Chicago, IL (PRWEB) February 18, 2014
On March 23 (11 a.m., Chicago Cultural Center’s Claudia Cassidy Theater), local audiences can view a rare work-in-progress screening of a documentary detailing the largely unknown World War II massacre of 25,000 Latvian and German Jews.
“Rumbula’s Echo” (http://www.RumbulasEcho.org) is the first film focused on two days of firing squad executions that took place in 1941 at Rumbula Forest in Riga, Latvia, according to director Mitchell Lieber.
Lieber, a Chicago businessman and documentarian, learned about the incident 15 years ago while researching his family’s genealogy. He was saddened to discover that at least three of his relatives were among those killed at Rumbula Forest.
“Few people know that an estimated 1.5 million people, the majority of whom were Jews, were executed by S.S. firing squads during World War II. This took place largely before the death camps and gassings, and mostly in Soviet territory,” he says.
Lieber, who has a broadcasting background, gathered a team of award-winning TV and documentary veterans, and the world’s five leading historians on the Holocaust in Latvia to create “Rumbula’s Echo.” The result is a historical piece, combining rare escapee and survivor interviews with archival footage and photos gathered from around the world.
“Amid the terror and death are seven uplifting stories of survival, rescue and reunion,” he says. Three survivors living in the Chicago area were interviewed for the project, including Sia Hertsberg of Glenview, a key character in the film, who narrowly escaped death at Rumbula. She and three other Holocaust survivors will be honored March 20 by the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center.
“Four survivors have passed away since we began this project, and we feel compelled to make their stories known as quickly as possible,” adds Lieber.
“Rumbula’s Echo” received high praise at work-in-progress screenings throughout the United States, as well as in Latvia, Israel and Germany.
The Chicago event will include 77 minutes of rough-cut excerpts followed by a question and answer session with Lieber and Hertsberg. It will be moderated by Dr. Elliot Lefkovitz, Holocaust studies professor at Loyola University Chicago and board member of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center.
The event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. Tickets are required and can be ordered online at http://tinyurl.com/jwckurx.
“Rumbula’s Echo” is being produced both for theatrical release, and as a longer miniseries for television.
Donations to help fund the film’s completion can be made at the Chicago event, online at http://www.RumbulasEcho.org or by mail (3740 N. Lake Shore Dr., Suite 15B-3, Chicago, IL 60613).
About "Rumbula’s Echo"
Targeted for a 2015 release, “Rumbula’s Echo” (http://www.RumbulasEcho.org) is an independently made documentary about the 25,000 Jews killed by firing squads in Latvia during World War II. It is produced by Luminescence Media Group NFP (http://www.luminescencemedia.org), a Chicago-based not-for-profit. Funding has been provided by: Voqal; the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany; the Federal Republic of Germany Foreign Office; the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research; the U.S. State Dept./U.S. Embassy in Latvia; the Illinois Humanities Council; the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago Breakthrough Fund; the City of Chicago Dept. of Cultural Affairs and Special Events; family foundations and individual contributors.
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