The Starfish is the touching true story of a German-Jewish boy whose life was forever altered at the age of 10, when his parents sent him and his two older sisters to Sweden to escape Nazi persecution, with the aid of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS). Meet Mark Hetfield, CEO of HIAS, who will be in dialogue with the filmmaker Tyler Gildin.
This program is a birthday tribute to Aristides de Sousa Mendes, born on this date in 1885. It also celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Sousa Mendes Foundation and the 80th anniversary of Sousa Mendes’s action. Join renowned Holocaust scholars Michael Berenbaum and Mordecai Paldiel for inspiring stories of four diplomat rescuers: Hiram Bingham of the United States, Georg Duckwitz of Germany, Carl Lutz of Switzerland, and Sousa Mendes of Portugal. Participants are invited to add their own tributes, that will be shared!
Cuba’s Forgotten Jewels was born of the tales that Marion Kreith told her daughter, co-director Judy Kreith, over the years. Marion escaped war-torn Europe as a young girl with her family, evading Nazi capture and crossing the Atlantic to a tropical paradise. In this film, her story mingles with the personal accounts of other refugees who recall their escape to Havana and the challenges they face in an exotic and unfamiliar land. With a stunning musical score of Jewish melodies and the pulsating music of Havana, the film merges the realities of two vastly different yet intermingled cultures, bringing this colorful and uplifting piece of history to light. (more…)
Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War is an account of a daring rescue mission that occurred on the precipice of World War II. It tells the dramatic true story of Waitstill and Martha Sharp, an American minister and his wife from Wellesley, Massachusetts, who left their children behind in the care of their parish and boldly committed to a life-threatening mission in Europe. Over two dangerous years they helped to save scores of imperiled Jews and refugees fleeing Nazi occupation across Europe. In 2006, Watstill and Martha Sharp were recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations.
Emmy Award-winning writer, producer, and author Yvette Manessis Corporon scours the globe to track down the Jewish family that her Greek Orthodox grandmother saved from the Holocaust in 1944. But suddenly, after a glorious reunion with the saved family, her own family falls victim to antisemitism in the U.S. In Something Beautiful Happened: A Story of Survival and Courage in the Face of Evil, the past and present come together in a nuanced, heartfelt story about the power of faith, the importance of kindness, and the courage to stand up for what is right.
From Israeli director Yael Katzir comes a glorious and uplifting story of rebirth and renewal after the Holocaust. Filmed on location in Southern Italy, Shores of Light tells the unknown true story of thousands of survivors who ended up in the region of Salento en route to what was then Palestine. Welcomed by the local population, which was economically poor but rich in human compassion, many of the refugees stayed, married and had children before eventually moving on to their intended destination. It was a time of healing with the promise of a future full of hope.
This program will explore the history and psychology of hidden children and their rescuers during the Holocaust. Meet three formerly hidden children: renowned Jewish advocate Abraham H. Foxman (hidden in Poland), psychologist Dr. Noémi Perelman Mattis (hidden in Belgium) and Holocaust educator Ruth Kapp Hartz.(hidden in France).
Author-illustrators Hans and Margret Rey fled Nazi-occupied France on handmade bicycles with the manuscript to the first Curious George book among their meager possessions. Thanks to a fortuitous encounter with Aristides de Sousa Mendes, they were all saved. Meet Louise Borden, author of The Journey That Saved Curious George, and Sheila Abranches-Pierce, granddaughter of Sousa Mendes. The program moderator will be Robert Jacobvitz. This will be a fun program, appropriate for all ages.
Dr. Feng Shan Ho was a Chinese diplomat stationed in Vienna during the time of Kristallnacht. Thanks to him, thousands of Jewish refugees were able to escape to Shanghai, where they found a safe haven. Feng Shan Ho was recognized in 2000 as Righteous Among the Nations. Together we will watch a 20-minute preview of the new PBS film Harbor from the Holocaust (2020, dir. Violet Du Feng). Then meet the diplomat’s daughter Manli Ho, a journalist, who will be in dialogue with Holocaust historian Dr. Mordecai Paldiel and Shanghai survivor Dr. Lotte Lustig Marcus. Representing programming partner WNET will be Ed Hersh, who will introduce the film.
Are some people born heroic and others not? Can ordinary people become heroes, and if so, under what circumstances? Join us to explore this fascinating topic with Holocaust rescue experts Dr. Eva Fogelman and Dr. Mordecai Paldiel and award-winning Israeli filmmaker Yoav Shamir. Watch Shamir’s lighthearted yet earnest treatment of this important topic in his film, executive produced by Michael Moore, called 10% – What Makes a Hero? Then tune in for what is sure to be a wide-ranging and fascinating discussion. (more…)