Over the years, the Selfhelp Home in Chicago has brought together more than 1,000 refugees and Holocaust survivors under one roof. A new documentary film, "Refuge: Stories of the Selfhelp Home", features the stories of the eventual residents of Selfhelp, who spent the war years surviving by any means necessary – fleeing to the Jewish ghetto of Shanghai, hiding in the French countryside, taken in by English families as part of the Kindertransport, or as prisoners in Auschwitz and other concentration camps.
Theirs are stories of separations, of deportations, of selections and of decisions that meant the difference between life and death. Bringing their stories up to the present, the film also addresses the founders’ concern for the home’s future, when the last eyewitnesses to the Holocaust, who animated Selfhelp and gave it its unique mission and meaning, will be gone.
On Wednesday’s Access Utah, in the final program in our recent Holocaust series, we’ll talk with the director, Ethan Bensinger, and hear stories of Holocaust survivors and refugees in their own words from the film.