They Were Too Afraid to Ask.
Liga Terezin is a 50 minute documentary that is not easy to stomach. The football peaks the interest but the History is uncompromising. The number of dead is down to the last person. The images are traumatic.
The 12th graders in Stuttgart at the Johann-Friedrich-Von Cotta-Shule school were speechless.
The course on Racism from the 3rd Reich until modern day Crimea and Gaza welcomed us with open arms on the eve of International Holocaust Day.
Before the showing I explained why I thought the day was important.
I asked them to watch with an eye to understanding what personal message they could gleam.
And now we stand in the front with no reaction.
So I did what is natural. I asked myself the question and replied with my preferred answer.
Why did I make the film?
Because it shows when the individual puts his mind to it the individual can make a difference.
Oded was determined to find every scrap of information about the picture of his Uncle Pavel and through the journey we met people who played football in the Ghetto watched football in the Ghetto and and were on the team that filmed the game. The last shot shows Oded kicking the ball up to his uncle.
Oded explained the modern day significance. In the crowd the individual Can make a difference.
And finally a question from the very back of the room.
How did I feel about the film I made?
"Proud." I replied " I think I made a difference. As you saw at Yad Vashem the Former Head of the German Football Association Dr Theo Zwanziger told the German youth players that the element they will have to be a better player, is that they are better people. I think that by watching the film you will be better prepared for that moment when you can make a difference. "
And after the film was over the young individuals came over and wondered aloud whether it would be safe to meet with Israelis in a place they saw, framed only in conflict. How to maintain ones identity when you are born in Germany and your roots are in Kosovo, Turkey or Greece.
Universal issues faced at that magical moment in time.
The answer was in the voice from the back of the room.
Stand in the face of the uncomfortable issues and pressure of self expression.
Ask the question.