Taking the Stand - Award-Winning Holocaust Documentary (video and eBook)
"You don’t see the chimney and the fire and the smoke? There go your parents! And when you go through the chimneys," [the overseer] said, "you will be reunited."
"If I started blaming God, then I was going to excuse men, and this was really done by men, by humanity." (Renée Firestone, Jewish Auschwitz survivor)
"The prisoner was manacled with a chain on his back and hung up. We hung on the stake for an hour ..." (Richard Rudolph, Bible student (one of Jehovah’s Witnesses) and conscientious objector)
"Every time I went to bed, I thought to myself, 'You're a dead man on vacation. You’ll never get out of here.'" (Adolf Burger, Jewish Auschwitz survivor & counterfeiter in Sachsenhausen concentration camp)
"I feel victorious. I won. I did not give in." (Leopold Engleitner, Bible student (one of Jehovah’s Witnesses) and a conscientious objector)
"I did not use the greeting "Heil Hitler!" and did not join the Hitler Youth."
"You must not plot revenge because that harms you even more. Vengeful thoughts are the worst you can have; they do you more harm." (Hermine Liska, a target of the Nazi re-education program as a child of Bible Students (Jehovah’s Witnesses))
TAKING THE STAND: We Have More to Say condenses the insights and experiences of nine victims of the Nazi movement and their messages to the younger generation. They are from five different countries and were persecuted for reasons of ethnicity, politics/ideology, or religion. All in all, they were interned in fifty-four camps or institutions, they were imprisoned for 528 months (44 years), and all together they can provide life experience totaling 806 years and 7 months! The variety of the survivors’ experiences allows not merely a small sliver of the Holocaust to be displayed, but rather the whole spectrum of the Holocaust to be brought into view. For five years, Rammerstorfer collected questions directed to Holocaust survivors that were posed by schoolchildren and students from all over the world.The catalog of questions, unique in the world, consists of 100 questions from 61 schools and universities in 30 countries on 6 continents.
What is truly innovative about this project is that all the Holocaust survivors were asked the same questions. As a result, a point-for-point comparison of their answers is possible.
Those whose voices are heard range from an average housewife and an unskilled laborer to a fashion designer, from those who have been relatively silent to active Holocaust teachers and to survivors who have already been widely featured in the media and whose life stories have even been the subject of Oscar-winning films.
In the book on which the short documentary is based all 900 answers of the survivors are documented.
Renee Firestone's story provides us with an insight into the unimaginable cruelty of the Holocaust within the Auschwitz extermination camp, which overran her and her family like a wave of death. And she provides us an outstanding example of how to overcome such a traumatic past. Despite losing most of her family, she found joy in life and was able to live a successful life.
Hermine Liska, beginning as an 8-year-old Aryan child, was forced to undergo Nazi propaganda and the Third Reich’s indoctrination program with the intent of 're-educating' her to become a useful part of the German "Volksgemeinschaft," which meant following Hitler's ideology without question. Although taken away from her parents for four years at this young age, Hermine Liska did not give in and faced this fight against the roaring lion, Hitler. In the end, she won this seemingly hopeless fight providing an outstanding example of strong faith, following her conscience, and withstanding peer pressure. Since 1999, Hermine Liska has visited schools all over Austria as a witness of history and told her story to the incredible number of 160,000 students.
Both Renee Firestone and Hermine Liska are outstanding examples of humanity, tolerance and how to peacefully coexist as humans. Other survivors who participated in the project, are Czech
Adolf Burger, Jewish Auschwitz survivor & counterfeiter in Sachsenhausen concentration camp, Austrian Leopold Engleitner, who remained active visiting schools, universities, and memorial sites even after turning 107 years old, and German Richard Rudolph. Rudolph’s story is outstanding as he was a "Victim of Double Persecution" who was imprisoned 19 years by both German dictatorships: the Nazi and Communist Regimes. Also providing their testimony are Ernst Blajs, Frieda Horvath, Josef Jakubowicz, and Simone Liebster.
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