The University Record, March 7, 1994

Yiddish film focuses on child Holocaust survivors

The recently discovered and restored 1948 film Undzere Kinder (Our Children), the last Yiddish feature film made in Poland, will be shown at 7 p.m. Sunday (March 13) at the Natural Science Building Auditorium, followed by a panel discussion.

“Suppressed by the post-war Polish Communist government as ‘pro-Zionist’ and lost for over 30 years, Our Children is a wonderfully moving drama about a group of children who survived the Holocaust,” says Ira Konigsberg, director of the Program in Film and Video Studies.

Largely shot on location at an orphanage/school near Lodz, the film stars children who were actual survivors of the Holocaust and focuses on how they come to terms with their past.

“This is the first film that attempts to deal with the Holocaust,” Konigsberg says. “The fact that it was made by people who were involved in these horrific events makes the movie even more extraordinary.”

After the war, some 250,000 Jewish survivors temporarily returned to Poland, where actors Shimon Dzigan and Yisroel Shumacher, director Natan Gross and producer Shaul Goskind teamed up to make Our Children.

The panel discussion following the film will address “childhood trauma and abuse within the framework of the Holocaust and the Holocaust within the framework of art,” Konigsberg says.

In addition to Konigsberg, panelists include Sidney Bolkosky, U-M-Dearborn professor of history; Jack Novick, clinical associate professor of psychiatry and supervision analyst, Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute; and Kerry Novick, faculty member, Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute.

The film and discussion, both free to the public, are sponsored by the Program in Film and Video Studies, the Jean and Samuel Frankel Center for Judaic Studies, the Hillel Foundation and the Michigan Psychoanalytic Foundation.

For information, call 764-0147.