By Erin Banes
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – More than 250 people attended a screening of the film “Germans and Jews” on Nov. 29 at Camden County College. The Jewish Community Relations Council’s Esther Raab Holocaust Museum and Goodwin Education Center hosted the screening at 7 p.m. in Civic Hall.
“Germans and Jews” was directed by Janina Quint, a non-Jewish native of Germany, and Tal Recanti, an American-Israeli Jew. It explores “the current relationship between Germany and its Jewish population” by addressing “Germany’s transformation from silence about the Holocaust to facing it head on.”
The night began with viewers signing in and filing into Civic Hall, which was almost full. Chairs and a projection of the film were set in the Atrium for an overflow of viewers.
John Pesda, director of the Center for Civic Leadership and Responsibility, was first to greet the audience. “Tonight we are going to talk about the reconciliation between Germans and Jews,” he said.
Don Borden, Camden County College’s president, spoke next. He said he had a childhood friend whose parents escaped the Holocaust so this subject was close to his heart. He said he hoped viewing this film would allow people to “contribute to the healing that is needed in our divided nation.”
After the film, Recanti held a discussion with the audience. Many viewers just wanted to thank Recanti for making the film. After being asked what Germans thought of the film when it was shown in Mannheim and Heidelberg, Recanti said, “I think the Germans felt that it was an accurate account. The Germans have a clear sense of responsibility, but they should not still feel guilty.”
Camden County College was one of the last of many places Recanti has brought “Germans and Jews.” However, it will be shown at the Park Avenue Synagogue in New York City on Dec. 13 and at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival in Israel on Dec. 28 and 29.
Recanti said it will be available on DVD in April and she is trying to have it shown on television as well as available on Netflix.