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November 10, 1995 - Image 92

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1995-11-10

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

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A Memory Comes Alive

A new film will tell the story of four longtime friends and their
journey home.

ELIZABETH APPLEBAUM ASSOCIATE EDITOR

M

ore than 40 years ago
four Jewish boys met up
in the strangest of
places and became
friends forever.
Their names were Sam, Os-
kar, Leo and Herman. Leo, Her-
man and Sam came to know each
other in the Tatra Mountains,
where they were in hiding. They
met Oskar, "Osi," at a Jewish
camp soon after the end of World
War II.
Now the four men are about to
return to their native Slovakia,
as well as to Germany and Israel,
for a film to be co-directed and co-
produced by Oskar's son, Michael

photos, footage from World War
II and the survivors' testimonies,
then conclude with a review of
the men's lives today.
Mr. Sladek says the project
will focus on a subject rarely dis-
cussed, even among the myriad
books on the Holocaust: the chil-
dren's perspectives.
"This won't be just their sto-
ry," he said of the subjects. "It
also will focus on their point of
view as children. Of course, it
was horrific. But it also was ad-
venturous at times."
The idea for the film was
Michael Sladek's.
"It was my father's birthday,
or some kind of fam-
ily gathering. All of
them were there —
they're a very lively
bunch when they get
together — and I
was impressed by
how long they had
been friends," he
says.

the world at large."
As he considered making the
N
1:1 (-16
1) 810-398-4351 I
film,
Mr. Sladek often thought of
Lincoln
Lo urs: Mon-Fri 10-6:30 p.m. I
the unusual way in which the
r Saturday 11-4 p.m. 1
Now Nom min nom mai EMI MIN EMI MINI IN= MEM 1111=0 =III
lives of the four men intertwined.
All were born in east Czechoslo-
vakia. All made aliyah, where
they remained friends, and all
eventually came to America.
Detroiter Leo Weiss' story be-
gan in 1933. He was born in
Huymmene, and in 1942 was
sent, together with his family, to
the death camps. They were
lucky. After escaping along the
way, they managed to survive by
posing as gentiles, in hiding in a
village, and finally living in the
mountains.
Mr. Weiss, now the head of a
plumbing business in Oak Park,
said it is friendship, not the
POTTERY ♦ PAINTINGS ♦ JEWELRY ♦ FURNITURE
chance to relive history, that is
UNIQUE ACCESSORIES FOR THE HOME
taking him back to Slovakia.
"We are four friends since the
1940s," he said. "I want just to be
together with them, to have the
GALLERY COLLECTION
memories, to see."
32800 FRANKLIN ROAD ♦ FRANKLIN,MI 48025
Of Czechoslo-
vakia, he says, he
TUESDAY - FRIDAY 10 A.M. - 5 P.M.
has thousands of
SATURDAY: 11 A.M. - 5 P.M.
recollections, both
(810) 851-9949
good and sad. He
doesn't linger on
the pain of the
past. "From the
109 N. Center
bad things, I
Downtown Northville
make good mem-
ories, too."
(810) 349-4131
Another partic-
ipant, Sam Harel,
znn'ne none
has never been
back home.
"I have been
aw

out of Slovakia
"anew:
since 1949, which
nium
is 46 years," Mr.
1 , 1t411
.n
Harel said. "We
irultnn
have
accom-
plished a lot dur-
ing those years,
Above:
spiritually and fi-
Oscar Sladek's identification card,
nancially. Going
when he first arrived in Israel.
back to our roots
would demon-
Left:
strate to us more
Herman Schondorf (right) with his brother vividly how far
we have gone. It
would also be
Sladek, and filmmaker Erin
He decided to tell their. story. sweet revenge to see that the
Nov. 1 - Nov. 26th
Williams. Former Detroiter Scott
A resident of Los Angeles, Mr. homeland we were forced to flee
HOURS: M-TH 10-6, FRI 10-7, SA 10-5, SUN 12-4
Cooke also serves as a co-pro- Sladek has worked on numerous has remained as we left it; while
ducer.
feature and industrial films. So we made progress, they fell fur-
The majority of the film, instead of the typical photo al- ther behind."
Among the Rushes, will comprise bums or memoirs, he chose to tell
"I would like to leave a legacy
Advertise in our new
the journey back to Slovakia, the four men's stories in a movie. and tell about the story of my life,
where the men were born, as well
"Most people leave behind a which is very similar to other
Entertainment Section!
as Israel (where all four immi- scrapbook, or pictures," he says. Jews and other people who went
grated after the war) and Ger- `This was a chance to leave a tes- through the same thirig," partic-
(810) 354-6060
THE JEWISH NEWS
many. It- Will- 'include family timony both for the families and ipant Herman Schondorf added.

Lincoln

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Call

N.)

miN MESA ARTS

Barbara Demgen

114).

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