“Do you know what happened to me on Dizengoff Street?"
October 11, 2017 11:42 AM   Subscribe

I Have a Message for You (NYT Op-Docs) is a short video documentary by Matan Rochlitz about holocaust survivor Klara Prowisor. "To escape Auschwitz, she left her father to die. Decades later, she got a message from him."
posted by amf (31 comments total) 61 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'm crying. Excellent use of the serendipity tag.
posted by lalex at 11:50 AM on October 11 [3 favorites]


I watched this yesterday, truly a remarkable and moving story. It's only ten minutes long, but what minutes they are.
posted by storybored at 11:52 AM on October 11 [2 favorites]


Wow.
posted by chococat at 12:09 PM on October 11


That's not dust in my eye, that's emotion creating those tears. Both sadness, and joy. The offhand religious remarks at the end brought a smile through my tears.
posted by el io at 12:15 PM on October 11 [4 favorites]


Thanks for this post; what a moving story.
posted by dhruva at 12:24 PM on October 11


Oh, my.
posted by allthinky at 12:26 PM on October 11


Grew up in Tel Aviv in the 80's.

The city was chock full of Eleanor Rigbies with stories like this lady's.

And even though just about any member of the Tribe who survived that era would sooner or later take a stroll down Dizengoff Street, in the days before Facebook, it did take decades to find individual survivors to deliver such messages.
posted by ocschwar at 12:38 PM on October 11 [6 favorites]


This was quite a story. An amazing story, how time plays tricks on us.
posted by Oyéah at 1:10 PM on October 11


Beautifully shot, perfect use of animation, excellent scoring... a marvel.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 1:32 PM on October 11


Wonderful. I am floored.
posted by doornoise at 1:54 PM on October 11


oh fucking autoplaying AD irony.

before the video, there's an ad for fucking UBS, who in 1997 tried to steal the money of holocaust survivors. The story linked above gets gnarlier.....
posted by lalochezia at 2:12 PM on October 11 [6 favorites]


(Sorry, it didn't play an ad for me before the video started.)
posted by amf at 2:25 PM on October 11 [1 favorite]


not to take away from your post. it's an amazing story.
posted by lalochezia at 2:26 PM on October 11 [1 favorite]


Just a little line - she was hidden by Belgian citizens until the end of the war - through those years of starvation and fighting and privation. What a story.
posted by Bee'sWing at 2:33 PM on October 11 [2 favorites]


The husband reveal was a nice moment.
posted by OHenryPacey at 3:33 PM on October 11 [15 favorites]


'Are you a God person?' and the dismissive little feh hand gesture at the end - this woman is a queen.
posted by palindromic at 4:56 PM on October 11 [9 favorites]


Yeah, hey Klara, tell us the God chapter, I wanna hear it.
posted by janey47 at 6:45 PM on October 11 [6 favorites]


:)
posted by wibari at 8:52 PM on October 11


This was a beautiful story, beautifully told.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:33 AM on October 12 [1 favorite]


OHenryPacey: "The husband reveal was a nice moment."

That was the killer for me. Totally brilliant use of the camera and the words: breathtaking.
posted by chavenet at 2:40 AM on October 12 [4 favorites]


Lovely. A tiny bit of good has triumphed here amidst so much evil. And they escaped together and are still together in their 90s. Of course her father was glad she jumped, but it meant so much to get that confirmed.
posted by mermayd at 5:28 AM on October 12


it's dusty in here

Marvelous story.
posted by james33 at 5:39 AM on October 12


Well, I guess I'll be That Guy. I think it's a lovely story told by a lovely storyteller, but I also think it is not literally true. I think something happened that brought Klara to peace about her decision, but not exactly as she told it. I can think of a variety of ways that her experience could have evolved into this story but there's no way that all of the pieces fit together as she told it, with respect to a stranger seeing and recognizing her on the street 20 years later and her not even getting the woman's name.
posted by janey47 at 7:07 AM on October 12


I’m in the incredibly fortunate position to hear a lot of these kinds of stories. Tales of survival and redemption from refugees, drug addicts, victims of abuse, etc. Often they are woven with a thread of magic, of faith, of the supernatural. When I listen to these stories, sometimes I think, there’s no way it happened like this, or maybe something was misinterpreted, maybe meaning being ascribed to a random event, maybe the facts were twisted by time and memory. And surely sometimes things happened exactly as they are told to me.

