Judaism, Life Before the Holocaust
Angels Of Austria: The Church That Reached Out To Holocaust Survivors
An unusual group of Christians attempt to reverse eight centuries of Antisemitism in their hometown by inviting Jewish Holocaust survivors formerly of Wiener Neustadt to return for a "Week of Reconciliation" in 1995. Judy Faust accompanies her mother and together they embark on an emotional roller coaster ride of grief, compassion, friendship, and healing. The Ichthys Church (or Free Church) takes them on a tour of places that mark centuries of Jewish life: synagogues, museums, cemeteries, as well as escorting them to The House of Parliament to be honored by the Austrian mayor, but the moment of healing for Judy's mother happens when sharing her story to a high school assembly where students listen to Holocaust survivors for the first time. From the initial tentative moments to the last joyous laughter, viewers will share the difficult and rewarding journey towards forgiveness and compassion for both the returning Jews and the Christian hosts (many who were descendants of former Nazis). Together they willingly explore their painful past while creating new milestones that they hope will mark an era of friendship and understanding. 37 mins. DVD only.
Anne Frank: The Life of a Young Girl
From A&E Biography. DVD only. 50 minutes.
Before They Perished...Photographs Found in Auschwitz
The album comprises a choice of photographs brought to Auschwitz by Jews, condemned by the Nazis to be exterminated. Around 2400 photographs, a unique collection, were found on the premises of the camp after its liberation. Nothing is known about their survival. The collection covers pictures, representing various scenes from the life of the Jewish families from before the war: everyday work, weddings, births, classes and youth organizations, holidays spent with families or friends. It took several years to identify some of the shots. The biggest part show Jewish families from Zag³êbie, Bêdzin, Sosnowiec and neighborhood. There are also photos from other cities, among others from Warsaw, £ód¼, Lipsk, or Olomouc. Some family names were identified: the Broders, Kohns, Koplowiczs, Ma³achs, Sztrochlics, Hupperts - they are people who are no more. The publication is in the shape of an album with family shots. It is complemented by a booklet presenting the stories of given photos, the fate of particular families, and names of the people in the photos. The album was issued in three languages: Polish, English and German. The Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum and the Fritz Bauer Institute co-operated closely when preparing the edition. MULTIMEDIA CD-ROM
Belarus 2004: Remembering the Jews of Kamenka
Belarus 2004 DVD.
The Camera Of My Family
Four generations of a German Jewish family are brought to life with material dating from 1845-1945. This award winning film is one of the best teaching tools available across grade levels. When Catherine Hanf Noren finds a collection of family photographs that reveals her "secret past," she begins her quest for knowledge about her relatives and herself. Her discoveries about their lives in Germany before the war and their fate during the Nazi years represent the fate of all European Jewry during the Holocaust. Though gentle in its approach, it easily leads to discussions about the attitudes of German Jews, their sense of national identity, their intense patriotism, and their inability to grasp what was happening. I have found this to be particularly effective in high school. (6th grade+). B/W & Color. (20 min)
Carpati 50 Miles And 50 Years
In 1931 the Carpathian Mountains were the home too more than 250,000 Jews and Gypsies. 65 years later the Holocaust has made it so less than 1,500 live there. This file shows the change in society and how it has been preserved at the same time.(80 min)
Days Of Memory
Documentary video about the history, civilization and culture of the Jews of Lithuania before, during and after World War II. (General) Color & B/W. (75 mins.)
Echoes That Remain
The latest Simon Wiesenthal Center production. Made with the same care and feeling as their earlier award winning film GENOCIDE, it uses rare archival photos and film footage of shtetl life before the Holocaust in Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland and Romania. The film is rich in folk stories, parables, and anecdotes. This content combined with excellent production values, makes this a memorable viewing experience. Adult. Color. (60 min)
Elie Wiesel Goes Home
This compelling and touching film follows Nobel Peace Prize winner and acclaimed author, Elie wiesel, as he returns to Sighet, the village of his birth in what was part of Hungary during World War II. Now, fifty years later, elie wiesel returns to his homeland and walks down the same roads he walked as a child. He then continues on to Auschwitz and Birkenau, the camp from which he was liberated at the end of the war. ELIE WIESEL GOES HOME takes us on an emotional and compelling journey that tells the story of the man whose voice speaks out for victims of oppression all over the world. (2002. 108 minutes.)
