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Holocaust Days of Remembrance Survivor Testimony: Urbach & Schindler, Goodkin and Wallenberg, 2017

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Yom HaShoah 2017
Holocaust Remembrance
Days of Remembrance

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During the Holocaust, with its Nazi-sponsored, systematic persecution and genocide of the Jews, there were some people who risked their own lives to protect Jews and to save them. Sometimes, as in the case of Oskar Schindler, the subject of Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winning film Schindler’s List (from Australian author Thomas Keneally’s award-winning novel Schindler’s Ark), the person is relatively well known to many of us. In other instances, such as that of Raoul Wallenberg, who disappeared during the War, most probably taken by the Nazis and executed, the people who saved Jews are not as familiar. It is then that we must rely on Survivor Testimony to learn about some of those who did risk everything to help save the European Jews.

Sol Urbach
saved by
Oskar Schindler

Oskar Schindler

Oskar Schindler

Sol Urbach was born in Poland in 1925. He was one of the Jews that were protected and rescued by Oskar Schindler in Cracow and then in Plaszow (from Yad Vashem Holocaust Testimonies).

Based on a true story, Schindler’s List is Steven Spielberg’s epic drama of World War II Holocaust survivors and the man who unexpectedly came to be their savior. Unrepentant womanizer and war profiteer Oskar Schindler uses Polish Jews as cheap labor to produce cookware for the Third Reich. But after witnessing the violent liquidation of the walled ghetto where the Krakow Jews have been forced to live, Schindler (Liam Neeson) slowly begins to realize the immense evil of Nazism. When his employees are sent to a work camp, they come under the terrorizing reign of sadistic Nazi Amon Goeth (Ralph Fiennes). With the help of his accountant, Itzhak Stern (Ben Kingsley), Schindler creates a list of “essential” Jews. Bribing Goeth, Schindler manages to get 1,100 people released from the camp and brought to the safety of his munitions factory in Czechoslovakia.

If you haven’t seen the film, I urge you to do so.

You can also see the names on Schindler’s List.

Vera Goodkin
saved by
Raoul Wallenberg

Raoul Wallenberg

Raoul Wallenberg

 

Vera Goodkin was born in Hradec Kralove, Czechoslovakia in 1930. Her family fled to Hungary, where after the German occupation they were protected by Raoul Wallenberg. Vera Goodkin remembers her father’s meeting with Wallenberg. (from Yad Vashem Holocaust Histories)

You can read about others who saved Jews during the Holocaust at Yad Vashem’s Righteous Among the Nations, sometimes referred to as “Righteous Gentiles,” and at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) sites, among those featured are Oskar Schindler and Raoul Wallenberg.

Related Posts

Using Photographs to Teach about The Holocaust

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Yom HaShoah 2017: Holocaust Days of Remembrance

Yom HaZikaron laShoah ve-laG'vurah (Day of Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance), known colloquially in Israel and abroad as Yom HaShoah ( Day of "The Catastrophe" or ...
Continue reading
Unknown

Holocaust Days of Remembrance Survivor Testimony: Urbach & Schindler, Goodkin and Wallenberg, 2017

Yom HaShoah 2017 Holocaust Remembrance Days of Remembrance During the Holocaust, with its Nazi-sponsored, systematic persecution and genocide of the Jews, there were some people ...
Continue reading
200px-Yom_Hashoah_candle

Holocaust Remembrance Survivor Testimony: Elie Wiesel and Yad Vashem, 2017

Yom HaShoah Holocaust Remembrance Day Once again, the world observes Yom HaShoah (The Catastrophe, or The Utter Destruction) in memory of all the Jews who were killed ...
Continue reading
Using Photographs to Teach About The Holocaust, 2017

Using Photographs to Teach About The Holocaust, 2017

When I was in school, we never learned about the Holocaust. Not in grammar school, not in high school, not in college, not in grad ...
Continue reading
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Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) 2015, with Three Poems from Where Lightning Strikes

Yom HaZikaron laShoah ve-laG'vurah ("Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day"), known colloquially in Israel and abroad as Yom HaShoah ("The Catastrophe," or "Utter Destruction") and in ...
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images-2

Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day) 2014

Monday 28 April 2014 Yom HaShoah Yom HaZikaron laShoah ve-laG'vurah ("Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day"), known colloquially in Israel and abroad as Yom HaShoah ("The ...
Continue reading
Oskar Schindler

