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April 21, 1978 - Image 6

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1978-04-21

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

6 Friday, April 21, 1978



Holocaust' Drama Nets Survivors' Approval

Tnewrits(s Sefectric etc.

Add 'n Type

The NBC-TV production,
"Holocaust," aired over
Channel 4 this week, has
stirred much emotion
among Detroit Jewry, par-
ticularly among the sur-
vivors of the Nazi atrocities.
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during the war, until his
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and Happiness to All Our Friends,

"I watch lines of brethren
walking to the pits they
must know are awaiting
them, with their satchels,
holding their children's
hands, and I wonder why
they acceded in their own
extermination, why they
willingly stripped for the
murderers and offered their
bodies to the waiting
And I worry about the
heroism of a Rudi that
somehow doesn't redeem in
my children's eyes the
meekness of their surren-
der. Will they believe that if
they were lambs, then we
are also lambs waiting for
the executioner's knife, and
not deserving of life?

with the weapons at his dis-
posal, some with guns (but
there were so very few), and
some with a crust of bread
they saved for their brother.
And they all fought to
preserve what was preserv-
able because they knew
there were Jews yet to come.

"And I would like my
children to realize, when
the pain and horror has
sunk in, that they are
survivors in a very real
sense. That by our
presence we have been
victorious over those
who sought to eradicate
even our memory from
the face of the earth, that
we survive and prosper,
that we are Jews, be-
cause so many died that
we might live.

"When our children, and
all children, know that all
these horrors are possible,
that they happened, that
they happen, then they will
be ready to man the bar-
ricades against oppression,
and the nightmares of Au-
schwitz (and Cambodia and
Soweto) will truly recede
into history.
"I thank NBC."

program said that it was
accurate in its depictions,
however, it couldn't meas-
ure up to the real thing.

show enough of what hap-

Her European-born
husband, Marius, who
came to the U.S. in 1940
and served in the Ameri-
can Army, said the show
didn't tell the reason for
the Holocaust. He said it
wasn't an anti-Semitic
feeling, but an organized
situation brought about
by the German leader-
ship to campaign against
the Jews so that the Ger-
man citizens would take
their minds off the falter-
ing economic situation.

Rabbi Ernst Conrad,
spiritual leader of Tem-
ple Kol Ami, said he was
"very much moved" by
the presentation. A stu-
dent in Berlin in the 1930s
and witness to Kris-
tallnacht, Rabbi Conrad
said the program was

Asked if the program
would have been more effec-
tive as a documentary,
Rabbi Conrad said, "It's
more impressive as a drama
than a documentary. People
would not have paid atten-
tion in the same way to a
documentary. A drama is
more effective to the aver-
age viewer."
Charles H.
Rosenzveig, a survivor who
is now the director of the
Holocaust Memorial Foun-
dation, said the production
was "close to accurate,"
especially in its depictions
of the "German mentality
and helplessness of the

A woman who asked not
to be identified found the
program to be nearly accu-
rate. A survivor of a work
camp in Czechoslovakia,
the woman said that in
watching the mini-series,
"Everything comes back to
you. It never leaves your
mind." Most of her family
was wiped out by the Nazis,
except for a sister who also
lives locally.
Sonia Popowski, a sur-
vivor of the work camps and
an active member of sur-
vivors organizations here,
called the program authen-
tic, not exaggerated. "It was
much worse in Europe. A
dog was a person and a per-
son was a dog."

Irene Schwartz, who was
Many of the respondents interned in Auschwitz
to telephone interviews ask- twice, said the program was
ing for their reactions to the accurate, however, it didn't

NBC 'Holocaust' Stirs Anti-Semites, Too

Customers and the World

Mr. and Mrs. Jerome Glassman
and Family


the entire Staff of


the - NBC program
'Holocaust' and it has
provoked a lot of feelings
in me, as it has, I am sure,
in all of us.

"And I want to tell them
that each one of that
anonymous mass of people
fought Nazism and death

May This Passover Bring Joy, Peace


Auschwitz, was favorable
toward the program.
Perla, whose poem, "An-
other Passover," appears
elsewhere in this issue,
wrote the following as a
reaction to the program:
"I have been watching


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— Publicity surrounding
the NBC-TV "Holocaust"
series and the deportation
hearing of Vilis A. Hazners,
accused of Nazi atrocities
against the Jews of Riga,
Latvia, may be responsible
for anti-Semitic sentiments
that are surfacing the Al-
bany area.
A live radio call-in show,
"Ethical Dimensions," pro-
duced a rash of anti-Semitic
callers. Charles R. Allen,
Jr., author and expert on
Nazi war criminals, was the
featured guest on the pro-
gram, which is produced by
the Ecumenical Communi-
cations Office of Christians
United in Mission.
One caller asked Allen if
he had ever heard of the
Stern group, and then tried
to equate the isolated inci-
dents at Deir Yassin and the

King David Hotel in pre-
state Palestine with the
genocide by the Nazis dur-
ing World War II. Another
caller, stating "Vengeance
is the Lord's," said that
Hazners is an old man and
should be forgiven for what
happened almost 40 years
"If murder of Jews was
the law in Nazi Germany,"
one caller asked, "then why
was it wrong?"
The American Jewish
Committee has announced
that it will conduct a na-
tional survey to find out
how Jews and Christians
reacted to NBC-TV's
"Holocaust" program.

Of the more than 750
calls to NBC after Sun-
day's showing of the first
part of the four-part pro-
gram, 368 complained
that the show was


extends best wishes to all
for a happy, joyous

"Zionist propaganda."
WWJ-TV in Detroit re-
ported two dozen calls on
Sunday and Monday,
most favorable to the
program but unhappy
with the number of com-

Sunday's program re-
ceived a 48 share in New
York, meaning that it was
watched by an estimated six
million New Yorkers, and a
43 share in Chicago (2.6
million viewers) and Los
Angeles (3 million).
In Skokie, M., the target
of a planned march by
American Nazis, some
2,500 persons attended an
open-air interfaith prayer
service. All of those who
participated put on
armbands with the yellow
star of David.
At New York's Riverside
Church, Rev. Dr. William
Sloane Coffin, the senior
minister, was joined by a
guest speaker, Rabbi
Ronald Sobel, of Manhat-
tan's Temple Emanu-El.
There, too, the congregants
wore the arm bands.

Among those who
attended the service was
Henryk Burstein, a ref-
ugee of Nazi concentra-
tion camps, who wore the
faded gray and blue
striped shirt that had
been his uniform at
Dachau. "Gentiles need
to know what the Nazis
did to Jews and other
people," said Burstein.
The Anti-Defamation


League of Bnai Brith pro-
duced evidence that the
small group of anti-Semitic
organizations that
spearheaded a drive to have
NBC cancel the airing of
"Holocaust" were led by the
Christian Defense League
of Baton Rouge, La.

The group's leader, James
K. Warner, is a Ku Klux
Klan official and a former
official of the American
Nazi Party.

Meanwhile, the novel
"Holocaust" which is an ex-
pansion of the NBC script
by Gerald Green, has gone
into its eighth printing with
a total of 1.25 million copies

Editor's View
of Holocaust
Show: Critical

(Continued from Page 5)

humanity. The Jew was the
main target, the Christian,
the Black man, the Gypsy,
all others in discord with
Nazism were the victims.
Why the one-sided diffu
sion in a drama dealing
with the uncivilized who
must be branded as the most
bestial in history?
Perhaps an atonement for
the failures properly to de-
scribe the Nazi savages
must be left to some Ger-
mans who will best know
how to deal with the
greatest crime in history.

noTionot Funo

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