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The International School for Holocaust Studies

“She Was there and She Told Me” - Testimonial Films Series

“Witnesses and Education” is a series of testimony films in which survivors recount their life stories at the locations in which the events transpired. The survivors are accompanied on this journey by trained professionals from the International School for Holocaust Studies, and thus the orientation of the questions is pedagogical in nature, alongside outlines of the broader historical events that came to bear on the survivor’s story. The film series, available in 7 languages, has proven a great success, and has been viewed by tens of thousands of educators, students, and public officials around the world.
The project is produced jointly by the International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem and the Center for Multimedia Assisted Instruction at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, with the generous support of the Claims Conference and the Adelson Family Foundation.


“May Your Memory Be Love“ - The Story of Ovadia Baruch

“May Your Memory Be Love“ - The Story of Ovadia Baruch

In March 1943, twenty-year-old Ovadia Baruch was deported together with his family from Greece to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Upon arrival, his extended family was sent to the gas chambers. Ovadia struggled to survive until his liberation from the Mauthausen concentration camp in May 1945. While in Auschwitz, Ovadia met Aliza Tzarfati, a young Jewish woman from his hometown, and the two developed a loving relationship despite inhuman conditions. This film depicts their remarkable, touching story of love and survival in Auschwitz, a miraculous meeting after the Holocaust and the home they built together in Israel. This film is part of the "Witnesses and Education" project, a joint production of the International School for Holocaust Studies and the Multimedia Center of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In this series, survivors recount their life stores - before, during and after the Holocaust. Each title is filmed on location, where the events originally transpired.
With the generous support of the Adelson Family Foundation.
Israel 2008, 47 minutes, DVD (unrestricted region)

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“...But Who Could I Pray For?“ - The Story of Avraham Aviel

"...But Who Could I Pray For?" - The Story of Avraham Aviel

Avraham Aviel (Lipkonsky), born in 1929 in Dowgalishok, Poland. On 10 May 1942, Aviel and his family were taken together with the Jews of Radun (the village of the Rabbinic leader, the Chafetz Chaim) and the surrounding areas to be murdered in killing pits. His mother and brother Yekutiel (Koshka) were among those executed. Avraham and his brother Pinchas managed to escape. To Aviel’s great sorrow, Pinchas, who had survived the mass murder, was killed before his eyes while hiding in the Dowgalishok area. Avraham and his father found refuge with a Polish farmer, before he joined the partisans in 1943. That same year his father was killed. In 1945, Aviel traveled to northern Italy, and stayed at a Jewish children’s home in Salvino. From Italy, he set sail for pre-state Israel, aboard the illegal immigrant ship "Catriel Yafeh". The ship's entrance was blocked by the British, who forcibly directed it towards Cyprus. Following internment at a detention camp in Cyprus, Avraham arrived at Israel’s shores in 1946, and underwent absorption training at the Mishmar Hasharon kibbutz. At the beginning of 1948, Aviel joined the Sixth Battalion of the Palmach, and fought on the road to Jerusalem. In 1961, he appeared as a witness at the trial of former SS officer Adolf Eichmann, describing the liquidation of Radun as an example of the tragic story of the Jews of Belarus
With the generous support of the Adelson Family Foundation.
Israel 2010, 57 minutes, DVD (unrestricted region)

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"The Heavens Will Open for You" - The Story of Malka Rosenthal

"The Heavens Will Open for You" - The Story of Malka Rosenthal

This film chronicles the Jewish community in Stanislawow, Eastern Galicia, through the story of Malka Rosenthal. Malka was born in Stanislawow in 1934, the eldest daughter of a wealthy, intellectual family. Over the course of the German occupation, she lost her mother and younger brother. Her father joined the partisans, and Malka was handed over to a Polish family. For one and a half years, she was kept hidden in a barrel underground. After liberation, she was one of the survivors aboard the illegal immigrant ship “Exodus”, and eventually arrived in Israel in 1948. Malka rebuilt her life through her work and education, and by starting a new family. Her touching life story has been published and translated to many languages, portrayed on stage and in children’s books.
With the generous support of the Adelson Family Foundation.
Israel 2009, 54 minutes, DVD (unrestricted region)

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"My Lodz No Longer Exists" - The story of Yosef Neuhaus

"My Lodz No Longer Exists" - The story of Yosef Neuhaus

This film chronicles the Jewish community in Lodz, Poland, through the story of Yosef Neuhaus. Yosef was born in Lodz in 1924, to Tova and Zvi Hirsch. In May 1940, he was forced to enter the Lodz ghetto along with his parents and younger sister Sofia, where they lived for four years until their deportation to Auschwitz-Birkenau. All of Yosef’s family members were murdered in the camp. Yosef survived and was imprisoned in several other camps. In 1946 he immigrated to pre-state Israel, fought in Israel’s wars – including the War of Independence – and started a new family. This touching film documents the major turning points in Yosef’s story, his persistence in choosing life, and his contributions to the State of Israel.
With the generous support of the Adelson Family Foundation.
Israel 2009, 41 minutes, DVD (unrestricted region)

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“From Generation to Generation“ - The Story of Israel Aviram

