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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Local Screenings of 'Nicky’s Family' commemorate anniversary of liberation of Auschwitz

To commemorate the 69th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz on Jan. 27, the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven and the JCC will screen two showings of the documentary "Nicky’s Family."
The first showing, sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven, Shoreline Hadassah and The Grove School begins at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 21 at Polson Middle School, 302 Green Hill Road, Madison, according to a release.
The second showing begins at at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 27 at the JCC, 360 Amity Road, Woodbridge, the release said.
Suggested donation is $5.
"Proceeds of the movie will help fund scholarships for March of the Living, a program that sends Jewish teens from around the world for a two-week experiential journey to Poland and Israel for an educational experience about the Holocaust," the release said. 
"'Nicky's Family' tells the nearly forgotten story of Nicholas Winton, an Englishman who organized the rescue of 669 Czech and Slovak children just before the outbreak of World War II. Winton, now 104 years old, did not speak about these events with anyone for more than half a century. His heroic efforts might have been forgotten if his wife had not found a suitcase full of documents and transport plans many years later," the release said,. 
Also from the release:
The showing of "Nicky’s Family" is part of the Beckerman Lecture series. Sponsored by the Beckerman Family Foundation, the series is designed to promote engaging conversations about topics and themes that have shaped our world and continue to impact tout place in the global community.
Following the January 27 screening, Mr. Ivan Backer will discuss his personal experience on the Kindertransport. Mr. Backer’s mother boarded him on a train in Prague bound for London in May 1939 along with 668 other children. Unlike many of them, however, Mr. Backer’s story is atypical of that time period as many of his peers never saw their loved ones again.
“Mainly the question that it (the experience) poses is why was I spared when so many perished,” said Backer. “The answer is that I need to lead a life of service to others out of gratitude for being saved.” He said he hopes to “instill in young people the need to live a life beyond their own enjoyment and satisfaction.”
His own life journey brought him to New York in 1944 at the age of 15. Mr. Backer went on to graduate from Moravian College in Pennsylvania with a history degree and from Columbia University, where he earned his master’s degree in social ethics. For the past quarter century, Mr. Backer has served as the director of Southside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance in Hartford, which works to improve the neighborhoods around Trinity College, Hartford Hospital and the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.
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