Holocaust Survivor Testimony: Urbach & Schindler, Goodkin & Wallenberg, 2014

Yom HaShoah 2014 Holocaust Remembrance During the Holocaust, with its Nazi-sponsored, systematic persecution and genocide of the Jews, there were some people who risked their ...
Continue reading
Holocaust Survivor Testimony: Zanne & The Twins, 2014

Holocaust Survivor Testimony: Zanne & The Twins, 2014

Yom HaShoah International Holocaust Memorial Day Monday 28 April 2014 When young Israelis first began learning about the Holocaust, many of them couldn't relate to ...
Continue reading
Holocaust Survivor Testimony: Yad Vashem & Elie Wiesel, 2014

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Photographic Introduction to the Holocaust

Rare Historical Holocaust Photos

Holocaust Timeline and Overview

Holocaust Days of Remembrance

Learn about The Holocaust on USHMM
(United States Holocaust Memorial Museum)

For more information on the Holocaust database
or to fill out Pages of Testimony, visit
Yad Vashem‘s Central Database of Shoah Victims

Share

Leave a Comment

Filed under Documentary/Historical Video, History, Holocaust, Holocaust Days of Remembrance, Holocaust Remembrance Day, Holocaust Survivor Testimony, Yom HaShoah

Crime, Passion, Ambition, Stupidity: Darkly Twisted Comedies

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No Spoilers

Christian Slater & Patricia Arquette, True Romance ©

There are lots of different types of comedies in film these days, from slapstick, to teen-flicks, to culture-clash explorations. Most of those don’t appeal to me very much, and even if I see one of them, I rarely watch it more than once. I prefer the “comedies” that are dark and twisted. These dark comedies usually have very big name stars, terrific writing, and very unusual stories. They’re usually more sophisticated and intellectually complex. Sometimes they win big awards; sometimes they don’t.  But what they virtually always have in common are mistakes, loyalty, crime, passion, ambition, romance, and a healthy dose of stupidity on many of the characters’ parts. (Presented in no particular order: I love them all, and have seen each multiple times.)

Suicide Kings
(1997)

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Avery (Henry Thomas), Max (Sean Patrick Flanery) and two friends (Jay Mohr, Jeremy Sisto) — all spoiled, über-wealthy boys — concoct a desperate & convoluted plan to save Avery’s kidnapped sister. They kidnap former Mafia boss Carlo “Charlie” Bartolucci (Christopher Walken), planning to use the ransom they get for Charlie to pay the $2M ransom being demanded for Avery’s sister.

Christopher Walken, Suicide Kings ©

Though they think they’ve planned for every contingency, their plan bungles grotesquely, even before fellow pal Ira (Johnny Galecki) comes to his father’s vacation house for a “game of poker,” and discovers, instead, his childhood friends and the kidnapped mobster.

Suicide Kings ©

Toss in a healthy dose of Charlie’s “street-smart” psychological manipulation, and the boys soon begin to jump at their own shadows as they suspect that one or more of them was “an inside player” in the kidnapping of Avery’s sister.

Many of the scenes between Ira (Galecki) and Charlie (Walken) in Suicide Kings were ad-libbed, and the film has a surprise twist that will stun you. Available for rent ($3.99) from Amazon, YouTube, and GooglePlay.

Pulp Fiction
(1994)

Pulp_Fiction_cover

A montage of ultimately connected — though seemingly disparate — stories, Pulp Fiction was a critical and box-office success, due in part to the stunning performances of its mega-star cast. Vincent Vega (John Travolta) and Jules Winfield (Samuel L. Jackson) are hit-men whose philosophical discussions involve even their victims.

John Travolta & Samuel L Jackson, Pulp Fiction ©

Their boss, Marcellus Wallace (Ving Rhames) and his wife, Mia (Uma Thurman) get tangled up with the hit-men, as does a struggling boxer Butch (Bruce Willis), mob-crime “cleaner” Winston “The Wolfe” (Harvey Keitel), drug-dealer Lance (Eric Stoltz) and his wife Jody (Rosanna Arquette).

Uma Thurman, Pulp Fiction ©

Now throw in a pair of supremely romantic but amateur armed robbers, “Pumpkin” (Tim Roth) and “Honey Bunny” (Amanda Plummer), at the beginning and the end of the film, and you’re in for a treat.

