Air Date: 11/11/2013
History, hope, shared humanity and the healing power of art. These are the lessons Omaha students experience in the documentary “Remembered Voices.” Few moments in history carry more emotion than the Holocaust. And yet, there is a way to look for hope in the destruction. “Remembered Voices” explores how art and culture at the WWII/Nazi-era Terezin concentration camp in Czechoslovakia teach an important lesson about the human spirit today. During World War II, Terezin, a concentration camp for those on their way to certain death at Auschwitz, was lauded by the Germans as a “model” camp -- an example of a Nazi-designed Jewish ghetto.
A German propaganda film about the camp portrayed Europe’s celebrated Jewish artists, war heroes, elderly and children all living comfortably within the walls of the former fortress. In reality, more than 150,000 Jews shared overcrowded spaces with lice, fleas and vermin, and suffered from disease, starvation, exposure and exhaustion. And yet, within these walls, a cultural life flourished. Concerts and lectures were held, both in secret and in the open. Art was painted. Music was composed.
Nearly 75 years after the Holocaust, the documentary follows Omaha students as they first encounter Terezin voices from the past within an art and music infused workshop led by artists, musicians and educators. Weaving together history, archival film and Terezin survivor interviews with these modern day writing, art and music lessons, the documentary forms a compelling look at how voices from the past transform us today.