On 23 September and 22 October 2016 White Space Gallery and Cultural Dialogue UK in collaboration with Vilna Gaon Museum (Vilnius) organised a documentary film screening Etude of Hope by Lilija Kopac.
In three notebooks, on more than 700 pages, Helene Holzman (1891-1968), artist, bookseller, German language teacher, wrote down immediately after the War, what she experienced and suffered at one of the darkest places of the Holocaust, in the Lithuanian Kaunas. Her diary is the basis for this documentary film.
In June 1941, during the pogroms immediately after the invasion of the Wehrmacht, her Jewish husband, the bookseller Max Holzman, disappeared forever. Some time later, her elder daughter, the 19 years old Marie, was arrested and later shot dead. Helene Holzman overbear her desperation and decides not only to rescue her younger daughter Margaret; with the help of kindred spirits, she managed to provide many people at risk, mostly children of the ghetto of Kaunas, with hiding places and new identities. Among the children who were saved from the ghetto was Fruma Vitkinaitė, whom Helen adopted when it was discovered that the girl’s entire family had been killed.
The valuable recollections of Helen’s birth daughter Margaret and her adopted daughter Fruma Vitkinaitė-Kučinskienė were recorded during the making of the film. Their memories of Helen Holtzman are supplemented with accounts by Ina Meiksinaitė, Lev Feigelovich and Vladas Varčikas. In 2005 Helene Holzman-Czapski was awarded by the title of Righteous Among the Nations.
Director Lilija Kopač. Scenario by Lilija Kopač and Danutė Selčinskaja. 2007. Duration 60 min.
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