|Those in attendance during the film symposium included staff of the|
Department of Teacher Training and Edith Spitz-Polak (third from left),
cousin of Bertram Polak
In 2001, Dr. Arnoud-Jan Bijsterveld, a professor at Tilburg University in the southern Netherlands decided to renovate his house, and being a historian by profession, began to look into the history of its previous owners. To his amazement the house had previously belonged to the Polak family, a Jewish Dutch family in Tilburg that was in the leather business. Last Thursday, March 6, 2014 a symposium was held in the International School for Holocaust Studies of Yad Vashem focusing on Jewish life during the Holocaust through an exploration of Dutch film. The lectures were part of an ongoing enrichment for staff of the Department of Teacher Training who instruct Israeli educators how to teach about the Holocaust. Following an introduction to the day’s events by Sarit Hoch-Markovitz, Director of Teacher Training at the International School of Yad Vashem, a lecture was given by Dr. Bijsterveld, who following his incredible personal discovery, made a documentary about the Jewish Dutch Polak family who had built and lived in his house.
|Dr. Bijsterveld during his lecture on the life and death of Bertram Polak|
|Page of Testimony filled out for Bertram Polak by his|
cousin in 1977
The film symposium concluded with a lecture given by Eyal Boers, a documentary filmmaker and Head of the Film & Television Track in the Communication Department at Ariel University, about the perception of the Jew in Dutch cinema. Boers also showed a part of the documentary film he directed, Classmates of Anne Frank as well as short clips of other films from the Netherlands to show how the Shoah is portrayed in Dutch cinema.
Dr. Bijsterveld's documentary film Here Was Bertram (with English subtitles) can be viewed on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7nTpuCZJTE