Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Lisa Kallai - January 28, 2008

Thoughts on the Holocaust Portrayed in the Media

In the last twenty years or so there have been Holocaust museums that have, sort of, proliferated all over the world and particularly in the United States, feature movies that have won Academy Awards, documentaries that have won awards, best selling novels, plays, popular, popular things about the Holocaust. Do you think this is altogether this is a good thing or a mixed bag or what do you think?

I think it very much depends how it's done and if it's done well.

Let me give you two examples.


One is The Power of Good...


...and the other is Schindler's List.


What do you think of those, those two?

Well I think Schindler's List has done so much good...it's not that I'm so impressed by it...but it's done an enormous amount good I think. I mean...

How, um...

...you know, after it became the best seller many people changed their minds about the Holocaust.

It's, it's, it's very Hollywood.

Absolutely. I mean, it's not, it's not my choice but I, I...it, it, it did a lot of good.

Hundreds of millions of people were saved.

Absolutely, absolutely.

What do you think about The Power of Good?

It's too close to home, you know. I'm kind of objective about that.

When my uh, I teach about the Holocaust I rarely talk about the rescues because to me it's just a footnote.


But I think this film is um, has a real integrity...

And it shows what one person can do, absolutely.

...and shows what one person can do, that's what it's about. Uh...

Well, I have a personal experience of...I don't know whether you know Hana's Suitcase. Do you know that book?

We just discovered the book actually, uh...

Well, that, that happens to be a relative of mine and, uh...

Levine, was that was her name?

Huh? Well, not the suitcase but...

What, what was her name?

Brady. Her, her brother lives in Canada. I didn't know her but I know her brother well. Whenever he and the Japanese...if you know the story...the Japanese, when they come to Israel they stay with us. I know the story intimately and I just wrote to him yesterday or the day before because I got a letter sort of describing his activities...last year's activities. I cannot understand why that particular book caught the imagination of the whole world and it did. It's been translated into 32 languages or something like that. It's been made into a film and into a play and it just appeals to people. It's, it's uh, the story of one girl's suitcase. There were millions...about a million and a half. In fact, somebody should try to do a...they just wrote to me yesterday that somebody should do a PhD thesis on why...what is the particular appeal of that book.

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