil, and forges travel documents for him. What a mensch.

Episode 3: Siberia

Air date: March 28, 2024 

Lvov: Herta insists that the Soviets take her to Siberia, too. Halina works at a lab for Dr. Levanhed where she smuggles things for Adam to help his forgeries and other work. She gets chided by a fellow Jewish resistance member, Rahel, for smuggling eggs from the cafeteria. Halina seems to be jealous of Adam and Rahel’s relationship. Halina is also trying to find Genek at prisons in Lvov. Halina asks the doctor for help finding Genek. Halina is trying to pocket something in the lab when the doctor comes back in with officers and tells her, “You need to go with these men.”

Siberia: Herta is pregnant on the train to Siberia; the prisoners and especially the women take care of each other. Genek tries to use his law knowledge to get a break for his pregnant wife with the camp commander, but he only ends up getting into more trouble, getting beat up and then docked rations. The law is not going to help him out of this current conundrum. Herta, in the meantime, is giving birth. Genek comes back beaten up to the barracks to his wife, and despite everything, they smile at each other. The baby’s eyes in Siberia are frozen shut, and Herta uses milk to help melt them back open. Genek has a breakdown and cries after seeing a picture of his parents.

SS Alsina: Addy meets Eliska and her mother, Madame Lowbeer (Marin Hinkle), while playing piano on the SS Alsina; they’re rich Jewish immigrants from Prague. He starts an affair with Eliska. Addy writes a lullaby for Felicia. In the Senegal, the SS Alsina gets halted by the pro-Nazi government. Addy and Eliska manage to leave the ship for a walk. The SS Alsina is allowed to leave the port, but the ship seems to be traveling in the wrong direction. It docks in Casablanca, another Nazi-friendly bastion.

Episode 4: Casablanca

Air date: April 4, 2024 

Radom: We meet Mila at the tailor shop where she’s working. The Jewish women talk about people from the town who have left for Palestine. Felicia is playing quietly by Mila’s table. She hides her in a big box among a pile of clothes when the Germans come in for a surprise inspection. The sewing shop owner is beaten and taken away; he was, it seems, smuggling contraband. Nechuma, Sol and Mila decide to pay a Polish family to hide Felicia outside the ghetto. Mila tells Felicia the story of baby Moses, preparing to send her away like Moses’ mother did to keep him away from danger. Felicia is smuggled across the ghetto wall, rolled in blankets. “Baruch hashem,” Sol says, when he sees her being taken away to safety.

Mila is sewing Nazi uniforms when she discovers her “parcel” will be returned. Felicia is back. “They said she looked too Jewish,” Nechuma says.

Mila sees an opportunity for highly educated Jews to go to Palestine and uses Selim’s training as a doctor to get her and Felicia to safety. Instead, the vehicle with her and other Jews takes them to a big field where they are made to dig their own graves. Mila sees a woman who flirts with a guard to avoid her fate, and tells Felicia to run to her and call her mother. As people all around recite the Shema and try to fight, they are shot in mass, and Felicia attempts to run after this woman. We do not see if she succeeds.

Lvov: Halina is made to give blood to the Soviet army by the men who took her from her job. Adam comes to her aid when she collapses after the rough treatment. The Soviets retreating out of Lvov; the Nazis are about to take over. Adam decides to forge non-Jewish papers for the rest, even though Jakob says he will not pass as a non-Jew with his schnoz. Adam reminds him that nobody really knows what a Jew looks like.

The Jewish underground get together to come up with a game plan. They argue about Zionist fantasies and socialist fantasies. We just heard about baby Moses but this may be the most Jewish moment in this episode — two Jews, three opinions.

People march the streets with Ukrainian flags, painting bloody red Stars of David, beating up Jews, saying they “sold them to Stalin,” tearing the clothes from their bodies. Halina, Bella and Jakob manage to stay safe.

Casablanca: Addy is in a detention camp in Casablanca, where the conditions are terrible. He bribes an officer to let him run errands for the camp and bring in better supplies. Addy runs away instead. He finds a fellow performer from the SS Alsina who counsels him to go to Cadiz. He finds Eliska and proposes to her.

Episode 5: Ilha Das Flores

Air date: April 11

Radom PART I: This episode takes place on Rosh Hashanah. We start with Sol leading a very difficult New Year’s dinner at a time of great darkness, acknowledging that forgiveness is hard at that moment.

We see that Mila managed to escape the shooting squad by giving a Nazi soldier an expensive ring. She reunites with Felicia in the truck and covers her ears. They return home to Nechuma and Sol. Mila sees Isaac, and offers to let him stay with them, but he refuses — hoping to kindle a romance with her.

