Saturday, October 10, 2015

Holocaust documentary nominated for Irish film awards in Dublin

Holocaust documentary nominated
for Irish film awards in Dublin

by staff writer

DUBLIN / NEW YORK -- A Holocaust documentary produced by Gerry Gregg for Irish TV and titled "Close to Evil" has been nominated for the Irish Film and Television Academy(IFTA) awards, dubbed the ''Irish Oscars'' in Dublin, and the awards ceremony is set to take place on October 22,  according to Tomi Reichental, an Irish citizen today who was imprisoned as a teenager in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp and is a focus of the movie.

The awards ceremony will be recorded on tape and then broadcast a few days later on October 26 on Ireland Television, Reichental said.

In related news, Gregg and Reichental will be visiting several colleges in New England at the end of October to screen the movie and conduct question and answer discussions with students and faculty after each college screening.

Among the American colleges where "Close to Evil"  will be screened is Mount Saint Vincent College in New York, when it will be shown on October 28, according to sources.

Reichental, now in his 80s and fit as a fiddle, lost over 35 family members in the Holocaust, and he saw his grandmother's body dumped upon piles of rotting corpses in the spring of 1945 after she died of starvation, he said.

Reichental was born in Slovakia in 1935. After he was liberated from the Nazi labor camp as a teenager, he moved to Ireland and became an Irish citizen in 1977. He settled in Dublin in the 1960s, where he raised a family and ran a jewelry business. He now lectures schoolchildren and adults in Ireland on his Holocaust experiences and what we can learn from them.

The documentary was co-produced by ''Sunday Independent'' newspaper journalist Eoghan Harris, according to Gregg.

"My son lives in California, and I visit San Diego sometimes as I have some friends there," Reichental said in a recent email.

Reichental said he was taken in a Nazi transport train from his hometown, after the selection by the Nazi commander Alois Brunner.

"Brunner died in 2010 in Syria and he is no longer being sought after by the Wiesenthal Center as they have proof that he died. He got away with his crimes," Reichental said.

"I was in Bergen-Belsen," he said. "We lived in block 207."

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