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Post Film Discussion Sabotage: A SNEAK PEAK

Thursday, February 9, 2023 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm EST

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Post Film Discussion Sabotage: with Director Noa Aharoni, Illustrator Avi Katz, moderated by Avi Ben Hur

January 1945, less than two weeks before the evacuation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, four forced laborers women, Estusia Wajcblum, Rosa Robota, Ella Gartner, and Regina Safirstein were hanged in public, accused of sabotaging the Nazi war machine.

Under the horrific inferno of Auschwitz, Anna Wajcblum Heilman, Estusia’s sister and the youngest member of the women’s resistance underground writes a diary, describing how over thirty Jewish women, forced laborers of the “Union” munition factory, took part in a dangerous smuggling operation, stealing small portions of gunpowder from the factory and passing it from one to another until it gets to the Sonderkommando men, planning a large-scale rebellion.

On October 7th 1944, the rebellion spontaneously erupted and prisoners lit up crematorium no 4. In the SS investigation, some gunpowder from the “Union” was found and suspicions against the women workers were raised. In the dark basements of Auschwitz, the SS brutally tortured Estusia, Regina, Rosa, and Ella to obtain information about the revolt.

The four took sole blame for the entire underground activity to protect their friends and sisters and were publicly hanged.

Through the eyes of Anna Wajcblum Heilman, Sabotage tells the day-to-day routine of the camp which consists also of many little moments of camaraderie and friendship between young women shaped under harsh circumstances.

Noa Aharoni

Winner of the Best Documentary Film Award (Forum of Documentary Creators, Israel). Nominated for the Ophir Award for Best Documentary. Noa Aharoni graduated with a degree in TV and Cinema from Sapir College in 1994. In 2017 her documentary movie “Shadows” about the abuse among the second generation of the Holocaust by their survivor parents, was selected for the prestigious Docaviv Film Festival and IDFA. “By Summer’s End”, Noah’s first feature film from 2011 has won a Distribution Award and was nominated for the Awards of the Israeli Academy. The film was screened at Haifa International Film Festival (Honorable Mention) and Rehovot Women Film Festival.

Directors Statement:

When I ask myself what attracted me to the making of the film “Sabotage”, my answer is unequivocal. The female perspective on the Holocaust, or if you will, the heroism of women in the Holocaust. The story of the women and their rebellion has been forgotten from the pages of history, in this film I seek to continue the process they had begun so long ago, to give these women faces and names, and to talk about their courage. This film brings their story to memory and consciousness, thereby correcting the historical injustice.

Another challenge that I wanted to crack is a cinematic challenge. I want to talk about a plot that took place 75 years ago, with contemporary and interesting aesthetic and cinematic tools. I am a director of both feature films and documentaries and the combination of them in my opinion, in this film, is the secret that will bring the viewer to the emotional place I am looking for in my films.

Avi Katz

Avi A. Katz, aka Avitz, is a graduate from the School of Visual Arts who made his start working on Nickelodeon’s Blue’s Clues in New York City. His training in animation is evident in his observational pieces, which make striking use of color and shading. One of the artist’s favorite subjects to draw is cities, urban landscapes, and buildings, which he enhances with details of people, streetlights, skylines, and electrical wires. The artist’s skill is best displayed in his meticulously created renderings of urban scenes, which showcase his keen eye. Using predominantly chalk and markers for his illustrations, Avitz contrasts warm and cold tones with bold strokes of dark color to give his pieces more weight. His unconventional approach to the medium and whimsical art style aim to blur the lines between fine art and graphic design.

Avi Ben-Hur

Scholar in Residence

Avi Ben-Hur is an Israeli-American scholar and guide who has been living in Jerusalem since 1983. From 2003-2008 Avi directed a national guiding school for Archaeological Seminars. Avi is a lecturer and field guide in the University of Haifa’s Tourism school and has taught in Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies.

As a scholar in residence, Avi has run seminars for Classrooms Without Borders and the Florence Melton School for Adult Jewish Education in Greece, Berlin, Prague, Israel and Poland.

Avi’s expertise lies in the geo-political issues underlying the Arab-Israeli conflict, Interfaith encounters and in Holocaust studies.

Thank you to our partners:

Founded in 1981 as a series of conferences on the Holocaust and its contemporary meaning, the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida opened its current museum in 1986, founded by Holocaust Survivor and local philanthropist, Tess Wise. Located in Maitland, just outside Orlando, the Holocaust Center attracts visitors from around the world. Its mission is to use the history and lessons of the Holocaust to build a just and caring community free of antisemitism and all forms of prejudice and bigotry. The Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center will transform into the Holocaust Museum of Hope & Humanity, a lakefront museum in Downtown Orlando and the first-ever built from the ground up in partnership with the USC Shoah Foundation. To learn more about the Holocaust Center, visit www.holocaustedu.org.


Thursday, February 9, 2023
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm EST
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