The JCC in Manhattan and The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation commemorated Holocaust Memorial Day by honoring men and women who risked their lives to save others through their annual program ”Saviors on the Screen.” Hundreds of educators, students and general public enjoyed the screening of three documentaries carefully selected for the occasion.
The marathon of films started with acclaimed documentary ”Poumy”, which recounts the World War II adventure of a young Jewish mother who escaped the Nazis and joined the French Resistance. Director Sam Ball of Citizen Film and produced Marian Scheuer Sofaer were available for a discussion following the screening and introduced the educational program that accompanies the film.
In ”The Darien Dilemma”, a father and his filmmaker son explore the untold story of 1000 Jews from Vienna stranded on the frozen Danube River in the winter of 1941 as they await the life or death decision of their rescue by Ruth Klieger and other Mossad agents who control their fate. Israeli director Erez Laufer shared his experience of working with his father, Nahum Laufer, who went to film school with the intension of telling his own story but ended falling in love with Ruth Klieger’s character and this particular conflict.
The series closed with the screening of award-winning documentary ”Weapons of the Spirit” -written, produced and directed by Pierre Sauvage- tells the story of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, a French village whose residents saved the lives of 5,000 Jews during the German occupation. Rudy Appel, who was 16 years old when he found shelter in this Huguenot village, joined this Yom HaShoah program and spoke about his experience.