The Holocaust Commission plans premiere for three new films in May

by | Mar 11, 2016 | What’s Happening

Sunday, May 22, 2 pm, Sandler Center for the Performing Arts

The world is rapidly losing the voices of those who witnessed the Holocaust. In its effort to keep those voices alive, the Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater will add three new stories to its What We Carry program.

The premiere is free and open to the public. Because of the intense subject matter, parental guidance is suggested for those who would like to bring children younger than 16.

Since What We Carry’s debut in 2011, close to 20,000 people will have seen a presentation by the time of the May 22 premiere. Students, military personnel, and community group members have heard the stories of David Katz and Hanns Loewenbach, both of blessed memory, Kitty Saks, and Dana Cohen, the last four survivors of the Holocaust Commission’s Speakers’ Bureau. They’ll be able to hear three more distinct voices in the years to come.

Like the first four in the series, each of the stories premiering in May is profound and very different from the others. The new films include first-hand accounts of survival, heroism, and courage from Alfred Dreyfus, Dame Mary Barraco, and Bill Jucksch.

Dreyfus, founder of ECPI University and a respected member of the Jewish, business, and higher education communities, is a Holocaust survivor. As a schoolboy and throughout his teen years, he repeatedly defied the odds and, with his family, eluded capture by the Nazis for years. Dreyfus’ story includes intense recollections of determination, desperation, daring, and luck.

Barraco is a righteous gentile who saved countless Jewish lives during the Holocaust. Although American, she had lived in Belgium for 10 years when the Nazis invaded. At 17, Barraco joined the Belgian and French undergrounds. Two years later, she was arrested, tortured, and subjected to horrific experiments as a POW. When released, she rejoined the resistance and continued to fight the Nazis and save Jews and others until the war ended. In 2004, the King of Belgium knighted Barraco for her bravery and heroism.

Bill Jucksch is a liberator of the Gunskirchen death camp in Austria. As a member of the U.S. Army’s 71st Infantry Division, Jucksch and his fellow soldiers were involved in some of the most important battles of World War II . But nothing could have prepared him for what he found at Gunskirchen. It was a scene he never could have imagined, and one he has never forgotten. Through the varied and inspirational What We Carry presentations, firsthand experiences of the Holocaust will be seen and heard for years to come, reminding audiences of the potential of man’s inhumanity to man, and conveying the vital responsibility for moral courage and justice in today’s world, and in the future.

To learn more about What We Carry, visit and click on the What We Carry link. Sign up for email notifications about the Premiere on the What We Carry page.