Director Quentin Tarantino’ s Pulp Fiction is an ingenious and glorious romp on the dark side. Available for rent ($3.99) from Amazon, YouTube, and iTunes.

Lars and the Real Girl
(2007)

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In one of the most bizarre premises for a film ever, the extremely shy & painfully introverted Lars (Ryan Gosling) finds it impossible to make friends, socialize, or even get himself a girlfriend. When he tells his brother Gus (Paul Schneider) and hugely-pregnant sister-in-law Karin (Emily Mortimer) that he is bringing home a girl he met on the Internet, they are overjoyed.

Paul Schneider, Emily Mortimer, Ryan Gosling, and “Bianca”, Lars and the Real Girl ©

Until they meet Bianca — a life-size plastic sex-doll. On the advice of the town doctor Dagmar (Patricia Clarkson), however, his family and the rest of the community agree to go along with Lars’ delusion that Bianca is a real girl, rather than to oppose him, in an attempt to understand why Lars needs a plastic fiancée.

Patricia Clarkson and “Bianca”, Lars and the Real Girl ©

An exploration of an emotionally abandoned young man’s lonely life as well as of the love of his family and community that begins to envelop him, Lars and the Real Girl will bring tears to your eyes — and not just from laughter — especially in the ultimate scene between Lars and Bianca.

Available for rent ($3.99) from Amazon, YouTube, and iTunes.

True Romance
(1993)

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Another entry from Quentin Tarantino, True Romance has big-name stars, a quirky story, and bang-up dialogue. When comic-book nerd and Elvis fanatic Clarence (Christian Slater) meets the “love of his life” — a call-girl of three days — Alabama (Patricia Arquette), and attempts to save her from her pimp Drexl (Gary Oldman), a mistakenly grabbed suitcase leads to a wild plan for a “happily ever after life” for the two lovers.

Christian Slater & Patricia Arquette, True Romance ©

Unfortunately, the suitcase belongs to the mob, and they send very bad men to recover their property. From the brilliantly and hysterically savage (improv) “Sicilian” scene between Clarence’s dad (Dennis Hopper) and mafioso attorney Don Vincenzo Coccotti (Christopher Walken), to the violently “affectionate” encounter between Alabama and one of the hit-men (James Gandolfini), to the final Mexican stand-off (one of Tarantino’s signature set-pieces) in the luxury hotel suite, True Romance rocks everyone’s world as each tries to maintain loyalty in the face of treachery and violence.

Available for viewing via Yidio.

Scotland PA
(2001)

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An extremely dark and comedic retelling of Shakespeare’s tragedy Macbeth, this story is set in the early ’70s in rural Scotland, PA. Here, fast food “King” Duncan (James Rebhorn) — formerly of Doughnut restaurant fame — employs the McBeths, “Mac” (James LeGros) and Pat (Maura Tierney), who feel under-appreciated and resentful in their dead-end jobs at Duncan’s not-so-successful burger joint.

Maura Tierney, James LeGros, Scotland PA ©

When Duncan reveals his plan for an innovation that will revolutionize the restaurant world — a plan which three stoned “hippie” witches (Andy Dick, Amy Smart, and Timothy Levitch) have previously foretold in cryptic fashion to Mac — and when Duncan reveals as well his intention to leave the restaurant to his son Malcolm (Tom Guiry), the murder plot is hatched.

Christopher Walken, Scotland PA ©

Lieutenant McDuff (Christopher Walken) is on the case as early as Duncan’s funeral, and the McBeths must elude discovery while attaining success with their newly acquired restaurant.

A rare comedic take on one of the most famous tragedies every written, the dark violence and brilliant characterizations in Scotland PA are a tribute to and an innovation on the original source material. Available for viewing via Netflix and Yidio.

In Bruges
(2008)

51l1m++CXvLAfter neophyte hit-man Ray (Colin Farrell) makes a dreadful mistake on his first job, he and partner Ken (Brendan Gleeson) are forced by their boss Harry (Ralph Fiennes), to head to the medieval city of Bruges, Belgium to hide out until the situation gets straightened out.

Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell, In Bruges ©

Ray hates the city and is a whiny “tourist,” but Ken finds it enchanting and fascinating. At least, until Ken discovers why he and Ray have been sent to Bruges in the first place, and what Harry now wants to happen. Both Gleeson and Farrell were nominated for awards for their brilliant performances — simultaneously comic and tragic — but Fiennes also shows his rare ability to be similarly comedic and threatening.

