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Auschwitz documentary gets advance screening at USC

The CNN program, which coincides with the 70th anniversary of the Auschwitz liberation, features four Holocaust survivors

Voices of Auschwitz
Eva Kor and her sister, Miriam, hold hands at the front of the line during the liberation of Auschwitz in 1945. (Photo/courtesy of USC Shoah Foundation)

Voices of Auschwitz, a new CNN documentary telling the stories of four survivors from the Nazi German concentration and extermination camp, will be shown on campus this week.

The USC Shoah Foundation — The Institute for Visual History and Education and the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism will present the free and public screening at 6 p.m. Thursday at Wallis Annenberg Hall, Room 105A.

The hourlong program is hosted by CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer, the son of Holocaust survivors.

The USC screening will be followed by a half-hour panel discussion featuring Leora Kapelus, a CNN executive producer, and Jennifer Hyde, director of development for CNN productions. Stephen Smith, executive director of the USC Shoah Foundation, will moderate.

Voices of Auschwitz will air nationally on Jan. 27 to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Auschwitz liberation.

In the documentary, the four survivors who recount their harrowing stories all lost loved ones to the Holocaust, and all became successful later in life. They are:

  • Eva Kor, who along with her twin sister was subjected to medical experiments led by the infamous Josef Mengele. Later in life, Kor generated widespread attention for publicly forgiving the Nazis. According to CNN, Kor arrived at Auschwitz with her mother and twin sister in 1944, when she was just 10 years old. That day on the selection platform was the last time she would ever see her mother again. Kor’s mother was sent directly to the gas chamber. For the next nine months, Eva and her sister, Miriam, were housed in a rat-infested bunk with 300 other children and subjected to medical experiments daily. Despite the daily torture, Eva was determined to survive, telling Blitzer: “I was not going to perish here in Auschwitz.” When liberation finally came on Jan. 27, 1945, Eva and Miriam were at the front of the line as the children were led out of Auschwitz.
  • Renee Firestone, whose talent as an aspiring designer helped her survive the atrocities. Afterward, she thrived as a fashion designer.
  • Martin Greenfield, who learned the tailoring trade in the camp, and went on to become a master tailor out of New York whose clients include U.S. presidents and celebrities.
  • Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, a musician who was recruited by the Nazis to play cello in the Auschwitz orchestra. She later co-founded the British Chamber Orchestra.

The survivors have given testimony to the USC Shoah Foundation. Their audiovisual interviews are among the 53,000-plus testimonies housed in the institute’s Visual History Archive.

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Auschwitz documentary gets advance screening at USC

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