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UCLA Festival of Preservation

Sunday, September 18, 2011
4:00 p.m. This Is Your Life: Holocaust Survivors
Axel Gruenberg, Richard Gottlieb (U.S., 1953, 1955, 1961)

New Preservation Prints!
Introduction/Julie Kohner


Julie Kohner is the daughter of Hanna Bloch Kohner.

Hosted by the effervescent Ralph Edwards, This Is Your Life presented tributes to notable people on NBC from 1952 until 1961. Not only movie and television stars received the “This Is Your Life” treatment—war heroes, country doctors, educators, religious leaders, humanitarians, and ordinary people found themselves subjects of biographical journeys that featured reunions with long-lost friends and relatives. Among those “regular” people were three exceptional women, all survivors of the Holocaust, which at the time was a fresh and horrific memory. Culled from three episodes, this program presents the lives of these courageous women: Hanna Bloch Kohner, the first Holocaust survivor to share her story on national television, who as a young woman survived Auschwitz and was reunited with her pre-war fiancé; actress Ilse Stanley, who before her forced exit from Germany, effected the release of over four hundred people from Nazi concentration camps; and Dutch housewife Sara Veffer, who spent eighteen months hiding in a twelve-foot square Amsterdam attic with her husband and six children.

“Hanna Bloch Kohner”May 27, 1953. Directed, written by Gruenberg, 30 mins, B&W, DigiBeta, Permission Ralph Edwards Productions.

“Ilse Stanley”November 2, 1955. Directed, written by Gruenberg, 30 mins, B&W, DigiBeta, Permission Ralph Edwards Productions.

“Sara Veffer” March 19, 1961. Directed by Gottlieb. Written by Gruenberg, 30 mins, B&W, DigiBeta, Permission Ralph Edwards Productions.

• Total running time: 90 mins

Preserved in cooperation with the Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio-Visual Conservation from 35mm picture and soundtrack negatives and 16mm kinescopes. Preservation funded by Righteous Persons Foundation and the Ronald T. Shedlo Preservation Fund.