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Local screening OF ‘Who Will Write Our History’ will be part of global event

Julia Lewenfisz-Gorka, Wojciech Zielinski, and Marta Ormaniec portray Ora, Abraham and Luba Lewin in ‘Who Will Write Our History.’ (Anna Wolch)

The Jewish History Museum and Holocaust History Center will join hundreds of partners on Sunday, Jan. 27, International Holocaust Remembrance Day, for a global screening event of “Who Will Write Our History.” The film will be shown at 200 venues in 40 countries; U.S. locations include the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., and the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. The Tucson screening will be held at The Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd, at noon.

“Who Will Write Our History” is a 90-minute documentary film about historian Emanuel Ringelblum and the Oyneg Shabes (joy of Sabbath) Archive, the secret archive he and other Jews compiled in the Warsaw Ghetto as a means of defeating the Nazis  not with guns or fists but with pen and paper.

The archive they compiled chronicled life in the ghetto — disease, starvation and deportation by the Nazis, but also Jewish culture and the beginnings of the resistance movement. On the eve of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, Oyneg Shabes members buried 60,000 pages of documentation in the ground in the hopes that the archive would survive, even if they did not, to “scream the truth to the world.” Part of the archive survived, buried in milk cans and tin boxes, with caches discovered under rubble in 1946 and 1950.

The film is based on the book of the same name by Dr. Samuel Kassow, who spoke at a Jewish History Museum event in October.

“The moment I found out about this secret band of journalists, scholars, and historians, I knew I had to make a film about them. Their story, captured in “Who Will Write Our History,” is, in my opinion, the most important unknown story of the Holocaust,” says Roberta Grossman, who wrote, produced, and directed the film.

Rachel Auerbach’s words are among those that narrate the film from beyond the grave. She was one of more than 60 people who worked on the archive and was among the one percent of Polish Jews that survived between 1939 and 1945. She returned to Warsaw in 1946.

Joan Allen reads Auerbach’s words, while Adrien Brody reads those of archive organizer Ringelblum. Interspersed with archival footage are reenactments, including Jowita Budnick as Auerbach and Piotr Glowacki as Ringelblum.

The Tucson screening is free thanks to the support of Stanley and Norma Feldman, Barry Kirschner, and
Leslie Nixon.

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