Lvov: In Lvov, the streets are strewn with broken glass and blood. Halina goes to find Adam; his house has been ransacked. Bella goes to find her sister, but her house, too, is destroyed and empty. Jakob finds a letter from her saying that they are taking them away, and they are going to kill them. A transport has been arranged for Bella, Jakob and Halina back to the city, but Bella refuses to go back; she thinks her sister might have run off to the woods, but Jakob tells her she is dead. Halina decides to stay behind, to look for Adam. There’s a rumor of a forger in one of the work camps; she sends Jakob with papers for their family.

Halina goes from work camp to work camp, trying to find Adam, bribing guards with silver that belonged to her great-grandparents, which they used for their Passover dinners, and telling the officers how disgusted she is that they’ve mistaken her husband for a “dirty Jew.”


Genek and Herta are both working at the work camp, and Herta is even strong enough to breastfeed other babies. There’s news of change from the front. The prisoners at the work camp are offered amnesty and taken somewhere in a cattle car, again. Genek notices a man praying with a rosary.

Ilha Das Flores: The SS Alsina lets all the passengers off at Ilha Das Flores, where passengers are told their visas were revoked. Dantas has been forced into early retirement. Eliska is angry, upset, has lost hope. Addy tries to cheer her up. They argue. They fight about his family. Eliska sinks further into depression, while Addy stays hopeful.

Addy is sitting on the beach when Eliska tells him they are getting in as the last Jews to enter Brazil as Vargas closes the door to “undersirable” Jews. Eliska is ecstatic, but Addy is distraught — he will not be able to get them into Brazil. They fight about how Addy is unable to let go of his family.

Radom PART II: Bella and Jakob arrive to Radom. There is a rift between them. Jakob reunites with the Kurcs. Bella tells her family the bad news about her sister. They cry, embrace, break down. Jakob has dinner with Bella’s family, made with leeks picked up at the orphanage where Bella’s mother works. He invites them to Rosh Hashanah with his family, in a discreet celebration. Bella’s parents cannot accept, too scared maybe, but tell Bella to go because “Sol is right, these traditions matter, especially now.”

Bella tells Jakob that she wants to work at a factory outside of town, one where the workers stay in barracks.

The family celebrates Rosh Hashanah. “I pray that in this darkness, we let our family be our light,” Sol says as the table is laden with a modest New Year’s feast. He holds up a sweet apple and prays in Yiddish for God “to renew for us a good and a sweet new year.” There is a letter from someone who is making her presence known — Halina, who found Adam. Everyone is thrilled, but Bella is overwhelmed by her grief. She tells him she is taking the factory job.

We hear the rest of Halina’s letter. She tells her parents how she rescued Adam, and how their courageous Partisan friends helped him recuperate. She tells them she and Adam are in Warsaw, and asks her family to join them. She says they have made their relationship official “in my way.” Mila decides to sell a coat — to join Adam and Halina, most likely.

Uzbekistan: Genek and Herta arrive to Uzbekistan, where the men have a chacce to be drafted to the Polish army and get a paycheck. Genek sees Jewish men are rejected from service and leaves the line to volunteer for service. He and Herta fight. “We go back to Poland… we die,” she tells him. He says that it’s impossible. She says she is tired of his pride and of listening to him. She admonishes him for what he tried to do in the Siberian work plant. “I can’t carry you anymore,” she tells him, and tells him they have to get into the army, no matter what.

Genek asks the man from the train to teach him to be Catholic. He is reluctant; as a Catholic man, he says he would never agree to pray to a different God. Genek says despite growing up Jewish, he’s not sure that his faith ever ran that deep.

Rio: Addy and Eliska arrive in Rio. Eliska and her mother join her uncle. Addy stays behind. A Jewish stranger invites him for the Jewish New Year.

Episode 6: Warsaw

Air date: April 18

Radom: Mila and Felicia prepare to leave for Warsaw with forged documents. Bella is now working at the factory outside of town. She writes Jakob letters. Jakob works as a photographer for the SS; he photographs, among other things, naked models who flirt with him. But he is only thinking of Bella. Sol and Nechuma got a placement at a factory in the neighboring town of Pionki thanks to Halina, but Sol is struggling, and Halina is hoping to find them a different placement. Bella’s parents have been moved to the Glinice ghetto in Radom. She gets told that the Glinice is going to be liquidated by an old non-Jewish acquaintance now working for the SS.

Halina gets Sol and Nechuma outside of the factory. The officer almost refuses to let Sol go but she bribes him with extra jewelry.

At the hiding house, Sol falls into despair, feeling helpless, as his children work tirelessly to help him. Nechuma comforts him with his own words, ones that he said after Genek was born and Nechuma was scared about how small and fragile he was, about how children make them more scared but also, more brave.

