More than $100,000 has been invested into a five-minute YouTube clip created to combat Holocaust denial in the United States, and to increase awareness of the atrocity among American teenagers.
According to its producers, “Rainbow in the Night” is the first Holocaust clip ever to be made. It includes hundreds of actors, and took hundreds of hours to shoot. Daniel Finkelman, an ultra-Orthodox man living in Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn, is behind the project.
As the number of Holocaust survivors decreases with time, so too do the voices that keep the memory of the atrocity alive, explains Finkelman. “As those voices fade, the voices of Holocaust deniers are amplified.”
This thought had plagued Finkelman for the past few years, and drove him to initiate a campaign aimed at non-Jewish teenagers in the United States.
A screengrab from the film, 'Rainbow in the Night'
“There is an entire generation that is growing up in a fast-paced world, in which something new happens every moment. That young generation hasn’t got the patience to learn about the Holocaust,” says Finkelman. “For us it is an inseparable part of the Jewish history; for them it is another black and white entry in the encyclopedia.”
Finkelman explained that the goal of his campaign was to grab the attention of those teenagers via a medium that interests them, and – in a five-minute clip – encapsulate the horrors of the Holocaust alongside the tremendous hopes of the Jews who suffered there.
In addition, he hoped the clip would warn young Jews against assimilation. Keeping our Jewish identity, said Finkelman, was a way of showing victory over the Nazis.
Most of the clip was shot in Krakow, Poland, and at the Majdanek concentration camp, said Finkelman, who believes the group was the first to receive permission to shoot the film from inside the camp. “We had to go through a difficult process in order to receive permission to film right inside the concentration camp,” he said.
Last week, a new survey to mark International Holocaust Memorial Day showed that only 6 percent of Israeli children cite history lessons as a significant source of learning about the Holocaust.
The annual survey, conducted by the Massuah Institute for Holocaust Studies among 919 students, shows school education has a very limited influence on shaping young Israelis' understanding of the Holocaust. Only 0.5 percent said the Holocaust memorial ceremonies, which take place for Israeli children throughout their school years, were significant in their Holocaust education.
Almost 40 percent cited survivors' testimonies as having the highest educational value.
Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? Subscribe todaySubscribe now