In my family when I mention something I have just learned, I often get the response, “Does it have to be the Holocaust?” This response is because I so frequently talk about the survivors and saviors of Nazi extermination. And my answer is, “Yes, it does,” because these true accounts are so important to be known and preserved.
I still remember the day as a teen when I first read about Anne Frank. Then in September 1970 I arrived in Germany with my husband Mitch en route to being stationed with the U.S. Army in Munich just 25 years after the end of World War II.
During one of our visits to Dachau — the first Nazi concentration camp, opened in March 1933 just two months after Hitler took office — I saw a Roma (Gypsy) woman standing with two Roma men at the gate between the main camp and the ovens. I knew that the Roma had also been targeted for extermination.
In 1972 my husband and I returned from Germany to civilian life. I got a position as the editor of the monthly literary supplement Friday Forum of the weekly Jewish Exponent newspaper in Philadelphia. There I began publishing in Friday Forum the true accounts of survivors and saviors. I also had the opportunity to interview amazing people such as French Nazi hunter Beate Klarsfeld.
Now in 2017 I believe that these personal accounts are all the more important because the survivors and saviors are rapidly dying out. It is imperative that the stories of survivors and saviors be told now and preserved for future generations.
To promote this goal Miller Mosaic is undertaking a multi-pronged program:
- First, there should be no need for each one of us with a story to tell to reinvent the wheel:
I will be starting an incubator group for filmmakers, survivors and saviors who wish to tell their true accounts whether in digital or story format. By pooling our knowledge base and resources I believe more of these stories can be brought to life under an umbrella program. (Filmmakers interested in projects about the founding of the State of Israel and other aspects of Jewish life will be included.) At this point I plan to start a meetup group here in LA for the nucleus of the group. I have ideas on where to meet and possibly where to find a shared work space besides an organization under whose auspices this program could be run.
- Second, distribution for the widest possible audiences must be arranged.
As a first step I will be starting the YouTube channel DOES IT HAVE TO BE THE HOLOCAUST, which will feature created material as well as videos of current projects. The plan is to follow with additional distribution platforms.
To keep informed on the progress of this program, sign up here:
To contact Phyllis Zimbler Miller email email@example.com
To read Holocaust-related posts (as well as posts on other history topics) see www.PhyllisZimblerMiller.com