Asbell Hosts Film Screening

The Asbell Center for Jewish Life hosted a showing of a documentary telling the story of the secret group Oyneg Shabes that wrote and archived the truth of the Holocaust from Warsaw Ghetto in Poland.

About 25 people showed up for the screening of Who Will Write Our History, which was created by director Roberta Grossman and executive producer Nancy Spielberg.

Sam Halpern ’22 first introduced the film to the staff at the Asbell Center in the fall semester, who screened the film, which has mostly been a feature at film festivals. 

“We were all for showing it,” said Carolyn Goode ’18, Asbell engagement associate and graduate intern. The screening precedes Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, which begins the evening of May 1 and ends the next evening on May 2. “We thought it was timely and we thought it’d be a really interesting and different way to educate campus about what was going on back then,” she said.

Halpern said the documentary proved a “powerful historical account” of the events. The film’s blend of raw footage, interviews and scripted scenes were an effective tool “to enhance the writings of the archive.”

“It really just puts things into perspective, of the Holocaust as a whole as well as the Warsaw Ghetto, it leaves you a little speechless,” Halpern said.

Contrary to common perception that the Holocaust started at the making of concentration camps, Goode ’18 said, “it started out as rounding people up, putting them in ghettos and having them become sick and making them look as though they are the scum of the earth.”

Goode described the documentary as “groundbreaking”  and she said, “growing up as a Jewish person you learn about the Holocaust, but you learn specific narratives… sounds gruesome but you see the same photos and the same videos over and over again whether you’re looking it up on the computer or you’re in a museum, this film had tons of raw footage that I had never ever seen before.” 

Who Will Write Our History was sponsored by The Marjorie M. and Irin Nat Pincus Fund in Honor of Their Daughters and co-sponsored by Hillel.