The IAJGS conference is screening two excellent films with Lithuanian
themes: "My Grandfather's House" and "Kupishok: Unto Each Name a Person."
These films will be shown in the fourth floor Ziegfield Room.
MY GRANDFATHER'S HOUSE: THE JOURNEY HOME
This personal documentary, follows filmmaker Eileen Douglas's determined
search to find her grandfather's house in Lithuania, the home he lived in
and left behind in 1911 when he fled, at 16, >from Kovno to America to
escape the Tsar's Army. Four decades after his death, with only fragments
to guide the way, the documentary is Douglas 's attempt to lift the veil
of darkness and discover "where it all began."
Traveling >from New York City, to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in
Washington, to her mother's attic in Syracuse, to the homes of relatives
and, finally, to the block in Kovno where her grandfather once lived, along
the way she unexpectedly unlocks the mystery of stories he never told,
discovers the fate of family members lost in the war, learns of the glory
that once was Lithuanian Jewry, finds living relatives missing for years
in Siberia, and resurrects a family shattered by the traumas of the 20th
The documentary weaves together original footage, old family photographs,
archival records, translations of old Yiddish letters, archival film footage,
family reminiscences, interviews, conversations, and music scored to evoke
a vanished era. Produced by Eileen Douglas and Ron Steinman, Directed by
Monday, August 14th - 8:30PM and Thursday, August 17th - 2:30PM - Both
screenings will be with the filmmakers Ron Steinman and Eileen Douglas
KUPISHOK; UNTO EACH NAME A PERSON
In the aftermath of World War II, Christian midwives in Kupiskis, a small
Lithuanian shtetl (village) that was called Kupishok by its Jews, compiled
a list of the Jews of the town that were murdered by the German Nazis and
their Lithuanian accomplices in the summer of 1941. All of the Jewish men,
women and children in the town were herded into a makeshift ghetto and
then marched to a cemetery reserved for atheists, where they were shot
and buried in unmarked pits. The midwives' list of more than 800 precious
names was a secret Mitzvah (good deed) until the Soviets left Lithuania in
the early 1990s and a small numbers of survivors and descendants of the
town's Jews were allowed to visit the town.
On July 13, 2004, more than 50 survivors and descendants of the Jews of
Kupishok, ages 9 to 86, now living in the United States, Israel, the UK,
Denmark, South Africa and Australia, returned to the
town to dedicate a magnificent Wall of Memory, designed and constructed in
Washington, D.C. Unlike most other Holocaust memorials in Europe, the Wall
of Memory is not in a killing field or cemetery: it is in the center of
town, where ordinary citizens, particularly children, see its vital and
unforgettable message, portrayed in Lithuanian, Hebrew and English.
Co-produced by Ian Rogow and Alec Meyer.
Thursday, August 17th - 9:30AM
Several people involved in the 2004 trip to Kupishok and the making of this
film will be in attendance.
Eileen Douglas and Ron Steinman will also be panelists on the "Visual
Storytelling" panel on Wednesday, August 16th at 7:30PM.
Order forms for "My Grandfather's House" will be available in the Ziegfeld
IAJGS Conference Film Co-Cordinator
MODERATOR'S NOTE: Eileen Douglas will also be the speaker at the LitvakSIG
luncheon on Tuesday, August 15.