Broadcasting on Public Television beginning April 2021. DVD and digital Coming soon. Estimated availability date is Q4 2021.
At the age of sixteen, Edith Eger was sent to Auschwitz. Hours after her parents were killed, Nazi officer Dr. Josef Mengele, forced her to dance for his amusement and this dance turned into her survival.
The Holocaust Education Film Foundation was formed to preserve first-person narratives of Holocaust Survivors through documentaries.
Beginning with “To Auschwitz and Back – The Joe Engel Story,” which was followed by “Surviving Birkenau – The Dr. Susan Spatz Story” and “From the Holocaust to Hollywood – The Robert Clary Story”, the Foundation’s work has provided an outlet to preserve history. The hope is that future generations may learn from these stories and heed the warning of those who experienced the worst of humanity; attempting to keep history from repeating itself.
The foundation’s newest production features 93-year-old Dr. Edith Eva Eger, who is possibly the most famous living Holocaust Survivor due in large part to her bestselling books, appearances on talk shows, and her still thriving Psychology practice, specializing in Trauma and PTSD.
Born in 1927 in Kosice, Slovakia, where she lived with her parents and two older sisters, Magda and Klara, Edith Eger lived a typical Jewish life. The family eventually moved to Budapest, Hungary where in 1944 Nazis put them on a cattle car to Auschwitz as part of the Final Solution. Klara, a violin prodigy who “didn’t look Jewish” was hidden by her music professor and continued to perform during the war.
Upon arrival at Auschwitz, Edie’s parents were immediately murdered, and she spent her entire incarceration with her older sister Magda. Most chillingly, Edie had at least two interactions with “the Angel of Death” Dr. Joseph Mengele. First when he tore here away from her mother with the promise that “your mother is going to take a shower and you’ll see her soon.” The second when he discovered she was a ballerina and gymnast and demanded she dance for him. The bread she received for dancing was shared with fellow prisoners who remembered this act of kindness and saved her life later in her story.
A few months after Auschwitz, Edie was placed in full prisoner garb on top of a munitions train as a human shield to keep the British from bombing (it didn’t work) and after a brief stint at Mauthausen was placed on a forced death march to Gunskirchen Lager where cannibalism had just broken out. The full breadth of this horror is described in vivid detail through the eyes of Alan Moskin, a 94-year-old Patton’s Army soldier who liberated Gunskirchen Lager. His interview is nothing short of breathtaking and you will hang on every word. Incredibly, there were 44,000 concentration camps and we found a living liberator who remembers every moment of his experience in that self-described “hell hole.” He did not speak of this horror for 50 years, but we have him now preserved for history.
After the war, Edie’s nightmare did not yet end. From the Communist overthrow of Hungary, to her husband’s imprisonment and her smuggling him out, to their arrival penniless in the USA, you will marvel at how this determined and dynamic woman refused to be a victim and never gave up, becoming a published bestselling author and internationally acclaimed Psychologist.
Edie weaves her remarkable personal journey with the moving stories of those she has helped heal. She explores how we can be imprisoned in our own minds and shows us how to find the key to freedom. Her book, The Choice, is a life-changer that provides hope and comfort to generations of readers.
A New York Times Bestseller, Oprah said “ I’ll be forever changed by Dr. Eger’s story…The Choice is a reminder of what courage looks like in the worst of times and that we all have the ability to pay attention to what we’ve lost, or to pay attention to what we still have.”
Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate wrote “Dr. Eger’s life reveals our capacity to transcend even the greatest of horrors and to use that suffering for the benefit of others. She has found true freedom and forgiveness and shows us how we can as well.” In “I Danced for the Angel of Death”, Dr. Edith Eva Eger tells her own story.