Between the years of 1933 and 1945 the Nazi war machine committed unspeakable acts of horror that forever changed the story of the Jewish people—and almost 70 years later, it is nearly impossible to truly understand the atrocites that occured during this time. It is only through telling and re-telling of individual narratives and personal histories that one can begin to understand the true impact and legacy of the Holocaust.
Through animation and first-hand testimony, UNSPEAKABLE offers these remarkable stories of survival. We are at an important moment in history where the last survivors of the Holocaust are slipping away and the window of opportunity to preserve their still-living memory is almost closed. Scores of wrenching images have been burned into our collective memory through a myriad of Holocaust films and documentaries: bodies piled upon bodies, the face of a crying child as it is wrenched from its mother’s arms, the emaciated man huddled in the corner overshadowed by towering SS officers. This footage plays a vital role in preserving history. And yet, animation, which lacks the narrative and physical boundaries of traditional film, offers an opportunity to witness these experiences through a new lens and help continue the essential dialogue that these events really happened and can happen again if society lets these lessons fade from view.
This film is personal for many involved in its making—we are the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of family members who survived and perished during the Holocaust. Visually inspired by paintings of the director’s 98-year-old grandfather, a survivor who used a paintbrush to tell the story he found so difficult to describe in words,UNSPEAKABLE offers a powerful and unique portrait of atrocities which must never again be allowed to occur.
But we can’t do it alone.
Through a groundswell of community awareness, our goal is to have people of all ethnicities, religions, and classes come together in support of this project and, in turn, take a stand against genocide. This project will help educate, inspire, and preserve the legacy of the individuals and families affected by the Holocaust for generations to come. Only through the generosity of others will we be able to make this vision a reality and give a voice to victims both past and present.
Our initial focus will be to create an 8-10 minute short film, telling one of the 52,000 stories from The Shoah Archives. This animated short will be used as an educational tool at synagogues, churches, and schools worldwide. In addition, the short film coupled with your donations will build the foundation for a feature-length animated film, allowing us to begin initial story development and research.
The feature-length film will interweave multiple stories, illustrating the wide breadth of experiences endured by survivors: outsiders in a time and place when nothing was more dangerous than being thought of as different. Jews, homosexuals, Gypsies, and intellectuals all suffered under the Nazi regime, and it is these stories that will be explored. Our narrative journey begins before the war with life in shtetls, and moves through the Nazification of Europe and the horrors of concentration camps, finally coming to liberation and reintegration—and the impact of the war on those who survived and their families.
If you would like to send a check, please make payable to “Artspire, a Program of NYFA” and mail to FACULTY NY 68 Jay Street #812 Brooklyn NY 11201