“Safeguarding Memory” Synopsis

While it is widely known that the Germans built seven death camps and many concen-
tration camps and ghettos within Poland as part of their plan to annihilate the Jewish
people during World War II, few are aware that the country is also lined with mass burial
grounds of tens of thousands of Jewish Holocaust victims. The majority of these sites
have never been identified, adding another layer of tragedy to the horrific genocide of the
Jews. But today some elderly Poles, who were children or teenagers at the time of these
slaughters, are sharing detailed information about the mass murders. Witnesses to the
massacres, these Polish individuals have never erased the nightmares of their veiled
memories. Safeguarding Memory: Commemorating Jewish Mass Graves in Poland relays
a few of these stories as told to three individuals driven to restore dignity to the innocent
victims: Poland’s Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich; a Polish businessman named Zbigniew
Nizinski who spends his free time finding witnesses interested in sharing the stories
of the atrocities they beheld; and NY businessman Harley Lippman, a member of the US
Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad, who is determined to
ensure that these Jewish mass graves are properly marked and respected.

The documentary’s historical context is provided by Christopher Browning, the Frank
Porter Graham Professor of History at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

CLICK HERE to go to the Safeguarding Memory website.


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