UM students featured in upcoming documentary about Holocaust survivors

MIAMI SHORES, FLA. (WSVN) - An upcoming documentary about Holocaust survivors will feature University of Miami students as they study to carry on the survivors’ legacies.

The film, “My Survivor,” follows seven UM students that took part in the Holocaust Survivors Internship program at the school and how their survivor mentors influenced them.

The goal of the internship program is to make sure emerging generations keep the memories and voices alive from Holocaust survivors in the face of anti-Semitism and those that deny the event.

“I wonder now what’s going to happen next. What happens after we, the survivors, are gone,” said one survivor featured in the film.

Dr. Mindy Hersh, Senior Executive Producer of the documentary, said, “We are at a moment in history where we are coming to the end of the generation of Holocaust survivors.”

The students in the film are among 500 undergraduate students that have participated in the internship program over the past 11 years.

“Unfortunately, one day we’re never going to have firsthand survivors. All that we’re going to have are secondhand, third-hand and fourth-hand accounts,” said one participant of the film.

“The Holocaust happened because the people realized nobody speaks up, nobody cares. Quietness created the Holocaust,” explained one survivor.

Another participant of the film said, “It’s when you’re talking to a survivor and you see it in their faces, what they’ve been through.”

Hersh said, “The horrors of the Holocaust were brought to them in a very real, personal way. The students who participated in this program, half were Jewish, half were not, some were very familiar with the Holocaust, some had never met a Holocaust survivor.”

“My Survivor” approaches the genre of Holocaust films in a unique way, by not focusing on the survivors themselves, but their impact on the students.

Hersh explains the film’s timelessness saying, “The capacity for evil exists in the world, but the endless opportunity to make the world a better place also exists.”

“You see the future is no longer us. The future is the second generation and the third generation. Everything depends on the young generation,” said a survivor in the documentary. “The future is for them, that it should never happen again.”

“My Survivor” premieres Thursday night as part of the Miami Jewish Film Festival, at 8:30 p.m. at the Miami Theater Center in Miami Shores and has an encore screening on Sunday after noon.

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