Press Release

12 December 2010

Contact: Ellen Friedland, Producer

973.744.0570

 

PRESS RELEASE

Safeguarding Memory: Commemorating Jewish Mass Graves in Poland

NARRATED BY Theodore Bikel

NETA Uplink January 24, 2011

(Montclair, NJ): While it is widely known that the Germans built seven death camps and many concentration camps and ghettos within Poland as part of their plan to annihilate the Jewish people during World War II, few are aware that the country is also lined with mass burial grounds of thousands of Jewish Holocaust victims. Most of these sites have never been identified, adding another layer of tragedy to the horrific genocide of the Jews. But today some elderly Poles, who were teenagers at the time of these slaughters, are sharing details about the mass murders. Witnesses to the massacres, these Polish individuals have never been able to erase the nightmares of their hidden memories.

Safeguarding Memory: Commemorating Jewish Mass Graves in Poland is a 27 minute documentary narrated by actor Theodore Bikel that relays a few of these stories as told to three individuals: Poland’s Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich; Polish businessman Zbigniew Nizinski who spends his free time finding witnesses interested in sharing the stories of the atrocities they beheld; and NY businessman Harley Lippman, a member of the US Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad, who is determined to ensure that these Jewish mass graves are properly marked and respected.

Just released, the documentary will be uplinked to members of National Educational Telecommunications Association in mid-December in time for broadcast on PBS and cable stations for International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27, 2011.

Safeguarding Memory: Commemorating Jewish Mass Graves in Poland is a production of JEMGLO, a nonprofit multimedia company based in Montclair, NJ.

DIRECTOR: CURT FISSEL

PRODUCER: ELLEN FRIEDLAND

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: HARLEY LIPPMAN

NARRATOR: THEODORE BIKEL

BACKGROUND ABOUT JEMGLO

Since the founding of JEMGLO in December 1996, the nonprofit multimedia company has produced eight documentaries: three one-hour programs, two 40-minute productions, and three half-hour documentaries. The most recent program prior to Safeguarding Memory was entitled Delicious Peace Grows In A Ugandan Coffee Bean; narrated by actor Ed O’Neill of Modern Family, it is currently on the film festival circuit and has already won Best Short Documentary at the New Jersey International Film Festival and Best Documentary at the Bronzeville Film Festival in Chicago. The other seven JEMGLO documentaries followed a PBS route. The previous JEMGLO documentary for which Safeguarding Memory’s executive director Harley Lippman also served as in the same position, A Torah Returns to Poland, was broadcast to more than 48% of PBS audiences. It was the recipient of a silver Telly award and a Summit award. JEMGLO’s Klezmer Musicians Travel “Home” to Krakow was presented as a PBS pledge show and for regular programming on WNET/Channel 13 in New York and a number of other PBS stations; additional JEMGLO productions also received significant airing on PBS stations across the US, at culture festivals worldwide, universities and other educational institutions in the US, at several foreign embassies and consulates, and at the United Nations.

The principals of JEM/GLO are director/cinematographer/editor Curt Fissel and producer/writer Ellen Friedland, who are also the principals of the corporate video company Voices & Visions Productions, Ltd. The chief photographer at NJN (NJ’s PBS station) for 18 years, Curt has been involved in the production of dozens of documentaries. He has received Emmy nominations, a Cine Golden Eagle, and numerous journalism awards, and he has freelanced for stations such as YES Network, HBO, ABC Nightline, CBS, The Voice of America, CNN, and the Outdoor Life Network. Ellen began her career as an attorney, then became a print journalist. She continues to write stories for a number of publications and has been the recipient of press awards. Narrator Theodore Bikel is one of the most talented and versatile artists in the theater, film, and music worlds today. He was the original Captain Von Trapp on Broadway’s The Sound of Music and has performed over 2,000 times as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof.

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