For Tomorrow: The Story and Poetry of Hilda Stern Cohen
The story of Hilda Stern Cohen (1924-1997), a Holocaust survivor, poet, and Jewish educator. Her remarkable life spans an idyllic childhood in a small rural village in Germany, the horrors of the Lodz Ghetto and Auschwitz, the limbo of a displaced persons camp in Austria, and the redemptive value of spirituality and a reclaimed Jewish identity in post World-War II America. A unique experiment in telling stories of the Holocaust for future generations. Special features include Elizabeth Bolton's performance of song settings of nine poems by Hilda Stern Cohen, as composed by William Gilcher. 90 minutes. DVD.
Heritage: Civilization and the Jews
The history of the Jews is a history of involvement: with Near Eastern and Classical civilization in the Biblical period, with Christendom and Islam in the Middle Ages, with the nations of all the earth in modern times. It is a history as old as civilization itself, and it is the history of the involvement of one people with civilization. The involvement was total, complex and reciprocal. It was total in the sense that the Jewish people never enjoyed the luxury of detachment: even when intermittently masters of in their own land, that land was the vortex of all surrounding lands and shared their fates. It was complex in the Jewish people, before and above any other people, experienced the tension of diaspora and homeland, a tension ever shifting but never resolved. It was reciprocal in that Judaism took, learned and borrowed from the civilizations of other peoples - but at the same time contributed in essential respects to civilization at all times and in many different places. The interaction of Jewish history and Western civilization successively assumed different forms. In the Biblical and Ancient periods, Israel was an integral part of the Near Eastern and classical world, which gave birth to Western civilization. It shared the traditions of ancient Mesopotamia and the rest of that world with regard to it's own beginning; it benefited from the decline of Egypt and the other great Near Eastern empires to emerge as a nation in it's own right; it asserted it's claim to the divinely promised Land of Israel and struggled to a precarious independence there for a thousand years until forced to yield to the greater power of Greece and Rome. In the Medieval era Jewish history took place on a larger stage, including all of Europe and the Mediterranean world. Fewer and fewer Jews were able to remain on the soil of the Holy Land itself. For more and more of them, it became the object of prayerful longing as they sought refuge in all the lands of the dispersion. Gradually the pious hope of a return to the true homeland gave way to the more practical desire to participate in the life of their new surroundings. But no matter how deeply the Jews became involved in the various lands of the dispersion, they faced the necessity of being uprooted again and again. They became the classical example of a diaspora population: confined or committed to intellectual or commercial pursuits; linked to their co-religionists in other lands through the bond of a common faith as interpreted by rabbinic authority; and an ever yearning to live, or at least to die, in the Holy Land. The contemporary pattern of Jewish life presents another model for it's interaction with civilization. Where previously that life had been concentrated successively in Israel and the diaspora, it is now balanced between the two. Israel is once again politically sovereign, and it commands a central position in Judaism, both culturally and emotionally. But equally significant centers of Jewish population and hence of Jewish cultural, religious, and political activity exist in the United State, the Soviet Union and other parts of the diaspora. World Jewry, as always, continues to gravitate towards the rising centers of world civilization and hence to play a part in the shaping of world events. At the same time it lives in a creative tension with Israel. The interdependence of diaspora Jewry with the Israel on the one hand and with world civilization on the other, characterizes the present scene and will no doubt influence yet other patterns, whatever the precise shape they may take in the future. Episodes: A People is Born 3800-586BCE The Power of the Word 586-72CE The Shaping of Traditions 30-732CE The Crucible of Europe 732-1492 Search for Deliverance 1492-1789 Roads from the Ghetto 1789-1925 The Golden Land 1654-1930s Out of the Ashes 1919-1947 Into the Future 1880-1990s
Holocaust Survivor Testimonies
This collection of 4 DVDs was recorded at the International Winter Seminar in Jerusalem at Yad Vashem between January 10-January 24, 2007. DVD 1: The Valley of Communities: Pre-War Jewish Life. Hanna Pick (Germany-Holland - Childhood friend of Anne Frank), Ruth Brand (Romania/Hungary). Approx. 40 mins. DVD 2: A workshop with three Holocaust survivors facilitated by Moshe Sternberg. Israel Orzach (Poland), Elisheva Lehman (Holland), Rina Quint (Poland). Approx 120 mins. DVD 3: A testimony on Auschwitz, Bergen Belsen, and life after liberation by Ruth Brand (Romania/Hungary-Auschwitz). Approx. 75 mins. DVD 4: A visit to the grave of Oskar Schindler on Mt. Zion with Nachum and Genya Manor (Schindler Jews). Approx. 60 mins.
