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The Lessons of Survival With Inna Rogatchi: Public Event at the Sydney Jewish Museum

Posted 28/3/2015

March 2015

The Lessons of Survival with Inna Rogatchi: Public Event at the Sydney Jewish Museum

In March 2015, during her visit to Australia to attend the Australian premiere of her The Lessons of Survival film, Inna Rogatchi has attended a special event at the world-renowned Sydney Jewish Museum which was a public screening and discussion of her film there.

Sydney Jewish Museum

Sydney Jewish Museum

In the over-packed auditorium, Dr Rogatchi told the audience about the film's background and history. She also emphasised the paradoxical and ironic, but highly alarming context in which the film was recently released. The film maker told the audience that contrary to her initial expectations of making 'an important historical record', she has found out that her film in which legendary Simon Wiesenthal shares with all of us his inner thoughts and reflections on the Holocaust, has become a very relevant film referring to the current development in the world that Jewish people in Europe, the United States, and everywhere actually, are getting, with a very good reason, more worried on a daily basis, once again.

The story of Simon Wiesenthal narrated in personal detail by himself with no distance, within the context of original footage from the Mathausen concentration camp, the last one in which Wiesenthal had been detained, along with bringing to the audience completely new historical material based on Dr Rogatchi's special research in several countries, was met by a very warm and attentive reception at the Sydney Jewish Museum.

Inna Rogatchi speaking at the Sydney Jewish Museum

Inna Rogatchi speaking at the Sydney Jewish Museum. March 2015 
Photo: Sydney Jewish Museum 
© Courtesy: The Rogatchi Foundation

In the view of Inna Rogatchi, the relevance of her film, telling in the words of the committed and courageous Jewish fighter-for-justice Simon Wiesenthal about the events and feelings 70 years ago, has had the most peculiar and even astounding effect on her, the quality of it - so much does it resonate with the snowballing events, which are happening today everywhere on the planet, and also, quite importantly, with the general tendency of anti-Semitism becoming 'fashionable' again across a large spectrum of societies, from schools and universities to the media world-wide.

After the screening of the film, Inna answered many questions from the audience; questions that ranged from the circumstances of Wiesenthal's never completed hunt for Mengele, the circumstances of not awarding him with the Nobel Peace Prize instead of being nominated for that several times, to the more detailed analysis of the current-day phenomenon, which Inna Rogatchi calls the 'fashion for anti-Semitism' and the situation in Ukraine with the sharp rise in the numbers of ultra-nationalists and the massive glorification of the Nazi collaborators there.

Interior of the Sydney Jewish Museum

Interior of the Sydney Jewish Museum

During her visit to the Sydney Jewish Museum, the president of The Rogatchi Foundation also conducted a meeting with the Museum CEO Norman Seligman and Events Senior Manager Aviva Wolff, as well as a meeting with the Sydney Jewish Museum Director for Development Robert Schneider discussing possible co-operation between The Rogatchi Foundation and the Sydney Jewish Museum.

In a series of meetings with the Chief Historian of the Sydney Jewish Museum professor Konrad Kwiet and the Museum John Sanders Curatorial Chair Roslyn Sugarman, Inna Rogatchi also discussed with them the outstanding Signs of Life exhibition which is currently on display at the Sydney Jewish Museum. Produced by the Sydney Jewish Museum, the Signs of Life exhibition, containing the original letters from a massive Sydney Jewish Museum archive, is a powerful, sincere and soulful remembrance of the Holocaust, its victims and their families.

The Rogatchi Foundation will be happily involved in examining the possibilities of international co-operation around this serious contribution into the ongoing efforts to strengthen the knowledge and understanding of the Holocaust world-wide.


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