Holocaust survivors team up with songwriters in “We Remember: Songs of Survivors” – April 26 at 8 p.m.

Holocaust survivors team up with songwriters in “We Remember: Songs of Survivors” – April 26 at 8 p.m.

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New one hour special

We Remember: Songs of Survivors airs April 26, 2022 on PBS

Witness the healing powers of music and friendship as Holocaust survivors share their stories with songwriters

PBS announces We Remember: Songs of Survivors, an hour-long special celebrating the lives of Holocaust survivors through stories and music. the documentary will premiere the week of Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, on Tuesday, April 26 at 8:00 p.m.

Songwriter Elizabeth Clark asks Friede Holocaust survivor Freide Gorewitz if she would share her operetta-style song singing a solo. (Freide was once a popular opera singer.)

We Remember: Songs of Survivors follows four talented singer-songwriters from New York’s Hudson Valley tasked with creating original songs about the experiences of local Holocaust survivors. The film documents the relationships that develop and the songwriting process over several months, culminating in a moving live concert where survivors and songwriters are celebrated by friends, family and community.

“At a time when the spoken word is confronted with the horrors of war and hate, we wanted to tell the hopeful story of perseverance and love,” says We Remember co-producer Ilene Cutler: Songs of Survivors.

man playing "Shofar" a long animal horn-shaped instrument
Holocaust survivor Tibor Spitz interrupts a creative session with songwriter Kelleigh McKenzie to show off his Shofar chops.

PBS is honored to shed light on this moving and powerful project, which has shed light on how music can uniquely commemorate these stories of resilience,” said Zara Frankel, Director of Programming and Development at PBS. “Through a collaborative songwriting process, the musicians featured in this film present the inspiring life of each survivor, commemorating the full extent of the strength and joy they inspired during their lifetime.”

In-depth interviews with the survivors – Rita, Tibor, Tommy and Freide – and access to rare personal archives lead to revealing stories, many of which have been buried deep in their memories for decades. At the same time, the songwriters – Michael, Jude, Kelleigh and Elizabeth – create video diaries to document their own thoughts and feelings about the experience of telling the story of a Holocaust survivor through song.

The songwriters on stage for their finale in honor of their Holocaust survivors.
The songwriters on stage for their finale in honor of their Holocaust survivors.

“There are many documentaries about the Holocaust. However, few have taken such a unique approach to telling these horrific stories. We wanted to shine a light on the devastating experiences of Holocaust survivors while celebrating the possibilities of healing through the power of music,” said Tom Miller, co-producer of We Remember: Songs of Survivors. “Little did we know that this film, with its powerful message, would change the lives of survivors and songwriters.

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