SEARCHING FOR THE UNKNOWN HOLOCAUST
A Documentary Project By Boris Maftsir
The Films of the Projects
The Holocaust of the Jews in the former Soviet Union has remained a mystery, even though it has been many decades since the war ended. Due to ideological and political reasons, the Soviet regime did not recognize the unique and tragic nature of the extermination of Jews by the Nazis. It was only after the dismantling of the Soviet Union that efforts towards documentation and commemoration of Holocaust victims in these areas became possible.
Following seven years as the head of a project at Yad Vashem to recover the names of Holocaust victims in the Former Soviet Union, Boris Maftsir sets out on a journey never seen before on screen – a journey to restore the memory of a Holocaust that has been all but forgotten.
In the “The Guardians of Remembrance”, the first film of the project, “The Holocaust in the Soviet Union,” Boris Maftsir offers a comprehensive and accurate picture of the events of the Holocaust in Belarus.
The Guardians of Remembrance depicted in the film are both Jews and non-Jews, including local individuals striving for commemoration.The film “The Guardians of Remembrance” was filmed at the actual murder sites and precisely captures the sense of time and place of the tragic events.
The city of Pushkin near Leningrad-St. Petersburg. The main square of Catherine Palace at the foreground. The Palace is the most popular tourist destination for those coming to St. Petersburg and the square is the site where in 1941 Nazis executed a group of men, women and children. They are buried somewhere under the concrete square.
This is the opening of “Holocaust. The Eastern Front”, the second film in a documentary project by filmmaker Boris Maftsir about the Holocaust in the regions of the former Soviet Union.
Background: the German occupation on the Eastern Front was the widest and deepest and extended well into what is Russian Federation territory.
In the Film: there are five stories from different parts of Russian Federation territories where painful memories from “the unknown Holocaust” are revealed.
Chapter One: the action in which hundreds of Jews from Pushkin (near Leningrad) where shot to death. This killing took place in the park of the famous Catherine Palace.
Chapter Two: the murder of Jews in the village of Lyubavichi in November 1941. This is the place from where the original Chabad Rabbis are from.
Chapter Three: the action in August 1942 in Rustov-on- Don, the largest city in south Russia.
Chapter Four: the fate of the Jews who escaped or were evacuated to the far away Caucus region in 1941, and in the summer of 1942 were trapped and killed under German occupation.
Chapter Five: the story of the miraculous rescue of the Mountain Jews of Caucasus in the city of Nalchik, the capitol of the Kabardino-Balkar Republic in the Northern Caucus.
Running Time – 95 min.
Russian and Hebrew-English and Hebrew subtitles
Another brick in the memorial to be built by the films in this project
On June 22, 1941 – The German and Romanian armies attack the USSR on the southern part of the front. The Romanians aimed to return to the Dniester River and regain control of Bessarabia and North Bukovina which were taken from them in the summer of 1940 by the Soviets. In late August 1941 the Germans grant the Romanian government the region on the east bank of the Dniester River, or as it is known in Romanian – Nistru. Hitler names this area – Transnistria.The film “Beyond the Nistru” depicts some of the Holocaust events that took place during the first year of the greatest patriotic war in Romanian occupied Soviet Union territories. The film enrolls the story of the suffering and death of hundreds of thousands of Jews – victims of the Holocaust perpetrated by the Romanians.
Part 1 (97 min.)
On June 22, 1941 – The German and Romanian armies attack the USSR on the southern part of the front. The Romanians aimed to return to the Dniester River and regain control of Bessarabia and North Bukovina which were taken from them in the summer of 1940 by the Soviets. In late August 1941 the Germans grant the Romanian government the region on the east bank of the Dniester River, or as it is known in Romanian – Nistru. Hitler names this area – Transnistria.
The film “Beyond the Nistru” depicts some of the Holocaust events that took place during the first year of the greatest patriotic war in Romanian occupied Soviet Union territories. The film depicts the story of the suffering and death of hundreds of thousands of Jews – victims of the Holocaust perpetrated by the Romanians.
Episode 1 – Revenge of the Romanians – Depicts the pogroms and assassination of Jews in Moldova (Bessarabia) from the onset of Operation Barbarossa on June 22, 1941 until the beginning of the deportation of Bessarabia and Bukovina Jews to Transnistria.
Episode 2 – Purification – Depicts the deportation of Jews from Cernauti and other towns in Bukovina and their suffering and death until they reached the ghettos of Transnistria.
Episode 3 – Typhoid Outbreak – The winter of 1941/42 in Transnistria and in the Bershad and Sargorod ghettos – the death of tens of thousands of Jews from typhoid, freezing cold and starvation.
English/Hebrew Subtitles, 97 min.
On June 22, 1941 – The German and Romanian armies attack the USSR on the southern part of the front. The Romanians aimed to return to the Dniester River and regain control of Bessarabia and North Bukovina which were taken from them in the summer of 1940 by the Soviets. In late August 1941 the Germans grant the Romanian government the region on the east bank of the Dniester River, or as it is known in Ro We allow you to die manian – Nistru. Hitler names this area – Transnistria.