Ralph Fiennes, In Bruges ©

In his play No Exit, Sartre wrote that “Hell is other people,” but to bumbling hit-man Ray, Hell is being In Bruges.

Available for rent ($3.99) from Amazon (free with Starz 7-day trial), YouTube, and iTunes.

Very Bad Things
(1998)

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Before Kyle  (Jon Favreau) marries his beautiful but extremely emotionally needy fiancée (Cameron Diaz), leaving his single life behind forever, Kyle and four of his friends (Jeremy Piven, Christian Slater, Daniel Stern, and Leland Orser) head to Las Vegas for a supreme bachelor party.

Cameron Diaz and Jon Favreau, Very Bad Things ©

There, after drugs, alcohol, and philosophical discussions among long-time friends, things go terribly wrong. Innocent fun quickly deteriorates into accidental violence, and then into intentional, escalating crime to cover the initial accident. This film’s characters become ultimately so very “bad” that you find yourself feeling rather guilty for laughing out loud at their circumstances, which are certainly no laughing matter. Then, just when you think you’ve reached the end of your ability to laugh, Very Bad Things hits you with its very stunning and morally appropriate ending.

Available for rent ($3.99) from Amazon, YouTube, and iTunes.

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Filed under Actors, Dark Comedies, Film Videos, Films, Films/Movies, Humor, Movies/Films, No Spoilers Review, Official Film Trailers, Official Movie Trailers, Official Trailers, Review/No Spoilers

Holocaust Survivor Testimony: Urbach & Schindler, Goodkin & Wallenberg, 2014

Share

Yom HaShoah 2014
Holocaust Remembrance

During the Holocaust, with its Nazi-sponsored, systematic persecution and genocide of the Jews, there were some people who risked their own lives to protect Jews and to save them. Sometimes, as in the case of Oskar Schindler, the subject of Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winning film Schindler’s List (from Australian author Thomas Keneally’s award-winning novel Schindler’s Ark), the person is relatively well known to many of us. In other instances, such as that of Raoul Wallenberg, who disappeared during the War, most probably taken by the Nazis and executed, the people who saved Jews are not as familiar. It is then that we must rely on Survivor Testimony to learn about some of those who did risk everything to help save the European Jews.

Sol Urbach
saved by
Oskar Schindler

Oskar Schindler

Oskar Schindler

 

Sol Urbach was born in Poland in 1925. He was one of the Jews that were protected and rescued by Oskar Schindler in Cracow and then in Plaszow (from Yad Vashem Holocaust Testimonies).

Based on a true story, Schindler’s List is Steven Spielberg’s epic drama of World War II Holocaust survivors and the man who unexpectedly came to be their savior. Unrepentant womanizer and war profiteer Oskar Schindler uses Polish Jews as cheap labor to produce cookware for the Third Reich. But after witnessing the violent liquidation of the walled ghetto where the Krakow Jews have been forced to live, Schindler (Liam Neeson) slowly begins to realize the immense evil of Nazism. When his employees are sent to a work camp, they come under the terrorizing reign of sadistic Nazi Amon Goeth (Ralph Fiennes). With the help of his accountant, Itzhak Stern (Ben Kingsley), Schindler creates a list of “essential” Jews. Bribing Goeth, Schindler manages to get 1,100 people released from the camp and brought to the safety of his munitions factory in Czechoslovakia. Spielberg’s glorious film is wondrously evocative, visually stunning, and emotionally stirring (from Schindler’s List website).

If you haven’t seen the film, I urge you to do so.

Vera Goodkin
saved by
Raoul Wallenberg

Raoul Wallenberg

Raoul Wallenberg

 

Vera Goodkin was born in Hradec Kralove, Czechoslovakia in 1930. Her family fled to Hungary, where after the German occupation they were protected by Raoul Wallenberg. Vera Goodkin remembers her father’s meeting with Wallenberg. (from Yad Vashem Holocaust Histories)

You can read about others who saved Jews during the Holocaust at Yad Vashem’s Righteous Among the Nations, sometimes referred to as “Righteous Gentiles,” and at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) sites, among those featured are Oskar Schindler and Raoul Wallenberg.

