A new documentary, Children of the Holocaust Remember, featuring eight Holocaust survivors being interviewed by local Somerset County Middle School students, will be screened on Friday, May 3 at 7:30 pm at Temple Har Shalom in Warren, N.J. The event is open to the public.
The film, which is co-sponsored by Temple Har Shalom and The Blue Card, the only national organization in the United States whose sole mission is to help Holocaust survivors in need, is the result of one Temple member’s volunteerism with the Holocaust survivor community.
When Warren resident and temple member, Matthew Baltuch, 49, began working with a Holocaust survivor a couple of years ago, he was stunned to learn that a number of Holocaust survivors are currently living in poverty, and today’s children don’t seem to have a high degree of awareness of the Holocaust.
Thinking that it might shed a small light on these issues, Matt enlisted the help of fellow congregant and Warren resident, David Schwartz, 56, an amateur videographer and filmmaker, as well as Donna Connelly another congregant, to document the stories of Holocaust survivors living in Somerset County. Together, David, Matt, and Donna decided to have children from the Temple congregation conduct the interviews.
“We thought having students who were the age that the survivors were during World War II ask the questions would make the film more interesting to teens, as well as remind viewers of how much these survivors had to deal with at such a young age.”
The filming began in the Fall of 2018 and included interviews with eight survivors. The testimonials included accounts by veteran Holocaust speakers, and authors, including Sol Lurie, Erwin Ganz, Harold Fischel and Irene Butter. Other survivors included in the firm who have not shared their stories as frequently, or publicly prior to the film, include Inge Katzenstein, Larry Schtoil, Jacob Weinglass and Inge Markowitz.
The survivors stories are each unique and include first-hand accounts about various experiences, including Kristallnacht (The Night of Broken Glass), being separated from their families and living in concentration camps.
The three children from the Temple congregation who conducted the interviews are Terrence Connelly of Bedminster, N.J.; Jacob Meltzer of Warren, N.J.; and Alexa Jacobson also of Warren, N.J.
Sponsor: Temple Har Shalom and The Blue Card