BURBANK, CA - April 17, 2014 - To commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Week, KCET, the nation's largest independent public television station serving Southern and Central California, will broadcast three intriguing programs which share stories of perseverance, strength, and hope during this tragic time in history. These specials allow viewers to reflect on the past and learn from the experiences of Holocaust victims and survivors.
SKOKIE: INVADED BUT NOT CONQUERED - Monday, April 28 at 9 p.m.
The Emmy-winning SKOKIE: INVADED BUT NOT CONQUERED examines the personalities and issues connected to the attempted neo-Nazi March in Skokie, Ill., a haven for Holocaust survivors since the end of World War II. Produced to mark the event's 35th anniversary, this engaging film's extensive use of archival footage, movie clips and contemporary interviews explore the impact of the Skokie March, then and now, and reveal how a First Amendment debate turned Holocaust survivors into activists. Journalist Aaron Freeman hosts.
THROUGH THE EYE OF THE NEEDLE - Wednesday, April 30 at 9:30 p.m.
In this award-winning 28-minute documentary film, a Holocaust survivor's remembrances, told in uniquely beautiful stitched images, bring an uplifting life story to the screen. Esther Nisenthal was 15 years old in October of 1942 when the Jews of her village in Poland were ordered by the Nazis to report to a nearby train station. Esther refused to go. Instead, saying goodbye to their family, she and her 13-year old sister Mania invented new identities for themselves as Polish Catholic farm girls, hiding in plain sight from the Nazis. Esther's story of survival is remarkable on its own. But it is all the more extraordinary because of her method of storytelling--stitching and embroidering. It comes to us with unexpected beauty in a series of 36 large fabric collages, intricately embroidered in vivid color, created more than 40 years after the war. They depict one young girl's eyewitness account, scenes of tragedy and trauma juxtaposed with the exquisite beauty of the natural surroundings. It is as if nothing escaped Esther's attention, or her memory. Through Esther's own words and images of her art work, as well as interviews with her daughters and others, THROUGH THE EYE OF THE NEEDLE explores the capacity of the human heart to heal. The film reminds us that genocide and other acts of baseless hatred are still with us, and that Esther's story, and those like hers, compels us to build a just and peaceful world for all.
REFUGE: STORIES OF THE SELF-HELP HOME - Wednesday, April 30 at 10 p.m.
In the late 1930s -- with the violence and destruction of Kristallnacht foreshadowing the devastation of European Jewry -- a determined group of German-Jewish refugees left behind well-established lives and most of their possessions and immigrated to Chicago. There, they set out to create a supportive community for themselves and other German, Austrian and Czech Jews fleeing Nazi persecution. Eventually, they founded Selfhelp, an organization providing temporary housing, food, English classes, job placement and, in 1950, a residential home for elderly emigrés and Holocaust survivors. REFUGE: STORIES OF THE SELF-HELP HOME features the deeply personal stories of these residents, who spent the war years surviving by any means necessary. Vividly, they reflect on these experiences -- of separations, deportations, selections and life-and-death decisions. Refuge moves back and forth seamlessly between these often heartbreaking stories and examines how the trajectories of residents and founders diverged during the war and came together again around Selfhelp.
On-air, online and in the community, KCET plays a vital role in the cultural and educational enrichment of Southern and Central California. KCET offers a wide range of award-winning local programming as well as the finest public television programs from around the world. Throughout its 50-year history, KCET has won hundreds of major awards for its local and regional news and public affairs programming, its national drama and documentary productions, its quality educational family and children's programs, its outreach and community services and its website, kcet.org. KCET is a donor-supported community institution. For additional information about KCET productions, web-exclusive content, programming schedules and community events, please visit kcet.org. KCET is a service of KCETLink.