2013 Miryam Brand Holocaust Education Film Project: The Last Flight of Petr Ginz
Traveling to Denver area schools October 15-17, 2013
The Last Flight of Petr Ginz is a film about an extraordinary young Jewish boy from Prague who perished in the Holocaust. The film is in large part based on Petr’s diary, which was mysteriously discovered 60 years after it was written. Petr wrote his diary in Prague from 1941 to 1942, when Czechoslovakia was already under German occupation. His diary entries don’t express the threat that his family was living under, but rather the depth of his talent and desire to learn. Petr was murdered in a gas chamber in Auschwitz in 1944, but left a valuable contribution to the world through his writings and drawings. Before he died, Petr wrote five novels and numerous short stories, produced more than 170 drawings and paintings, and edited an underground magazine while living in the Terezin ghetto. The film is a story of both celebration and tragedy, and a testament to how a boy’s wonder and creative expression represent the best of what makes us human. And it reminds us of our obligation to remember and honor all victims.
Dr. Terry Hynes, former dean of University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications, will join this year’s program to share with students her experience researching and producing the film. Dr. Hynes and the film crew walked the streets of Prague and traveled to Terezin with Chava Pressburger, Petr’s sister, as their guide. “It was one of the most moving and meaningful experiences of my life,” said Hynes. “If I can convey even a fraction of that experience to students, I think it will add to their appreciation of Petr as well as an appreciation of their own abilities to make a difference with their talents and skills.”
Through the Miryam Brand Holocaust Education Film Project, the Mizel Museum brings to life the universal lessons of the Holocaust in an ongoing effort to help ensure that such tragedies never happen again. The 2013 program will travel to seven middle and high schools in the Denver metro area, reaching more than 2,000 students. If your school would like to participate in this year’s program please email Deanne Kapnik or call (303) 749-5019. Educational materials are available online at www.petrginz.com.
HONORING THE MEMORY OF MIRYAM BRAND
Miryam Brand was a Holocaust survivor and a dedicated volunteer of the Mizel Museum who devoted much of her passion and energy to education. In her memory, her family has provided the Mizel Museum with funding for the The Miryam Brand Holocaust Film Project, an annual program that educates middle and high school students about the history of the Holocaust, and provides programs to contextualize it in their lives locally and globally. Each year we feature a film and speakers to engage and inspire audiences.
January 2008 – Alexandra Zapruder is the author of Salvaged Pages: Young Writers’ Diaries of the Holocaust. The book is a compilation of 60 diaries of children who had survived the Holocaust. MTV made a documentary film called I’m Still Here: Real Diaries of Young People Who Lived During the Holocaust based on her book. Through the generosity of the Brand family, we were able to bring Alexandra and the film to an audience of over 1,600 middle and high school students, as well as to the Auraria Campus for 300 college students and community members.
January 2009 – Children of Chabannes is an Emmy Award-winning film produced and directed by Lisa Gossels. In this film, Lisa explores the touching story of the lives of unsung heroes of Chabannes, France, a town that saved over 400 people during World War II. Among the survivors were her father and uncle. Their incredible heroism and humanity inspired Lisa to pay tribute to them. Ms. Gossels spoke to more than 1,000 middle and high school students from 18 different schools and 200 college students from Community College, where the Mizel Museum partnered with the Activities Office to present this evening program to students and community members.
January 2010 – Douglas Green and two students from his Carlsbad High Holocaust film project came to Colorado to speak to students about their experience in making the film, We Must Remember. More than 2,200 students gathered for two presentations for this program at Hinkley High School in Aurora. The students captivated their audience with their sharing of the experience of making the film, traveling to Dachau and Auschwitz and the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC, as well as the profound impact meeting and interviewing local survivors made on their perception of the use of language in relationships. The Mizel Museum partnered with the Holocaust Awareness Institute of the University of Denver to present an adult program.
November 2010 – The Denver Film Society approached us to partner in bringing Lukas Pribyl, a brilliant Czech film-maker who spent ten years making his four-part series, Forgotten Transports to the Denver Film Festival, where the Mizel Museum partnered in the public screening of all of his films, as well as to 1200 middle and high school students from across the metro area. The Mizel Museum contracted with Facing History and Ourselves to present a workshop to teachers bringing their students to this program.
November 2011 – Mizel Museum’s Community Narratives Project, Generations: Survivor Stories was the cornerstone of this year’s program. Two weeks before the student program, participating teachers were invited to a workshop presented by Facing History and Ourselves to help expand and deepen students’ experience of the program. At the student program, Fran Sterling set the geographic and historic context for each story, and the brief digital stories of five Holocaust survivors were screened. The screening was followed by a facilitated question and answer session with the five “storytellers.”
October 2012 – Douglas Green returned with two new students from Carlsbad High in California to speak about their experience in learning about the Holocaust through the film We Must Remember, and the impact it has made in the way they perceive language and relationships. The 75-minute program included a screening of the film and question and answer with the students and Green. Now in its sixth year, Mizel Museum will “hit the road” with the Miryam Brand Holocaust Education Film Project in order to reach even more students. The program will be hosted by schools around the Denver metro area. We are also working with Regis University and The Denver Film Society to make the program accessible to adults.