Bella tries to convince her parents to join her at the factory, but they refuse. “We’re not scared, we’re tired, we can’t run anymore,” they tell her. And they want her to survive, and think they will just hinder her. “We want you to save yourself,” they say.

The next day, the Radom ghetto is rounded up. Jakob finds Bella at the factory and comforts her. He stays the night. The next morning, the factory is being liquidated. They escape together by cutting a hole in the fence.

Warsaw: Mila and Felicia make it to Warsaw. Mila works as a nanny for a German woman, the wife of an officer. Felicia is being hidden in a convent, where she hides her Jewish identity. The family dyes her hair blonde. Halina and Mila resume their bickering, with Halina telling her older sister she needs to stop “the Jewish eyes” — “if we look as sad as we feel we might as well not announce ourselves,” she tells her.

Halina works as a housekeeper at a German house. At a house party, a man hears her humming Chopin and says he admires her musical sense and meticulousness and wants her to work for him. When she comes back home, her landlady accuses her of being Jewish. Adam shows her his “uncircumcised” penis to prove to her that they’re not Jewish. “It’s a bandage and eggwhites,” he tells Halina. “Best foreskin I could come up with.” They laugh.

Adam is told about the camps, and how Jews are getting killed. We find out that Adam’s family has most likely been killed, though he remains hopeful.

Mila gives her boss a haircut. She asks Mila if she will have children soon — “you should, you’re quite good at them. You’re the best nanny Edgar’s had.” Her boss tells her she didn’t want to have children, and Mila says me too, and then quickly covers it up by sharing how she felt when her brother was born, though we know she is speaking about Felicia. “You feel that children will be a burden,” she says, but couldn’t believe how much bigger and better her life became when she had a child in it.

Edgar and Mila are at the playground when he walks away from a group of kids he was playing with. “They said I had to be a Jew… but I can’t, I don’t want to!” Mila tells him it’s only a game. Mila’s boss gets mad at her for this, and ends up throwing a glass at the back of her head. She apologizes. Mila and Halina comfort each other.

Episode 7: Monte Cassino

Air date: April 25

Rio: Addy writes to his family, still, in 1943 Rio. He gets drunk and belligerent at a local bar, yelling about what is happening to Jews in Europe. “A million Jews annihilated since the start of the war,” he yells before being ordered to leave. He meets Madame Lobweer while retching on a nearby tree. While Eliska is seeing someone new, she tries to help him, urging him to move on from thinking about his family and to be the kind of man “you want your mother to find,” if they do find each other again. 

At a party, Addy meets Caroline (Nicole Brydon Bloom) who works at the American embassy. They start dating. He finds a person who, unlike Eliska, he can keep the memory of his family alive with. He finds his way back to the piano, too. At Madame Lobweer’s home, he plays a tune he wrote for Felicia.

Warsaw: Halina works for an Austrian banker, Herr Den (Robert Dölle). The Warsaw Ghetto uprising is happening and Halina feels guilty for not doing more to fight back. Bella works at a tailor shop — Jakob comes to bring her a pastry, and to tell her they need to move. We meet Felicia, whose name is now Barbara and lives in a convent, where Mila visits her whenever she can, which is once a month. Felicia struggles at the convent.

Halina gets threatened by a non-Jewish woman who recognizes her from Radom; she bribes her with a coat. Her boss gives her a new coat, but also tells her he will be leaving for Krakow, and offers to take her with him. She refuses. Without her paycheck, though, she worries she won’t be able to keep paying the family keeping Sol and Nechuma safe.

Warsaw is a war zone. Adam, Halina, Mila, Jakob and Bella decide to gather money for the Gorskis and then leave. Mila and Adam save Felicia from the rubble of the convent, which was bombed. Halina will ask Herr Den for the money. But on the train over to him, she gets arrested and imprisoned for being a Jew.

Mandatory Palestine, Polish 2nd Cops Army Base: Genek and Herta are in Palestine with their son, where Genek is preparing to go to battle with the Polish army. He goes into the infirmary with a hernia, and there he meets Selim. They talk about what a miracle it is that they met, and Selim asks them about Felicia and Mila, but of course, they know nothing. While Selim and Genek despair, fierce Herta reminds them that “faith is a choice,” and they go to inquire after the family at the Tel Aviv offices of the Red Cross. Genek and Selim are deployed.

Monte Cassino, Italy: Genek and Selim are sent to Italy to the front. There, Genek will battle to break the winter line, to help allied forces advance onto Rome. It is a battle many in the allied forces have fought before, and as other soldiers cheer for Poland, it’s clear that Genek is feeling jaded and scared, that he is being sent to fight a losing battle for a country where he was almost killed for being a Jew. He hurts his finger, and as Selim helps sew and bandage it, they talk about faith. Finally, when he is in the midst of battle, Genek thinks of his family, his wife, his child, and he says the Shema.

