|Pair of KRCB programs explore history of Holocaust
In recognition of the Jewish High Holy Days, KRCB presents two stories that explore Holocaust history.
• “Finding Kalman,” Sept. 16, 10:30 p.m.: In this moving documentary, a charismatic Holocaust survivor inspires her family to connect to relatives they never met. Focusing on her brother, Kalman, Anna recounts tales of a mischievous boy who tried to escape the Warsaw ghetto with her. Her daughter, an artist, devours the stories and paints his portrait over and over again. As Kalman's face emerges on canvas, the film moves from archival Warsaw ghetto footage to summers in a Catskills bungalow colony – from vibrant family life before World War II to now. Four generations grapple differently with their shared history. Roz, the artist, felt her mother's pain, understanding it in stages. Maya, an Israeli granddaughter, expresses her passion playing the viola. Great-grandson Roy wonders with concern how his generation will understand the Holocaust when it seems like just another story. As the loving family that grew from one survivor celebrates together, the film shows how four generations find light even in the darkest of places – with a resiliency that provides hope for the future.
• “Where Birds Never Sang,” Sept. 16, 11 p.m.: Ninety-six kilometers from Berlin is a pastoral setting accessible by a road that winds through a pine forest. There, one can recline on the sandy river beach and look across to the town to Furstenberg, or watch local fisherman working from their docks and small boats, as they have for centuries. Furstenberg is a sylvan setting; quiet, peaceful, a place of refuge for citizens escaping the hubbub of Berlin. Not far from the center of this village is a wall, rather tall and imposing, made not of hand-cut stones, but of concrete. Even more startling, more incongruous, is the second wall of barbed wire. It is only then that we realize that behind this wall separating tranquility from history is Ravensbrueck, Hitler's largest concentration camp designed for women, a brutal camp where 92,000 women and children out of 132,000 who were incarcerated there, met a cruel and inhumane death.
Here, medical experiments were conducted on the women, women guards used throughout the Nazi system were trained here, and the women were used as prostitutes for the SS and special prisoners.