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HOLOCAUST - THE GUARDIANS OF REMEMBRANCE
Saturday, 09 May 2015 19:33   
Us and our children - News

 

 

 A Documentary Project By Boris Maftsir

 

It can be said that a man dies three times:

the first time, when he actually dies,
the second time, when he is buried,
 
the third time, when his name is no longer remembered.

This is the essence of the project: to remember and recall
the fate of nearly half of the victims of the Holocaust.
This is the last chance to bring back the story that was excluded
by Josef Stalin and his collaborators after the end of WWII –
until the collapse of the USSR.
 This is the essence of the project: to remember and recall the fate of nearly
half of the victims of the Holocaust. This is the last chance to bring back
the story that was excluded by Josef Stalin and his collaborators
after the end of WWII – until the collapse of the USSR.

The Goals of the Project:

 To review the circumstances whereby the Holocaust in the Soviet Union was hidden from the collective consciousness.
To tell for the first time the story of the events that took place in Soviet territory occupied by Nazi Germany.
To succeed in recording testimonies in the places where the events took place in the Soviet Union during the Holocaust.
To create a cinematic story that is credible and direct.
To present the layout of the locations where the events of the Holocaust in the former Soviet Union took place.
To create historic cinematic documentation with unique, sensitive and artistic language.
All of the materials are contemporary without using archival footage, which in any case does not exist, and are based
on the help of witnesses and “guardians of remembrance” who are trying to revive the memory of the Shoah.
The events are filmed in the very place in which they occurred and during the time of year in which they took place.

Why I am doing this project:

For seven years, from 2006 to 2012, I worked on a special project at Yad Vashem collecting the names of Jews
murdered in the Holocaust in the former Soviet territories. I toured dozens upon dozens
of sites in the "land of the Holocaust". I met with hundreds of witnesses.
Gradually I was exposed to the startling picture of the Russian-Jewish civilization
that had disappeared and then subsequently hidden without a trace. It was a black hole in our history.
At the same time, it contained brave and stubborn acts of resistance in the underground, the ghettos
and forests. Here were memories that were not to be remembered. 
The materials that I gathered, and the emotional connections that I developed
along the way have engendered in me a deep commitment, bordering on the obsessive, to be the first
to attempt using a series of documentary films sketching a panoramic image depicting
the story of the life and death of the Jewish masses that were destroyed by the Nazis
in the Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia and other more than 20 counties in Russia.

The First Film – THE GUARDIANS OF REMEMBRANCE premiering

at the Haifa International Film Festival 2014. 

FILMS AND TOPICS:

The films of the project will present a comprehensive picture of events that took place in the countries and regions mentioned
during the timeframe from the summer of 1941 until the liberation of the Soviet territories at the end of the war.
As reflected in the attached historical summaries, the fate of the Jews was the same in all the occupied territories
but there were historical and narrative differences in the way that events unfolded in the different countries and regions.
We therefore decided to tell the story of the Holocaust in the Soviet Union by breaking down the films according
to various regions so that we will be able to devote our attention to the unique character of the local memory
and at the same time to address the revival of memory in each of the post -Soviet countries.
Movies planned for production:
The Holocaust in Russian territories
The Holocaust in Ukrainian territories
The Holocaust in Occupied Romanian territories
The Holocaust in Belarus (with a focus on armed resistance of the Jews in Ghetto rebellions and in the Partisans).
The first film, (depicting the first phase of the Holocaust in Russian territories)
The Holocaust in Belarus - From 1941 - Winter of 1942, will be completed in September and screened at the Haifa Film Festival.
The Holocaust in the Baltic States
The Mystery of the Black Book about the tragic fate of an important collection of testimonies regarding
the murder of Jews by the Nazis and their accomplices in the occupied areas of the former Soviet Union.

The primary mission of this film project


The primary mission of this film project, a documentary series on the as yet unrecorded events of
the Holocaust in the territories of the Former Soviet Union, is a unique documentation of events
and witnesses at the scene and during the time of year that the events originally occurred.
We have learned from our work on the first film of the project - "Memory Keepers" - the intensity,
emotion and credibility that this method gives to the preservation of Holocaust era memories.
In the spirit of the classic film of Claude Lanzmann, the project films do not make use of archival materials
for the purposes of illustration, and in any case there are no filmed archival materials capable of portraying
the events of the Holocaust in the territories of the Soviet Union.
We are working under conditions of extreme urgency – even the youngest witnesses
that we are interviewing are at least 85 years old and time is running out!
The Map of filming encompasses dozens of sites in Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Latvia, Lithuania,
Estonia, South Russia and North Caucasus. Each filming trip takes approximately 8-9 days.
During 2015 some 14 such trips have been planned to various locations.
The problem, as is often the case, is funding. The Project of the Holocaust in the Soviet Union is not a commercial endeavor.
All subsidies and contributions are allocated only to offset production costs. We have been fortunate
to receive support and backing from film and television groups as well as organizations that support
Holocaust remembrance and still there is not support for the project to be completed.
An additional problem is that much of the support we have secured is granted in portions over an extended period of time.
Only immediate assistance intended to help offset the costs of filming witnesses and events can ensure
that we will complete this one of a kind memory project - the first of its kind - and probably the last.
 

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Last Updated ( Saturday, 18 July 2015 21:39 )