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COMMENTS ABOUT
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PETER BERGSON, AMERICA AND THE HOLOCAUST

The work-in-progress was screened in short versions beginning in 2009.
The final version (58 min.) will be released in September 2014
.

Winner, Documentary Award, Toronto Jewish Film Festival

A provocative film about a provocative man who is finally given his full say for history on one of the enduring questions of the Shoah: What could have been done by the U.S. and its allies and by American Jews to save the Jews of Europe—and why wasn’t it done.  Bergson presents his views boldly and Pierre Sauvage has empowered him for posterity.
   
Dr. Michael Berenbaum, Holocaust scholar, served as project director in the creation of the U. S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

This provocative film will open festering wounds that need to be pierced to form a scab of healing.  No one who witnesses this cautionary tale will leave unmoved.
   
Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis

The filmof the utmost importanceshines a bright light on a shamefully neglected aspect of the tormented and at the same time uplifting story of the Jewish people.
   
Sir Martin Gilbert, Winston Churchill's official biographer, and one of Britain's leading historians

Bergson’s voice resounds, his passion challenges anew, as he warns that massive abuses of human life will rage with impunity as long as people of all kinds are silent, fearful, and busy with other news.  By remembering the past, Bergson and Sauvage rightly hold all of us accountable in the present and for the future.
   
Dr. John K. Roth, Edward J. Sexton Professor Emeritus of Philosophy; Founding Director, The Center for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights, Claremont McKenna College

This brilliant, galvanizing, and profoundly moving documentary celebrates Peter Bergson's vigorous efforts to end the silence and the slaughter that defined the Holocaust.
   
Dr. Blanche Wiesen Cook, historian

Pierre Sauvage's new documentary means much to all those who work for remembering the Tragedy.  [Peter Bergson was the best friend and ally abandoned European Jews had in wartime America.]
   
Elie Wiesel

During World War II, Peter Bergson led the single most effective public campaign to press the U. S. government to try to rescue Jews from the Holocaust.  This excellent film, meticulously assembled by Pierre Sauvage, presents Bergson’s own powerful testimony about the obstruction that he and his group metand about the very limited commitment to rescue that was finally extracted from the Roosevelt Administration.
   
Dr. David S. Wyman, historian, author, The Abandonment of the Jews and co-author, A Race Against Death: Peter Bergson, America, and the Holocaust

A fascinating and powerful film about a man whose words and actions were, tragically, ignored.
    Bernard Weinraub, author, The Accomplices, a play about Peter Bergson and those times in America

Very powerful and compelling, especially coming directly from Peter Bergson's mouth.
    Zev Yaroslavsky, Los Angeles County Supervisor, 3rd District

Packs quite a punch.  Hillel Kook, otherwise known as Peter Bergson, was a driven person who was committed to saving Jews in peril during the Holocaust.  Pierre Sauvage’s indignant film, derives its title from a comment uttered by Bergson. “We stood idly by,” he declared, charging that mainstream Jewish organizations did precious little to try to rescue their brethren in Europe.
    Sheldon Kirshner, Canadian Jewish News, April, 15, 2010

The fascinating story of Peter Bergson has never been told in such depth.  "I know why I found him a riveting figure.  I was raised with taboos," says Sauvage.  "There will be some concern along the lines of, Is this good for the Jews.  What's good for the Jews is self-knowledge.  If you live with lies you won't be able to make informed choices."
    Hannah Brown, The Jerusalem Post,
Dec. 7, 2009

Tightly edited.  Fascinating materials that have been largely forgotten for 40 years.  Bergson's statements are still highly provocative, which makes Sauvage's film sometimes tough to endure; it's frequently an onslaught of barbed words buffered by choral extracts from the symphonic "We Will Never Die" lament, but that's likely the point: stir up thought and action, and make those words timeless and thereby cautionary when another genocide is in play, and avoid repeating mistakes that led to millions of deaths.
   
Mark R. Hasan, KQEK.com DVD review 

Riveting.
   
Susan Freudenheim, Jewish Journal, April 13, 2019

Documents the agonizing efforts by Bergson, a militant Palestinian Jew, to arouse America in the early 1940s to the Nazi extermination of Europe’s Jews.  Sauvage, noting current threats facing the Jewish people, observed “How can we meet the challenges of the future, if we don’t examine the failures of the past?”
    Tom Tugend, Jewish Journal, Los Angeles, April 15, 2009, also Hadassah Magazine, Aug.-Sept. 2009

An insightful filmmaker’s vision of this legendary man.
    All About Jewish Theatre: L. A. Celebrates Peter Bergson

Three Lies "Filmmaker Pierre Sauvage and the daughter of Holocaust rescuer Peter Bergson talk about people who put their lives at risk to save others."
by David Samuels, Tabletmag.com, Jan. 25, 2012

Two New Films on U.S. Jewry's Response to the Holocaust by Dr. Rafael Medoff

PAST SCREENINGS OF THE WORK-IN-PROGRESS

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NOT IDLY BY
PETER BERGSON, AMERICA AND THE HOLOCAUST


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