Episode 8: Rio

Air date: May 2, 2024

Krakow: We meet Halina at a prison in Krakow; she’s getting tortured into admitting that she’s Jewish, but she holds strong. Fellow prisoners say Hamotzi before they eat. The thought of Adam is holding Halina together. Herr Den saves her and tells her the Soviets are closing in. Halina admits that she is Jewish. He smiles and asks her to speak for him when the time comes.

Adam reunites with Halina, and they go pick up her parents. It’s an emotional reunion; they feared the worst because of the news from Warsaw.

Lodz part I: Bella and Yakob are together at the former Lodz ghetto. Bella is pregnant, and she shares with Jakob that Anna was pregnant too before she was killed. Felicia is shellshocked, traumatized and refuses to eat. “It hurts, I’m not hungry,” she tells Mila. 

Nechuma and Sol reunite with Halina, and they all get together in Lodz, where, in May, they finally hear about the war’s end. “We look for everybody,” Halina tells the family. Nechuma wants to go back to Radom; Halina, Sol and Nechuma all leave for the city they once called home.

Adam discovers that his family is on a list of victims and breaks down; he wishes he had fought as hard for his family as Halina has. “There’s no reason anyone survived… none of us should be here,” Bella comforts him.

Radom: Nechuma goes to their house to see if they got any letters from Genek or Addy, but the woman refuses to let them in, calling them Jewish thieves, and Nechuma falls apart, yelling at her. The streets of Radom are filled with antisemitic signs urging Jews to leave. Sol realizes that Radom isn’t home anymore, and they all leave.

Lodz part II: Halina gets a letter from the Red Cross, sent by Genek, Herta and Selim. Sol is overjoyed. Felicia asks Mila what her father is like; she speaks warmly of him, explaining that it was too hard for her to talk about Selim earlier, but saying she can’t wait for her to meet him.

Bella and Jakob will be sponsored by Bella’s uncle in the States. They want to board a ship that will get them to America. Halina worries about their journey, but in the end, agrees they have to go.

The family starts their journey to Italy. Bella and Jakob board a train to Stuttgart, and Jakob takes a photo of Bella and their baby smiling as they board the train from Lodz, along with other Polish refugees.

The Alps: Nechuma, Sol, Halina, Adam, Mila and Felicia journey across the Alps. They find joy and laughter and reminisce about Addy. Halina reveals she is pregnant.

Bari, Italy: Herta is feeling restless after the war; she feels old, uneasy. Genek comforts her.

The family arrives at the train station and reunite. Nechuma and Genek run into each other’s arms. They discover that Genek has a son, and Sol embraces Genek. Mila finally sees Selim; they hesitantly walk towards each other, and finally, they hug. He gives Felicia a coin that he got from a Persian family whose baby he helped deliver — the coin has the number 5 on it, which in Farsi looks like a heart. She then allows him to hug her.  

Rio: On the radio, Addy and Caroline hear that the war has ended. He hears about the surrender of German forces. They rejoice and celebrate. The streets are filled with joy, but Addy is overwhelmed with emotion. He goes to the Polish embassy to find signs of life of his family but finds none. Addy and Caroline get married. 

Caroline is pregnant — they are still searching for Addy’s family. Addy meets Eliska at a cafe, where a man overhears Addy’s accent and asks if he knows an Addy Kurc. He’s been trying to track him down from the Polish consulate, where a telegraph is waiting for him. He runs to the embassy, trying to get in before it closes. He makes it. He makes the man at the embassy read him the telegraph, which is from Genek, saying him, Jakob and his sisters and parents are alive.

Four months later, Caroline gives birth, and Addy is going to finally meet his family. He is so impatient to see their ship arrive at the harbor, and takes a small sailboat to meet them.

Ten months later, they hold a family seder again — there is joy and family and laughter. Felicia sings the Four Questions. There is also grief as they light a Yahrzeit candle for everyone that they have lost: relatives of Sol, Nechuma, Herta, Selim and Adam. They call Jakob. They eat together, and Halina and Addy smile at each other across the table.

In the postscript, we discover that most of the family stayed in Sao Paolo, Brazil. Jakob and Maryla, Bella’s real name, lived in Chicago, where Jakob was a photographer, and Addy and Caroline moved to Massachusetts, where they raised their three children. We discover that Halina and Adam stayed in Brazil, raised a family there, as did Mila and Selim. Felicia, a doctor, lives in France. Sol and Nechuma now have nearly 100 direct descendants.

If you’re dying to know more about the “We Were the Lucky Ones” finale, join us on Monday, May 6 at 8 PM ET for a conversation with showrunner Erica Lipez.

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