The film “We allow you to die” depicts some of the Holocaust events that took place during the first year of the greatest patriotic war in Romanian occupied Soviet Union territories. The film depicts the story of the suffering and death of hundreds of thousands of Jews – victims of the Holocaust perpetrated by the Romanians.
The Fall of Odessa – 200 thousand Jews lived in Odessa before the war. Only half managed to leave before the arrival of the Romanians.
The remaining Jews endured murderous round ups in the initial days of occupation. 40 thousand Jews were murdered in Odessa and another 70 thousand Jews were deported to camps and ghettos in Transnistria. The majority were murdered there, or died of starvation.
We allow you to die – The story of the starvation camp Pechora on the border between Transnistria and the German occupied Vinnytsia district in the Ukraine. A “model” camp that illustrates the murderous policy of the Romanians towards the Jews: death by starvation and disease.
English/Hebrew Subtitles, 66 min.
Towards the end of winter 1941-42 almost all of the campaigns of the murder of the Jews in Eastern Belarus were already complete. In many places in western Belarus, there were still ghettos.
This film describes only some of the events of the Holocaust in Belarus between summer 1942 and until the destruction of the ghettos in the fall of 1943.
The town of Lachva in Belarus is actually more of a village than a city. And in its center is the only food store and a memorial to the Red Army soldiers. In a shady spot is a memorial stone for the murdered of the ghetto – with an uncharacteristic dedication- honor and glory. This memorial was erected to memorialize the uprising in the Lachva ghetto, which was one of the first such uprisings against the German invader. The rebels had not chance. They knew their fate was doomed, but they chose how to die.
The uprisings in Lachva and in other ghettos in shtetls surprised the oppressors. For the first time they came upon Jews who were willing to resist. Until the Last Step presents stories of heroism and death in the ghettos of Nesvitch, Lachva, Gluboki and the brave story of escape through a tunnel in the Novogrudek ghetto. The film also exposes the Nazi’s attempt to obscure the massacre of Jews that was taking place.
In the sixth film of the project about the Shoah in the Former Soviet Union, filmmaker Boris Maftsir set out on a journey to uncover the memory of the Holocaust in Latvia, where he was born and grew up until he made aliya to Israel in 1971. The drawers of memory open as the search exposes the complex history of the Jews of Latvia: before-during and after the Holocaust.
First drawer – an unusual attempt by a group loyal to the memory of the victims to put together a full and detailed list of all the Jews who were in Latvia on the eve of WWII.
Second drawer – the work of Latvian “guardians of memory” who have taken on the idea of remembering the image of their Jewish neighbors who are no longer.
Third drawer – a personal drawer of Boris Maftsir who learns and discovers his own memories of the Holocaust.
The film about Holocaust in Crimea
In November 1941, the German Army occupied the Crimea peninsula.
In a short time, murderous Aktionen of the Jews begin – as in the rest of the Soviet occupied territories.
The Nazis planned to turn the Crimea into an inseparable part of the Third Reich – they called it GOTENLAND – the land of the Goths.
The shores of Crimea were supposed to be the shores of a German Riviera.
German families were to settle in vast estates on the peninsula.
The Nazi idea was not realized.
But one part of the plan – the total murder of the Jews and members of the Crimean community – was carried out.
The seventh film in a documentary project by Boris Maftsir talks about the uniqueness of the tragedy of the destruction of the Crimea Crimchaks community and the liquidation of the Jewish kolkhozes – together with the other Jewish communities of the Crimea.
The film was filmed in places and time analogous to the operations that took place in the winter of 1941-42 and in the summer of 1942.
58 minutes. Russian and Hebrew. Hebrew and English subtitles.
Film «Gotenland», please contact Boris Maftsir
“The Road to Babi Yar” is the newest film of the documentary project by Boris Maftsir, about the Shoah of the Jews of the Soviet Union.
With the invasion of Germany into the territory of the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, a new stage in the history of the Shoah began, characterized by the massacres of Jews, exemplified in the Ukraine.
“The road to Babi Yar” shows the events of the first 100 days of the occupation of Ukraine, during which the Nazis, with the participation of local residents, began killing Jews directly in their places of residence, as well as the evolution of the mass murder system in hundreds of killing sites, symbolized by Babi Yar.
Conversations with historians, local residents – eyewitnesses to those events and Jewish survivors of the Shoah, presented in the film, allow us to recreate a comprehensive and painful picture of the fate of the Jews of Ukraine during the Shoah.
107 minutes. Languages: Ukrainian, Russian, English, Hebrew. Subtitles: Hebrew / Russian – Hebrew/English – English/Ukrainian
Film «Babi Yar», please contact Boris Maftsir
DONATIONS IN ISRAEL
Details of the bank account for monetary transfers
Bank: Israel Bank Discount Code 11. Branch: Number 145 Address: 19 Weizmann st., Givataim Israel
IBAN number IL650111450000120639086. Swift code IDBLILITXXX.
Account: Number. # 120639086 Beneficiaries: Boris Maftsir, Zvi Shefy
DONATIONS IN USA
To make you donation tax-deductible in USA please use the button bellow. (You donate to “Children Making Tomorrow inc.”, that will transfer your donation to us). Please add instructions on the PayPal page, that you dedicate your donation to “Holocaust in USSR” project
All donations will be gratefully accepted