WORLD MEDAL: New York Festivals (1997)
"I've been in Israel for 22 years, and every Holocaust Day is a day of death for me. No one knew about our Holocaust. I've never heard it mentioned." Israeli writer Aharon Appelfeld (Badenheim 1939) is one of several survivors of Transnistria featured in this emotional and hard-hitting Israel Educational Television documentary. The film details an almost-forgotten part of the Holocaust and presents the case of frustrated survivors whose experience and suffering has gone mostly unrecognized in Israel.
From 1941 to 1944, 300,000 Jews were killed at the hands of Rumanian officials in Transnistria, an area of southern Ukraine which bordered Rumania. Unlike the "killing industry" of Auschwitz, Rumanian death camps used the "old methods" of "long drawn-out deaths": shooting, starvation, freezing, and illness. Of those who survived, only the children are left. Now adults living in Israel, these orphans of Transnistria give testimony with their memories, paintings, letters, and photographs. Scholars, including Drs. Dalia Ofer and Leon Wallovitz from Hebrew University and Dr. Shmuel Ben-Tzion, discuss the history of Transnistria and probe the reasons why this area has become known as the "Forgotten Cemetery."
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Transnistria, The Hell
Israel, 1996, 40 minutes Color/B&W, Hebrew with English subtitles
Directed by Zolton Terner
Public Exhibition Formats: Beta, DVD