About the Documentary
“Memory After Belsen” examines how the Holocaust is being taught and represented now that the survivor generation is all but gone. The film investigates the changes occurring within and the many dimensions of Holocaust memory through the generations. “Memory After Belsen” weaves together a visual tapestry of people whose family histories position them as stewards of Holocaust remembrance.
The film begins with the Bergen-Belsen Displaced Persons Camp dual experience of re-birth: the physical and emotional rebirth of the survivor, and the actual birth of over 2,000 children in the Displaced Persons Camp: the 2nd generation witness. This is not a film, however, on the tragic history of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, nor of its Displaced Persons Camp. Bergen-Belsen serves as an extraordinary model for posing broader questions about the transmission of the memory of the Holocaust through the generations. Among these are: how has the survivor generation impacted the 2nd generation; and, what of the memory work of the ‘next generations’? The film addresses these issues through original and contemporary documentary research.
“Memory After Belsen” explores paradigmatically different forms of Holocaust memory through the prism of wide-ranging and compelling oral histories. In a period where we are witnessing the sharpest decline yet of the survivor generation, “Memory After Belsen” focuses on nothing less than the future of the memory of the Holocaust.
Memory often tends to deepen as it travels through generational layers and becomes the living heritage of the next generations. A good portion of this documentary film explores the continuing search for the meaning of a complex past in its many contemporary expressions. “Memory After Belsen” will be a unique cinematic experience for those directly affected by the Holocaust, but as importantly, an eye-opener for a general viewing audience. Many in both quarters will recognize themselves in this film, and their concerns for a precious legacy.