Image Before My Eyes
Before World War II, Poland contained the largest and most important center of Jewish life in the world. Hitler's "Final Solution" brought its annihilation. This tender film recreates Jewish life in Poland from the late 19th century through the 1930s using rare stills and film footage, as well as music, interviews, and memorabilia. Presented by the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. (JHS/MS+) Color & B/W. (90 min.)
Jerusalem: Center of the World
This PBS documentary tells the story of the world's most incredible city, capturing the rich mosaic of the city's Christian, Jewish and Muslim communities. Covering a history of over 4,000 years, the film explores the founding of the city; the birth and convergence of the world's three major monotheistic religions; and the key events in Jerusalem's history as described in the varied religious sacred books. DVD. 120 minutes.
The Last Chapter
This film consists of a great quantity of rarely seen footage of the life of Polish Jews before, during, and after the Holocaust. Of special interest are clips of the 1946 pogrom against the Jews showing the flight from Poland of almost all the remaining Polish Jews. (HS+). B/W. (85 min.)
The Last Klezmer
Klezmer music, sometimes called Jewish "soul" music has, a rich and lengthy past, and now, a revitalized future. This film looks at one of the pioneers of this music, a 69-year-old man named Leopold Kozlowski. He is the last active Klezmer musician trained in the original, prewar tradition. The film follows Kozlowski as he returns, for the first time in fifty years, to he Polish village where he was raised. (Adult). Color. (84 mins)
Luboml: My Heart Remembers
In 1940 the Jewish shtetl of Luboml in Poland was a vibrant town where religious tradition and community life coexisted. It was an important regional market town, complete with a theatre, a cinema, electric lights, sports teams, and numerous trades and businesses, factories and work-shops, as shown in the film through archival photos and footage. Nazi genocidal actions in Poland in 1941-42 destroyed the Jewish community in Luboml, including the execution of nearly all of its Jewish citizens, as recounted through Holocaust survivors and other former residents of Luboml. An emotionally moving documentary in remembrance of the beauty and vitality of life in a small town in Poland before the Nazis' genocidal murder of its Jewish citizens. DVD only. Color and B/W. 57 minutes
Married With A Star
On May 25, 1942, Max Werkendam wed Clara de Vries in the heart of amsterdam's Old Jewish Quarter, in Nazi-occurpied Holland. The film of this wedding has been uncovered after 50 years and becomes the focus of the story of the ill-fated couple and guests, most of whom did not survive the war (Not recommended for below college level.) Color. (33 min)
Now After All These Years
After the Nazis came to power all the Jews of Rhina, a German village, disappeared. Those villagers who remain today discuss the old Jewish community and its disappearance. The few surviving Jews of Rhina, now living in New York, present a sharply different picture of what happened. The film ends with an emotional confrontation when the townspeople of Rhina view a film sequence of the New York footage. German with English subtitles. (HS+). Color. (60 mins)
Reunion - 2004
From the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous, this is the riveting story of Andre Nowacki, a child from the Warsaw Ghetto who was rescued by a Polish family. This brief film highlights life in the Warsaw ghetto and focuses on his 1994 Thanksgiviing reuinion with Hanna Kwiecinska Morawiecka, the daughter of the woman who rescued Andre. VHS. 12 minutes. Highly recommended.
Filmmaker Marian Marzynski looks at history through the eyes of the present. Shtetl takes a bold and illuminated look at Jewish/Polish relationships in both the past and the present. Shot in Poland, Israel, and the United States, this documentary is a universal tale about Jews and those who live around them. Marzynski accompanies Nathan Kaplan, a 70-year old Jewish man from Chicago to Bransk, a small Polish shtetl in Eastern Poland. It is here where their confrontation with the past begins. Shtetl is a film about those who survived the Holocaust. Its moral is about civil rights for a minority living in a multi-ethnic society. 2 videocassettes (General Audience). (2 hrs. 53 min.)
