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DVD video

Title The Sleeping book
Published 2008


Location Call no. Vol. Availability
 W'PONDS STACK AVC  390 Com/Pas  2008/10/12  AVAILABLE
Description 1 videodisc (DVD) (30 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in
Series Compass (Television program)
Summary "Two years ago Melbourne ophthalmologist Harry Lew began a mission to revive a story that began in a Polish town almost 70 years ago: a true story so terrible that when it was first published few could bear to read it. 'The Annihilation of Bialystoker Jewry' is a meticulous account of a once thriving Polish town, its 60,000 Jewish residents and their systematic destruction by the Nazis during WW2. The book was written by one of Bialystoks few survivors, Rafael Rajzner, who had lost his whole family and endured a succession of concentration camps before starting a new life in Australia after the war. Rajzner was a man with an extraordinary memory. He had started writing his book in the first week of his freedom in Europe and finished it in Melbourne where it was published in 1948. Five years later he died of heart problems aged 56, and his life's work lay sleeping on the shelves of Jewish homes in Melbourne. Decades later when Harry Lew learned of the books existence, he was unable to read it because it was written in Yiddish, an old language that had united Jews from many different European countries. Harry's parents came from Bialystok. He was one of the first babies born to the post-WW2 wave of Jewish migrants who settled in Melbourne. He decided it had to be republished in English so its message wouldnt die with time. But with so few Yiddish translators, this was trickier than he imagined. Harry went global, appealing to prominent Yiddish speakers world-wide asking for a mitzvah, a Hebrew word for a good deed. Each volunteer was asked to translate a 10-page section. Many offered to do more. Slowly the translations came back with their stories of Bialystok and its people told anew. It has just been published with a new title, 'The Stories Our Parents Found Too Painful To Tell'. This Compass episode is narrated by ABC Radio host and Book Show presenter Romana Koval, herself a child of Polish Holocaust survivors. It traces the story of Bialystok and its people through those who knew Rafael Rajzner, and the children of Bialystok survivors living in Melbourne today. They can now finally read about what became of their family members in Bialystok. And it charts Harry Lews extraordinary mission to bring a sleeping book back to life. " -- ABC TV Compass homepage
Notes Off-air recording of ABC-TV broadcast October 12, 2008. Copied under Part VA of the Copyright Act
Based on the book and name of original work in Yiddish language, 'The Annihilation of Bialystoker Jewry' by Rafael Rajzner
Credits Producer: Tracy Spring
Performer Presenter: Geraldine Doogue ; authors/writers, Rafael Rajzner, Harry Lew ; narrator, Romana Koval
Notes DVD
No rating given
Available for Deakin University staff and students only
Subject Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) -- Poland
Translating and interpreting
Białystok (Poland)
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) -- Poland -- Bialystok -- Personal narratives
Author Doogue, Geraldine, 1947-
Spring, Tracy
Lew, Henry R
Rayzner, Refaʼel
Koval, Romana
ABC-TV (Australia)