Today is Author and Holocaust Survivor Henry Oertelt’s Yahrzeit – the one year anniversary of his death. He died at age 90 after speaking about his experiences surviving the Holocaust for almost forty years. Coincidentally this is also International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.
I optioned Henry’s book, An Unbroken Chain: My Journey through the Nazi Holocaust when he was eighty-seven years old. I knew that time was of the essence. After we came to an agreement, we traveled to Minnesota and met him in person with the rest of his family one memorable September weekend.
Henry read my first draft of the screenplay adaptation of his book and gave us his blessing for the project. After a few years of research, I started volunteering at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust as a docent. Then, the Museum recently came on board as our fiscal partner, giving us credibility and more exposure. After a few years of fundraising, we came up with enough money to produce a high quality short film. We felt this was better than doing nothing. If this film moves people, it could still evolve into a feature length film.
We are now in postproduction with our short film with the working title, Bashert – which means “Meant to Be.” We look forward to sharing it with everyone in the coming months.
Additionally, to commemorate this important day in history, the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust and their community partners will mark an area the same size as Auschwitz around Los Angeles with a flash event.
To participate, go to their map (sign in with your Google account) and pick your location to participate in this exciting event.
You can also sign up for our text message alert which will update and inform you about Mapping Auschwitz news. To join, text the phrase mapLA to 25827.
Check out the museum website to learn more.