Dan Jacobson grew up in Denver, Colorado, with his mothers parents close by, both survivors of the Holocaust in Europe during WWII. Dan’s grandfather Steve was born in a small village in Romania before the war, but the war came and his life was profoundly affected. He is one of 2 family members to have survived the concentration camps, and he escaped from Auschwitz days before the liberation in 1945. In 2006 Dan went with his grandfather, his parents and his sister, to the village in Romania, Deda Bistra, and he filmed the journey, spent 2 years editing the footage, and in 2009 released the movie Looking For Roots, Finding Flowers which has just been made available to the public on YouTube!
Dan talks about how his grandfather’s stories were part of his childhood, the Jewish commandment to remember and where that comes from, what it was like to make the film and how he sees it now. Paradigms offers Dan’s story, with music and audio excerpts from the film, as well as some other musical selections, including Dan with his band Roomtones.
The atrocities of WWII stand out, but since WWII the US alone has killed over 20 million people in war. Add to that all the other wars in the last 75 years and it becomes clear that humanity is engaged in an ongoing holocaust of violence and cruelty. Perhaps we can learn from Dan’s film, which is part of one family’s story, out of many millions of stories.
• Radio version of this episode (59:51 minutes)
Music by: my bloody valentine, Roomtones, Ancuta Anghel, Klezmer Conservatory Band, Smiley, London Festival Orchestra – Danielle Dechenne & Ferdinand Lang, Cantor Josef Rosenblatt, and Naftule Brandwein.