UNA-NY Screening the Issues
The Hungarian Hidden Children
Please join us for this special screening and Q+A
in honor of Hungarian Hidden Children (HHC)
Holocaust Survivor and Author
Director and Executive Producer
Friday | May 20, 2016
5:45 p.m. | Registration
6:00 - 7:30 p.m. | Screening
7:30 - 8:00 p.m. | Discussion and Q+A
8:00 - 9:00 p.m. | Reception
Note: screening begins promptly at 6 p.m.
Dolby 88 Screening Room
1350 Avenue of the Americas (at West 55th Street)
New York, NY 10019
Registration for this event is now CLOSED.
Join us for a special screening of the new documentary film: REMEMBER US: THE HUNGARIAN HIDDEN CHILDREN.
Hidden children — that's the title given to countless children who survived the Holocaust by being placed out of harm's way, by finding sanctuary in the arms of strangers, through the assistance of friends and acquaintances or even soldiers.
Many of the survival stories seem miraculous. But survival at that time, under the circumstances, could indeed be seen as such. Many still wonder about their own survival. This powerful new film focuses not only on who these children were, but the adults they have become.
The Holocaust in Hungary was of a shorter duration than in other European countries, and though the devastation matched that of the rest of Europe owing to the speed and brutality of the Germans and the Hungarian Fascists, those who remained in hiding had a greater chance of survival. Consequently, the percentage of Jewish children who survived the Holocaust is greater in Hungary than in other countries, and of those who survived, a larger percentage had surviving parents.
However, the statistics are still grim. Out of a Jewish population numbering approximately 800,000, almost two thirds, 560,000, were murdered. Most died in the notorious concentration camp at Auschwitz.
At the first International Conference for the Hidden Child in New York City, in 1991, a group of men and women of Hungarian origin who had, as children, survived the Holocaust by hiding, met and founded a group called the Hungarian Hidden Children (HHC).
After committing themselves to monthly meetings, they decided to form HHC. The first two years were devoted for the most part to a form of group therapy, and for many it was the first time that they were able to talk freely about their trauma-filled childhoods with others who understood them.
Over time the HHC created a library of films pertaining to Jewish culture, history, and the Holocaust. Its programs include discussions of videos, and lectures by historians, psychoanalysts, activists. Many of its members stories can be found in the book "Remember Us," which is a published companion to tonight's film.
In tonight's film, for every tale of pain and woe, there is a moment of joy sometimes scurried away in the mind of a long since grown child. These moments are what film also captures and shares.
For this screening our special guest will be Evi Blaikie, one of the Hungarian hidden children, who will speak about the film, and share some of her own experiences of the war and its aftermath.
Evi Blaikie (neé Weisz) was born in Paris to Hungarian Jewish immigrant parents less than a year before the outbreak of World War II. After the Germans overran Paris in 1940, her father Hermann, a member of the Communist party, went underground. Soon after, her mother, Magda was caught in a raid and sent to a slave labor camp. At two and a half years old, Evi was taken to Hungary by an aunt, under her cousin's passport.
Two years later, Magda managed to escape from the camp and was reunited with Evi in Budapest just a few months before the Germans marched into Hungary on March 19th 1944. With false papers, Magda, Evi and Magda's nephew, Peter, sought refuge on a farm in Trans-Danubia. After a harrowing year in hiding they were liberated by the Soviet army - only to find that several members of the family had disappeared, including Evi's father. In January 1946, Magda and Evi returned to Paris as destitute refugees.
For the next ten years, Magda, who never recovered her health, attempted to put their lives back together while Evi lived in orphanages, a Catholic convent, foster homes and with various family members in France and England. While living in a Jewish orphanage in South London, Evi was accepted as a student at Saint Martin-in-the-Fields High School for Girls. Later she attended the University of Vienna, Austria, were she studied languages.
In 1960, Evi decided to leave Europe and accepted an invitation from her uncle to work for him in Caracas, Venezuela. From there she immigrated to the United States and married into a politically active Irish Catholic family. She studied fashion design and worked on New York's Seventh Avenue for twenty-five years. She had three children and life seemed to have settled down, but her past kept tugging and after seventeen years of marriage, she divorced.
In 1991, at the first International Conference of the Hidden Children, Evi finally reconnected with her past and started writing down the memories of her childhood. With another "hidden child," she co-founded the Hungarian Hidden Children, a group that still meets once a month.
Evi now works part time for an environmental organization, writes, and enjoys grandmotherhood. Magda's Daughter: A Hidden Child's Journey Home, is her first full-length written work.
Rudy Vegliante has worked in the television and film industry for over twenty-five years spanning the production world with various shows and feature length documentaries. He is an active member of the Producers Guild of America as well as the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
He has executive produced numerous documentaries and television series such as the Emmy winning American Beer Blogger, Saving Heroes for Discovery's American Heroes Channel, Rising Tides about the global rising sea levels, Remember Us about Hungary's hidden children of the Holocaust and Six Hours, which followed a news team through Typhoon Yolanda.
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