Elie Wiesel returns to the Hungarian town of his birth, Sighet, where the entire Jewish population disappeared in German cattle cars. Wiesel movingly and poetically narrates the search of his past in a town that was a center of Jewish life but is no more. A low key film - suited to audiences knowledgeable about the facts of the Holocaust. (General audience). B/W. (74 min)
Survivors Of The Holocaust
From the Holocaust Resource Center of Buffalo, this film features the moving testimony of Holocaust survivors and the children of survivors. Interspersed with their narration, which details their lives before, during and after World War II, are photographs and footage actually shot in concentration camps. (JHS/MS+). Color & B/W. (25 min.)
Synagogues on Fire
From Producer/Director Jeremy Newman. Footage of Kristallnacht. 4 minutes.
The Forgotten Refugees
The Forgotten Refugees: A documentary about the mass exodus of Jews from Arab countries and Iran in the 20th century. The Forgotten Refugees explores the history and destruction of Middle Eastern and North African Jewish communities, some of which had existed for over 2,500 years. Employing extensive testimony of survivors from Egypt, Yemen, Libya, Iraq and Iran, the film recounts the stories - of joy and of suffering - that nearly a million individuals have carried with them for so long. Segments on the contributions of Middle Eastern Jews to politics, business and music, testify to the enormously rich cultures which fleeing Jews left behind. The film weaves personal stories with dramatic archival footage of rescue missions, historic images of exodus and resettlement, and analysis by contemporary scholars, to tell the story of how and why the Arab world's Jewish population declined from one million in 1945 to several thousand today. 2005. 45 minutes. DVD only.
The Jewish Americans
THE JEWISH AMERICANS is a three-part PBS documentary that explores 350 years of Jewish American history. Written and directed by award-winning filmmaker David Grubin, THE JEWISH AMERICANS is a journey through time, from the first settlement in 1654 to the present. It is about the struggle of a tiny minority who make their way into the American mainstream while, at the same time, maintaining a sense of their own identity as Jews. Focusing on the tension between identity and assimilation, THE JEWISH AMERICANS is quintessentially an American story, which other minority groups will find surprisingly familiar. Narrated by actor Liev Schreiber, this landmark series features Jewish Americans who have made significant contributions to American life - from Louis D. Brandeis and Ruth Bader Ginsburg to Henry Morgenthau, Hank Greenberg, Betty Friedan, Molly Goldberg, Carl Reiner, Sid Caesar, and Tony Kushner. However this story is also about Jewish American tailors and shopkeepers, soldiers and bankers, peddlers and merchants, labor organizers and civil rights activists, all of whom also helped shape the American landscape. DVD. 6 hours.
The Natchez Jewish Experience
Non-Circ. For Center Use Only. From the Museum of Southern Jewish Experience: From the first Sephardic family that settled Natchez in the late 1700s to the height of Jewish trade and business in the 1800s and the construction of the second temple in 1905, this is the history and everyday life of Natchez's Jewish families.
Nominated for 7 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and winner of 3, THE PIANIST stars Oscar winner Adrein Brody in a true-life story of brilliant pianist and composer Wladyslaw Szpilman, the most acclaimed young musician of his time until his promising career was interrupted by the onset of World War II. This powerful, ultimately triumphant film follows Szpilman's heroic and inspirational journey of survival with the unlikely help from a sympathetic German officer. A truly unforgettable epic, testifying to both the power of hope and resiliency of the human spirit, THE PIANIST is a miraculous tale of survival masterfully brought to life by visionary filmmaker Roman Pulanski in his most personal movie ever. DVD only. 150 minutes.
