On April 11, 1945, Buchenwald concentration camp was liberated. Nearly 1,000 boys survived. On April 11, 2010, 65 years later, several of the surviving boys from the children's block (Block 66) returned to Buchenwald, Germany. Kinderblock 66: Return to Buchenwald is their story.
The University of Michigan-Flint will premiere this documentary Wednesday, April 25 at 7 p.m. in the KIVA Auditorium. Special guests that evening will include Executive Producer Steven Moskovic and his father, Alex Moskovic, who is one of the survivors.
The documentary is about four of the boys from Kinderblock 66 returning to Buchenwald as grown men.
According to the documentary's website, Buchenwald was one of the largest and most well known German concentration camps. Early in its history, there had been Jewish prisoners at Buchenwald, but most had been killed or sent to Auschwitz to die by 1942.
In 1944, the Jewish population of Buchenwald rose again. Among these were a large and growing number of teenage boys, many of whom had lost family members in the ghettos and camps of Nazi-occupied Poland or in the Hungarian deportations to Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Transports arrived at Buchenwald from Auschwitz in spring and summer 1944. In early 1945, the Nazis forced tens of thousands of Jewish prisoners westward on death marches. Unknown thousands of prisoners died, shot by guards along the roads or frozen in open cattle cars. The survivors were then forced into new camps where chances of survival were small–prisoners were forced to perform harsh labor, given starvation rations, and subjected to terror and wanton brutality.
The premiere of Kinderblock 66 will be the last in a series of special programs with UM-Flint 2011-12 Myron and Margret Winegarden Visiting Professor Kenneth Waltzer, Ph.D. Waltzer is a prominent American historian of the Holocaust; former Dean of the James Madison College of Michigan State University; currently the Director of MSU's Jewish Studies Program; and consultant to New York-based Big Foot Productions, the company that produced Kinderblock 66: Return to Buchenwald.
The Kinderblock 66 premiere is free and open to the public. Following the screening will be a Q&A session, with a reception immediately after.