Refuge: Stories of the Selfhelp Home
When: 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29
Where: Vanderbilt's Commons Center Multipurpose Room
Almost 70 years have passed since the end of World War II, and soon we’ll no longer be able to hear from Holocaust survivors firsthand. That’s why any opportunity to listen to their stories is noteworthy, including this 60-minute documentary, Refuge: Stories of the Selfhelp Home, screening as part of the Holocaust Lecture Series at Vanderbilt. It tells of a resourceful group of Jewish residents of Chicago who worked to create a welcoming home for Jewish refugees and Holocaust survivors. Called the Selfhelp Home, the nonprofit has sheltered more than 1,000 people in the decades since the war. It’s also created an ideal stop for historians seeking first-person accounts of the Holocaust. “Please listen to us,” says Edith Stern, an Auschwitz survivor interviewed in the film. “We are dying out.”
The film tells the remarkable survival tales of Stern and five other members of the Selfhelp community, along with chronicling the home itself, which has had to evolve along with its aging residents. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Stern and director Ethan Benziger.