Taking the Stand: We Have More to Say
100 Questions – 900 Answers
October 6, 2015
Thomas J. Dodd Research Center
As part of a major speaking tour across the United States, author and award-winning filmmaker Bernhard Rammerstorfer presents his latest Book and DVD entitled “TAKING THE STAND”. Accompanied by by Austrian Victim of Nazi Tyranny Mrs. Hermine Liska, he is providing one of the last opportunities to meet, in person, a Nazi Era eyewitness.
Hermine Liska, a target of the Nazi re-education program as a child of Bible Students (Jehovah’s Witnesses) who rejected Nazi ideology, in “Taking the Stand” recounts:
“I did not use the greeting “Heil Hitler!” and did not join the Hitler Youth.”
“You must not plot revenge, because that harms you even more. Vengeful thoughts are the worst you can have; they do you more harm.”
“TAKING THE STAND: We Have More to Say” condenses insights and experiences of nine victims of the Nazi movement and their messages to the younger generation. They are from five different countries and were persecuted for reasons of ethnicity, politics/ideology, or religion. All in all, they were interned in fifty-four camps or institutions, they were imprisoned for 528 months (44 years), and all together they can provide life experience totaling 806 years 7 months! The variety of the survivor’s experiences allows, not merely a small sliver of the Holocaust to be displayed, but rather the whole spectrum of the Holocaust is brought into view. For five years, Rammerstorfer collected questions directed to Holocaust survivors that were posed by schoolchildren and students all over the world. The catalog of questions, unique in the world, consists of 100 questions from 61 schools and universities in 30 countries on 6 continents.
What is truly innovative about this project is that all the Holocaust survivors were asked the same questions. As a result, a point-for-point comparison of their answers is possible.
Those whose voices are heard range from an average housewife and an unskilled laborer to a fashion designer, from those who have been relatively silent to active Holocaust teachers and to survivors who have already been widely featured in the media and whose life stories have even been the subject of Oscar-winning films.
Professor Walter Manoschek, political scientist and film maker, University of Vienna, says about “TAKING THE STAND:”
“Bernhard Rammerstorfer meticulously checked the historical accuracy of the interviewees’ statements, discussed the answers several times with those concerned, and made additions where necessary. As a result, the book has value as a scientific work.”