2 Special Monmouth County Women Featured on PBS Saturday
A Farmingdale women and a Neptune woman who survived the Holocaust are now chronicling their experiences in a PBS film.
The premiere of this incredible film coincides with International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Saturday, January 27th. It also coincides with the day that Auschwitz was liberated. And one of these women survived Auschwitz.
"Here's the Story: Witnesses" is the title of this incredible episode. It premiers this Saturday night at 7 pm on NJTV (PBS in NJ). The film tells the story of three women who, as children, experienced and survived the horrors and degradation of the Holocaust and the Second World War.
All three women, now living in New Jersey, ultimately thrived despite their challenging childhoods and the losses of family members. In the case of one of the women, Helena Flaum of Farmingdale, her entire family was wiped out by the Nazi atrocities. Another woman featured is Eva Wiener of Neptune. The third is Tova Friedman of Highland Park.
Driving Jersey produces this film, and Executive Producer Steve Rogers met all three women at a public school in Tinton Falls last year, when they came to tell their stories to the students. Steve felt that in order for their eyewitness testimony to continue to be heard and to mean something to future generations of school-aged children, he was compelled to make this film about these three extraordinary women.
Steve says that one of the elements that enhances this project is how distinctly different the experiences were for each of these women. Farmingdale's Helena spent the years of the war disguising her Jewish identity as a Christian child of a neighbor. Eva from Neptune was aboard the doomed SS St. Louis that left Europe to escape the Nazis. The St. Louis was refused entry in both Cuba and the US and was forced to turn back to Europe. Many ended up dying in concentration camps in the months and years after their failed exodus.
But despite having those horrifying experiences at such a young age, or maybe because of them, Steve says these women have an emotional and spiritual intelligence that is just beyond what most possess. He says their stories are amazing and inspiring, but their sense of soul, their ideas of right and wrong, their understanding of forgiveness and forgetting, and the absolute necessity to keep the memories of their loved ones alive is incredibly powerful and moving.
This is must see television. Thank you, Steve Rogers, for your incredible talent and insight into humanity. Every single episode of your show is compelling. I highly recommend you binge watch all seasons of this series!
And, by the way, the music for this episode was composed by musician/filmmaker/animator Jon Francis of Red Bank