Related Posts

Using Photographs to Teach about The Holocaust

Using Photographs to Teach about The Holocaust

When I was in school, we never learned about the Holocaust. Not in grammar school, not in high school, not in college, not in grad ...
Continue reading
A grandson who had his Grandmother's Auschwitz number tattooed on his inner left forearm, in her honor, to remember her experiences during the Holocaust.

The Symbolism of My Tattoos

If you'd told me when I was younger that I would have tattoos one day, I wouldn't have believed you. Not that I have anything ...
Continue reading
Anna Brunn

Anna’s Tattoo

For Anna Brunn Ornstein From the age of five to almost 30, I dreamt I was in a Nazi Concentration Camp, and that I died ...
Continue reading
images-5

Yom HaShoah 2017: Holocaust Days of Remembrance

Yom HaZikaron laShoah ve-laG'vurah (Day of Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance), known colloquially in Israel and abroad as Yom HaShoah ( Day of "The Catastrophe" or ...
Continue reading
Unknown

Holocaust Days of Remembrance Survivor Testimony: Urbach & Schindler, Goodkin and Wallenberg, 2017

Yom HaShoah 2017 Holocaust Remembrance Days of Remembrance During the Holocaust, with its Nazi-sponsored, systematic persecution and genocide of the Jews, there were some people ...
Continue reading
200px-Yom_Hashoah_candle

Holocaust Remembrance Survivor Testimony: Elie Wiesel and Yad Vashem, 2017

Yom HaShoah Holocaust Remembrance Day Once again, the world observes Yom HaShoah (The Catastrophe, or The Utter Destruction) in memory of all the Jews who were killed ...
Continue reading
Using Photographs to Teach About The Holocaust, 2017

Using Photographs to Teach About The Holocaust, 2017

When I was in school, we never learned about the Holocaust. Not in grammar school, not in high school, not in college, not in grad ...
Continue reading
images-4

Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) 2015, with Three Poems from Where Lightning Strikes

Yom HaZikaron laShoah ve-laG'vurah ("Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day"), known colloquially in Israel and abroad as Yom HaShoah ("The Catastrophe," or "Utter Destruction") and in ...
Continue reading
images-2

Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day) 2014

Monday 28 April 2014 Yom HaShoah Yom HaZikaron laShoah ve-laG'vurah ("Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day"), known colloquially in Israel and abroad as Yom HaShoah ("The ...
Continue reading
Oskar Schindler

Holocaust Survivor Testimony: Urbach & Schindler, Goodkin & Wallenberg, 2014

Yom HaShoah 2014 Holocaust Remembrance During the Holocaust, with its Nazi-sponsored, systematic persecution and genocide of the Jews, there were some people who risked their ...
Continue reading
Holocaust Survivor Testimony: Zanne & The Twins, 2014

Holocaust Survivor Testimony: Zanne & The Twins, 2014

Yom HaShoah International Holocaust Memorial Day Monday 28 April 2014 When young Israelis first began learning about the Holocaust, many of them couldn't relate to ...
Continue reading
Holocaust Survivor Testimony: Yad Vashem & Elie Wiesel, 2014

Holocaust Survivor Testimony: Yad Vashem & Elie Wiesel, 2014

Yom HaShoah International Holocaust Memorial Day Once again, the world prepares for Yom HaShoah (The Catastrophe, or The Utter Destruction) in memory of all the Jews ...
Continue reading
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◊ ◊ New York Times Book Review "Notable Book" and "Top 100 Books of Year" ◊ University of Rochester Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize "the outstanding book ...
Continue reading
Where Lightning Strikes: Poems on The Holocaust

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◊ Grand Prize Winner, Elliston Poetry Prize Isabel & Mary Neff Creative Writing Fellowship First Place, Elliston Poetry Prize Second Place, Elliston Poetry Prize ◊ ...
Continue reading

Photographic Introduction to the Holocaust

Rare Historical Holocaust Photos

Holocaust Timeline and Overview

Holocaust Days of Remembrance

Learn about The Holocaust on USHMM
(United States Holocaust Memorial Museum)

For more information on the Holocaust database
or to fill out Pages of Testimony, visit
Yad Vashem‘s Central Database of Shoah Victims

Share

Leave a Comment

Filed under Documentary/Historical Video, History, Holocaust, Holocaust Days of Remembrance, Holocaust Remembrance Day, Holocaust Survivor Testimony, Yom HaShoah