Comcast 2015: "One Day in Auschwitz"
USC Shoah Foundation is currently in the second year of Days of Remembrance: PastFORWARD, a five-year partnership with Comcast to provide USC Shoah Foundation content to Comcast Xfinity customers On Demand, through the Xfinity TV Go app and online, in conjunction with the U.S. National Days of Remembrance, a commemoration of the Holocaust held every spring. Each year, the series is themed with a feature film anchoring the program offerings. This year, it is The Pianist, directed by Roman Polanski, with “music” as the overall theme of the broadcast. Content will be available April 15-June 1, 2015.
The "Comcast 2015" series will introduce each film that is included in this year's Comcast broadcast.
(L-R: Kitty Hart-Moxon, Lydia Hollingsworth and Natalia Smith)
One Day in Auschwitz is an hour-long documentary produced by USC Shoah Foundation and originally broadcast on Discovery on Jan. 27, 2015. It follows Holocaust survivor Kitty Hart-Moxon as she returns to Auschwitz-Birkenau with two high school students, Natalia Smith and Lydia Hollingsworth, to tell them her story. The girls are the same age Kitty was – 15 – when she was imprisoned in Auschwitz with her mother.
When the Nazis invaded Poland, Kitty’s family was quickly split up. Her older brother joined the Russian army and was killed in the Battle of Stalingrad. A priest who was a friend of her mother’s got false papers for Kitty and her mother to get them out of Poland and into Germany, but someone suspected them of being Jews and gave them up to the police. The two were shipped to Auschwitz.
In the film, Kitty explains the various ways she and her mother were able to survive. Kitty got herself a job manning the latrines – foul work, but it kept her from being selected for death. Later, she worked in “Canada”: the warehouse where a few prisoners sorted the mountains of personal belongings that had been confiscated from everyone who passed through the gates of Auschwitz. She also witnessed the Sonderkommando Uprising on Oct. 7, 1944, in which Crematorium 4 was destroyed.
In November, Kitty and her mother were transported out of Auschwitz to a series of other camps until they were liberated in spring 1945. Thirty members of their family, including Kitty’s father and grandmother, had been killed.
For Smith and Hollingsworth, the experience of touring Auschwitz with Kitty in One Day in Auschwitz is very moving.
“I felt very ashamed at the world and very upset that this could take place,” Hollingsworth says at the end of the film.
Kitty continues to tell her story for a very important reason, she says: The Holocaust wasn’t the first genocide, and it won’t be the last.
Days of Remembrance: PastFORWARD is made possible with funding from Independence Blue Cross.
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