Film Premiere: The Longest Journey: The Last Days of the Jews of Rhodes
(ISJM) On March 13, 2013 a new documentary on the Jews of Rhodes, directed by Ruggero Gabbai and produced by the Shoah Museum in Rome, will premiere at the museum of Jewish Heritage in New York. The film recounts the history of the Jews of Rhodes and the destruction of the centuries-old community by the Nazi's during the Shoah.
Here is information form the Museum about the film:
THE LONGEST JOURNEYThe Last Days of the Jews of RhodesThe Museum of Jewish HeritageEdmond J. Safra Plaza | 36 Battery PlaceTickets: 626-437-4202In 1938, the Italian Racial Laws stripped the Jews of Rhodes of their civil rights and livelihood. Amidst the indifference and compliance of the Italian authorities, three high school professors, known for their antifascist leanings, held unofficial classes for the Jewish boys and girls. In the fall of 1943, in spite of a much greater military force, after a brief resistance the Italian governor surrendered to the Germans. Many of the soldiers were deported to German labor camps.With the Germans in military control of the island, the Italian civilian authorities took the oath to Mussolini and remained in their positions. They continued to protect Italian interests as well as the Italians who had not fled.The Jewish community, by and large impoverished and unaware of what was happening to the Jews in Europe and even in Greece, witnessed the events following the armistice in complete isolation. Even though they were all Italian citizens, they were left out of the communication network that might have helped them make informed decisions.On July 19, 1944, 1,800 of them, including elderly and children, all of them Italian citizens, were summoned to the air force headquarter and reported promptly to the authorities. Four days later they were loaded on boats and transported to Athens. They arrived in Auschwitz on August 16. Only 42 Turkish citizens were spared thanks to the intervention of the Turkish consul.Today little remains of the culture and history of the Jews of Rhodes and this film is a precious contribution in tracing a continuity from that lost world to ours.For additional information visit www.primolevicenter.org