But my interpretation isn’t what’s important. What is important is that Klara’s story is true for her. It’s a moment upon which her entire life, filled with 92 years of trauma and love and perseverance and meaning hinges. She might have turned into an empty shell of a human (as is the fate of many witnesses to horror). But she didn’t and she has all the proof she needs to explain why she didn’t. That’s as close to real magic that you are going to find in the world.

Humans have the capacity to be amazing.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:22 AM on October 12 [4 favorites]


there's no way that all of the pieces fit together as she told it, with respect to a stranger seeing and recognizing her on the street 20 years later and her not even getting the woman's name.

Well, it is possible that the encounter on the street did happen, but, at age 92, she doesn't remember exactly the details of it, but mainly remembers the emotionally important part of it. 20 years after the death transport was a long time ago.
posted by thelonius at 9:34 AM on October 12


with respect to a stranger seeing and recognizing her on the street 20 years later

I would bet that the faces of the people who escaped from your boxcar on the way to Auschwitz are not terribly hard to remember.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:54 AM on October 12 [6 favorites]


I think it's a lovely story told by a lovely storyteller, but I also think it is not literally true.

Yes, she probably wasn't on Dizengoff street but Arlozorov. Hence... hence... hence...

What struck me most about this story is the immutable truth of it: she was on her way to be killed, simply because of her 'race,' and she jumped to freedom, leaving her father behind. She was on this street or that, someone came up to her and said 'x y z' or she made peace some other way. There's nothing to be 'That Guy' about. The story moves you or you feel manipulated by it: I took from it a reminder and a warning - never again, never again should we let one group become so strong that it decides another group should be rounded up and slaughtered. Lately this strikes me pertinent to our times. Dizengof street or not.
posted by From Bklyn at 11:12 AM on October 12 [1 favorite]


What is important is that Klara’s story is true for her.

I don't actually think this works. It's important to her that her father died on the train, that he never saw Auschwitz, and was not murdered there. So her concern must be that this is what actually happened, not that, over the decades, she adopted that narrative as a way to cope with the unimaginable pain of this crime, when he in fact died in the gas chamber.
posted by thelonius at 11:42 AM on October 12


with respect to a stranger seeing and recognizing her on the street 20 years later

I don't find this unbelievable. 20 years isn't that long.
posted by LoveHam at 1:10 PM on October 12 [5 favorites]


there's no way that all of the pieces fit together as she told it, with respect to a stranger seeing and recognizing her on the street 20 years later and her not even getting the woman's name.

There is literally no reason for you to doubt the story other than your belief that it's unlikely, but stranger coincidences happen every day. According to the documentary the anonymous woman didn't randomly encounter Klara: the woman had been looking for her for twenty years. Israel is a small country - it was even smaller back then - and there are official and unofficial channels to help survivors find relatives and so forth. People are still rebuilding connections that were broken by the Holocaust; I've done it myself. If you're genuinely troubled by the idea that someone would carry a stranger's dying message to their child then I don't know what to say. Maybe you should contact the producer and ask them.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:08 PM on October 14 [1 favorite]


This was beautiful, thanks for posting.
posted by Mchelly at 5:25 AM on October 15 [1 favorite]


« Older "We'll call it, 'The Bloody Awful'"   |   SKVLL CVLTS, where the dead are not gone or... Newer »


You are not currently logged in. Log in or create a new account to post comments.