"From Generation to Generation" - The Story of Yisrael Aviram

Yisrael Aviram (Kalisky) was born in 1926 in the city of Lodz, Poland. He was thirteen years old when the Second World War broke out. In 1940, Yisrael and his family were forcibly deported to the city’s ghetto, where he joined a Zionist youth group. In August 1944, he was sent to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and extermination camp. Yisrael’s mother was murdered there, and his sister was sent to a labor camp. He was transported, along with his father, to the Jaworzno concentration and labor camp, where they performed forced labor mining coal. In January 1945, the two were liberated in the Blechhammer concentration camp.
After reuniting with Yisrael’s sister Henia, and following two months of wandering through Europe, the three arrived at the La Spezia port in Italy, as part of the Bonei Hanegev group. In 1946 they immigrated to Israel, arriving upon the Dov Hoz illegal immigrant ship, and were among the founders of the Ramot Menashe kibbutz. Yisrael has three children and nine grandchildren.
With the generous support of the Adelson Family Foundation.
Israel 2010, 57 minutes, DVD (unrestricted region)

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“She Was There and She Told Me“ - The Story of Hannah Bar Yesha

"She Was There and She Told Me" - The Story of Hannah Bar Yesha

In the summer of 1944, twelve-year-old Hannah Bar Yesha was deported together with her extended family from Hungary to Auschwitz-Birkenau. During the selection process, most of her family members were sent to the gas chambers. Hannah was incarcerated in Birkenau as a prisoner, together with her mother and aunts. This touching film depicts Hannah's life story - from her youth in Ungvár to her immigration to Israel. This film is part of the "Witnesses and Education" project, a joint production of the International School for Holocaust Studies and the Multimedia Center of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In this series, survivors recount their life stores - before, during and after the Holocaust. Each title is filmed on location, where the events originally transpired.
With the generous support of the Adelson Family Foundation.
Israel 2008, 47 minutes, DVD (unrestricted region)

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From Where Shall My Help Come? - The Story of Fanny Rozelaar and Betty Mayer

"From Where Shall My Help Come?" - The Story of Fanny Rozelaar and Betty Mayer

This film tells the story of sisters Fanny Rozelaar and Betty Mayer, nee Ichenhauser. The two daughters were born to Arthur (Aharon Chaim) and Ada Victoria, nee Jacobson in Frankfurt am Main, Germany in 1919 and 1923 respectively. After the Nazi rise to power they moved, together with their families, to Amsterdam. The film follows the different paths of Fanny and Betty: the elder daughter marrying and going into hiding with her husband, as well as entrusting her infant son to another young mother; and the younger daughter choosing to nurse her ailing mother and being sent, with Ada, to Westerbork and Bergen-Belsen. The sisters and their mother reunited and emigrated to Israel after the war, carving out new lives for themselves and their families. While this film is unique in that it portrays the viewpoints of two sisters with two different experiences, both narratives characterize the story of Dutch Jewry and, to a degree, that of the Jews of Central Europe during and after the Holocaust.
With the generous support of the Adelson Family Foundation.
Israel 2010, 60 minutes, DVD (unrestricted region)

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When the Walls Wept -  The Story of Cyla (Tzila) Yoffan

"When the Walls Wept" - The Story of Cyla (Tzila) Yoffan

Cyla (Tzila) Yoffan (Dworezke) was born in 1930 into a Zionist Orthodox family in the city of Iwje. During the years of German occupation many members of her family were murdered in the killing fields of Iwje. She survived along with her parents, her sister and her cousin, who her father saved in the killing fields, and they were transferred to the Lida ghetto. Several months later, in the spring of 1943, Tzila’s family succeeded in escaping from the ghetto and reached the family camps of Tuvia Bielski. The family was liberated with the liberation of the area in the summer of 1944.
After months of wandering through various European countries, Tzila immigrated to Israel. Tzila enlisted in the army in 1948. There she met her future husband, Shaul Yoffan.
They built their home in the city of Givataim, and had two children, 10 grandchildren and a great-granddaughter. Over the years Tzila has worked to preserve the memory of the Holocaust, meeting with teenagers and recounting her experiences during the Holocaust.
She is active in Ezra Dagan’s Witness’s Theater.
The film was produced by the International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem with the cooperation of the Ministry of Public Diplomacy & Diaspora Affairs, and with the generous support of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, ICHEIC Humanitarian Fund and Adelson Family Foundation.
Israel 2013, 51 minutes, DVD

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A Journey of Faith - The Story of Rabbi Yitzhak Elchanan Gibraltar

"A Journey of Faith" - The Story of Rabbi Yitzhak Elchanan Gibraltar

Rabbi Yitzhak Elchanan Gibraltar was born in 1929 in Kovno, Lithuania, into an ultraorthodox Jewish family. When he was 12 years old the Germans conquered Kovno, and along with his parents, three brothers and other family members, he was sent to the ghetto that was set up in the city. As a young boy Rabbi Gibraltar worked as a courier for the labor office of the Judenrat and was a member of the study group, “Tiferet Bachurim”. The family, which was miraculously saved on several occasions from the “aktions” leading to the killings fields, was sent in the summer of 1944 from the Kovno ghetto to the Stutthof concentration camp in Germany where the family’s mother perished. A month later Rabbi Gibraltar was transferred with his father and brothers to the Dachau concentration camp from where they left on a death march until their liberation in May 1945. Rabbi Gibraltar sailed from Italy on an immigrant ship in September 1946. The ship was taken over by the British, and they were sent to Cyprus. Seven months later, in March 1947, Rabbi Gibraltar arrived in Israel, and studied for seven years at the Hebron Yeshiva in Jerusalem. Rabbi Gibraltar married Rachel, from the Stern family, and together they raised a virtuous and blessed family.
The movie was produced by the International School for Holocaust Studies of Yad Vashem with the cooperation of The Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs, and with the generous support of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany and The Adelson Family Foundation.
Israel 2013, 22 minutes, DVD

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