HKHTC sends its heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the victims of the tragic shootings at Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colorado. We condemn this horrific act of hatred and intolerance, motivated by homophobia. This senseless attack is a poignant reminder of the necessity of tolerance education. It remains critical that we further strengthen efforts to teach the importance of non-discrimination, while promoting peaceful co-existence among peoples of different backgrounds and sexual orientations.
Since 2022, HKHTC’s multi-year cooperation with the USC Shoah Foundation enables us to have the cutting-edge Dimensions in Testimony and iWitness systems in place to roll out to schools and universities in our region.
These platforms give students eye-opening interactive access to survivor testimonies from the Shoah, the Nanjing massacre and other atrocities. This year, we partnered with the University of Hong Kong (HKU), the Hong Kong International School (HKIS), Carmel School and Malvern College to pilot these new resources for different age groups. We will bring them to many other schools including several ESF schools, German Swiss International School (GSIS) and other local colleges and universities.
In the absence of in-person visits by survivors – which will remain difficult to organise in the near future – this form of experiencing eyewitness accounts is a powerful pedagogical tool. We are also adding to these events with bespoke seminars, talks by family members of Holocaust survivors living in Hong Kong (our ‘Next Generation’ project), virtual reality exhibitions and museum tours. These interactions typically involve several hundreds of students and span multiple days.
On 9 November 2022, together with March of the Living, the Hong Kong Holocaust and Tolerance Centre commemorated the 84th anniversary of Kristallnacht with a message of unity and hope through a unique international campaign.
Titled “Let There Be Light,” March of the Living invited individuals, institutions, and houses of worship around the world to keep their lights on during the night of November 9 as a symbol of solidarity and mutual commitment in the shared battle against antisemitism, racism, hatred, and intolerance. As part of this virtual initiative, people from all over the world were able to add their voices to the campaign. Individuals of all religions and backgrounds also wrote personal messages of hope in their own words at the campaign website here.
Meanwhile, please visit a special page on Yad Vashem’s website (click here) which features interviews, testimony, and photos on the terrible events of Kristallnacht in 1938. This year, through HKHTC’s ongoing global partnership with Yad Vashem, we will leverage our unique Holocaust education approach and reach thousands more across Asia — including educators and students in Japan, Indonesia and mainland China. As always, HKHTC continues to be very active teaching about the Holocaust in partnership with local Hong Kong schools, universities, and community organisations. Thank you again for your interest and support. We sincerely hope you can join us at our future events. Please stay tuned for more details.
The Hong Kong Holocaust & Tolerance Centre was pleased to support a number of Holocaust-themed films as part of the 23rd Hong Kong Jewish Film Festival.
These public screenings took place during 12-20 November 2022 at the Golden Scene Cinema at 2 Catchick St, Kennedy Town. Please see the list below for film descriptions.
Supported Films 2022
1. The Rhapsody (Sunday, 13 November, 4:25pm)
“TO SEE SUCH A SIGNIFICANT TIME COME TO LIFE THROUGH A MEDIUM SO CLOSE TO SPELLMAN’S HEART AND THAT OF HIS FAMILY IS INCREDIBLY MOVING”
– POV MAGAZINE
The Rhapsody tells the astonishing story of Polish-Canadian composer Leo Spellman, whose long-lost musical masterpiece and secret wartime diary provide the framework for a remarkable journey towards artistic liberation at the age of ninety-nine.
Spellman spent eighteen harrowing months in hiding to survive the Holocaust. His diaries, found after he passed away, are among the most revealing documents of their kind from WWII.
The Rhapsody unfolds as Spellman prepares to record his musical masterpiece, a piece composed in a German DP camp and lost for over fifty years. Weaving together interviews with Spellman and his family, excerpts of his lost diary brought to life through animation and narrated by Stephen Fry, and live-orchestral performances of Spellman’s music; this moving documentary tells a remarkable tale of survival.
2. Three Minutes – A Lengthening (Monday, 14 November, 7:00pm)
“USING FOOTAGE FROM A THREE-MINUTE AMATEUR MOVIE SHOT IN 1938, THIS ROUSING DOCUMENTARY ABOUT A JEWISH TOWN IN POLAND IS A HAUNTING MEDITATION ON THE MEMORY OF THE HOLOCAUST”
– THE NEW YORK TIMES
The only nonfiction film to be selected for the 2022 Sundance Film Festival’s Spotlight section — a prestige category highlighting movies that have already premiered to acclaim elsewhere — Bianca Stigter’s feature-length directorial debut Three Minutes: A Lengthening is an inspired piece of cinematic archaeology. Stigter does exactly what the title of the piece invitingly and enigmatically implies: she examines a short section of 16mm home movie footage from every possible angle, stopping and starting and running and re-running the images without ever cutting to talking heads.
Three Minutes: A Lengthening shows footage of the Jewish inhabitants of Nasielsk, a small town north of Warsaw, Poland. The film in question was taken by David Kurtz in 1938 while on vacation, and later discovered by his grandson, Glenn, in 2009. Given that the celluloid was brittle, faded and on the very edge of salvageable, the movie was rescued and restored through the efforts of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Within seven years of Kurtz’s 1938 visit to Nasielsk, only about 100 of the town’s approximately 3,000 Jews would be alive.
3. Death of Zygielbojm (Wednesday, 16 November, 7:00pm)
“I CANNOT BE SILENT AND LIVE WHEN THE REMNANTS OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE IN POLAND ARE DYING”
– THE WORDS OF THE FAREWELL LETTER OF SZMUL ZYGIELBOJM
London 1943. A young British reporter was looking for topics that would push his career forward. One day he came across the case of the death of a mysterious stranger from Poland. The deceased’s name was Szmul Zygielbojm. In occupied Poland, he left his wife and three children to set off on a secret mission, first to New York and then to London. He was to inform the leaders of the Western world about the enormity of the crimes committed by the Germans against millions of European Jews. Zygielbojm’s efforts met with a wall of indifference and incomprehension. In the end, he realized that he was unable to make anyone go to help his brothers, who, in an act of ultimate desperation, took up arms in the Warsaw ghetto. Devastated by his helplessness, he decided to sacrifice his life in the hope that such a victim would not go unnoticed. Now his story is in the hands of a young journalist who will try to make the shocking truth finally see the light of day…
Death of Zygielbojm is a moving true story of one man’s heroic struggle for the world to finally perceive the tragedy of millions.
4. 消失的安妮日記 Where is Anne Frank (Sunday, 20 November, 12:00pm) 中、英文字幕 Chinese and English Subtitles
“THE DIRECTOR BEHIND ‘WALTZ WITH BASHIR,’ THE SUPERB ANIMATED ACCOUNT OF THE HALLUCINATORY HORRORS OF WAR, ARI FOLMAN WAS NEVER GOING TO TAKE THE PREDICTABLE ROUTE WITH HIS RIFF ON THE MUCH LOVED, MUCH TRANSLATED DIARY OF ANNE FRANK”
– THE GUARDIAN
Kitty, the imaginary girl to whom Anne Frank wrote her famous diary, comes to life in the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. Her memories reawakened by reading the diary, believing that if she’s alive, Anne must be alive as well, she sets out on a quest to find Anne. We follow Kitty as she travels across Europe and back to Anne Frank’s time, armed with the precious book, in search of her beloved friend…
In Where is Anne Frank, Kitty tells Anne Frank’s story.