There Once Was a Town
In 1941, the German army invaded the small town of Eishyshok, Poland (now Lithuania) and brutally murdered nearly all 3,500 Jewish residents. Fifty-six years after the massacre, this video chronicles the remarkable journey of four of the town's survivors and their families as they return home. Actor Edward Asner, a descendant of an Eishyshok family, narrates the film. (General Audience). Color. (90 min) The powerful, award-winning documentary is based in part on professor Yaffa Eliach's critically-acclaimed book "There Once Was A World: A Nine Hundred Year Chronicle of the Shtetl of Eishyshok." Eliach leads the group of survivors and their family members in their search for remanants of Jewish life that flourished before the Holocaust. As they journey back in time, the survivors' memories come alive with vivid accounts of their lives before the war, their escape from the massacre, their years of fighting for survival and the questions that still linger. The world of the shtetl is illustrated through thousands of photographs that Eliach collected, now on display at the United States Holocaust memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. (90 minutes)
They Were Not Silent: The Jewish Labor Movement and the Holocaust
Tells the story of the anti-Nazi and rescue activities of the American Jewish labor movement, including their aid to the Underground fighters of the ghettoes of East Europe, and their assistance to Holocaust survivors in refugee camps across the globe. The video features rare archival footage and photos, plus interviews with labor veterans, Holocaust survivors and scholars. Directed by Roland Millman 1998, color, 30 mins., VHS
A Time To Gather Stones Together
This video follows a group of Jewish genealogists and holocaust survivors who returned to the area of Poland and Ukraine known as Galicia. their mission was to search for ancestral documents in State and local archives and to visit towns of family origin or places from which they had escaped the Holocaust. Tour director and noted genealogist Miriam Weiner, arranged for access to archives in Poland and Ukraine where tour participants did on-site research and obtained more than 100 copies of documents. (General Audience). Color. (29 min)
To Know Where They Are
This sensitive documentary follows, a father and daughter who travel to Poland in hope of finding traces of their lost Jewish ancestors. They gain an appreciation of the agonizing choices faced by those who defied the Nazis against Europe's Jews. Suitable for use in teaching about ethics and Christian-Jewish relations, as well as the Holocaust. Grades 7 and up. (28 min.)
Walking God's Paths: Christians and Jews in Candid Conversation
Walking God's Paths is a six-session process to stimulate candid conversation between Jewish and Christian congregations. Produced by the Center for Christian-Jewish Learning on behalf of the National Council of Synagogues and the Bishops' Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the series consists of 15-minute discussion-starting videotapes and a detailed online User's Guide containing dialogue questions and resources. Participants will experience each tradition's understanding of how it walks God's path and how the two faith communities could relate to one another in positive ways. 1. A New Future: Building Shalom between Catholics and Jews Offers an overview of the past, present, and future of Christian-Jewish relations. Introduces participants to the dynamics of interfaith dialogue and the different perspectives Christians and Jews bring to the conversation. 2. Shared Origins, Diverse Roads Explores the Late Second Temple period that gave birth to Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism. Participants will see how the centrality of the Torah for Jews and of Jesus Christ for Christians was significantly intensified by the destruction of the Temple by the Romans. 3. Common Texts, Different Scriptures Examines how the Bible both unites and divides Jews and Christians. Although Christianity and Judaism share many of the same scriptural books, they are arranged differently and read through different traditions of interpretation. Participants will experience this diversity by reading common texts together. 3. Common Texts, Different Scriptures Examines how the Bible both unites and divides Jews and Christians. Although Christianity and Judaism share many of the same scriptural books, they are arranged differently and read through different traditions of interpretation. Participants will experience this diversity by reading common texts together. 4. Season of Freedom, Season of Rebirth In the springtime, both Christians and Jews celebrate the saving power of God. Participants will experience how the related feasts of Passover and Easter ritually re-enact defining foundational events for both religious traditions. 4. Season of Freedom, Season of Rebirth In the springtime, both Christians and Jews celebrate the saving power of God. Participants will experience how the related feasts of Passover and Easter ritually re-enact defining foundational events for both religious traditions. 5. Metaphors for a Unique Relationship Presents different ways of picturing the relationship between Judaism and Christianity. Participants will compare various images and examine how best they could impact the way Christians and Jews educate about each other. 6. Mending Relationships, Mending the World Old stereotypes and misconceptions still hamper Jewish and Christian rapprochement. While engaged in dialogue to overcome these problems, Christians and Jews are increasingly aware that both traditions understand themselves to have been given a mission to the world. Participants will explore the significance for the rest of humanity of Jewish and Christian reconciliation. DVD only.