Traces- Portraits of Resistance, Survival and Resolve


Producer: Judith Goldstein and Irene Braam
Director: Juan Pablo De Gamboa
Germany, 2021-22
70 min. total


Join us for this event, with an introduction to the film and a Q&A after the screening

19:30 Introduction of the Traces Trilogy by Judith Goldstein, Humanity in Action’s Executive Director

19:35 Welcome by Anne-Dorte Riggelsen, Danish ambassador to Israel

19:45-20:55 Film screening (70 min.)

20:55-2130 Talk and Q&A with Peter Hein, the protagonist of My Father’s War & Jair Melchior, Chief Rabbi of Denmark and grandson of the late Rabbi Bent Melchior, the protagonist of Voices in the Void, moderated by Katherine Tschemerinsky.

Seventy-seven years after the fall of Nazi Germany, the Holocaust stands as a staggering crime against humanity, and the world continues to grapple with the deep void of the six million souls lost. Yet, in the face of unfathomable horror, fleeting moments of bravery and generosity remind us of our capacity for courage and compassion even under the most harrowing circumstances.

A new animated documentary trilogy from Humanity in Action, the international fellowship organization, brings three such histories to life and to new audiences. As we push deeper into the 21st century, humanity faces an inflection point; the last survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust and the Great Wars leave us, taking with them the first-hand memories of one of humanities darkest chapters. It is incumbent upon us to safeguard their stories and lessons learned at such tremendous expense. Developed by an international team of documentarians, researchers and animators, this new trilogy preserves these critical stories for future generations.


The first film, Voices in the Void, which was released in March 2021, recounts the remarkable “Danish Exception” of October 1943. The piece features the story of late Rabbi Bent Melchior, who, as a teenager went into hiding with his family to escape Nazi deportation. In his own words, Rabbi Melchior tells a story of heroism and survival, and of the regular Danish people who took exceptional steps to save their neighbors and ensure their safe escape to Sweden.

18 min.


The second film in the series, Two Trees in Jerusalem, profiles the remarkable history of Eberhard and Donata Helmrich, who together saved the lives of hundreds of Jews during the Holocaust. The pair worked as a husband and wife team in the eye of the storm, in Berlin and the blood-soaked fields of Eastern Europe, devising ever-more daring gambits to save any life they could, even as death surrounded them. The story is narrated by the couple’s daughter Cornelia Schmalz-Jacobsen, who was called into her parents’ confidence as a child of six, and was imbued with an inner-strength that guided her work decades later as a journalist and politician.

27 min.


The final film in the series, My Father’s War, animates the experiences of Peter Hein and his son David. As a Jewish child in the Netherlands in the 1940s, Peter was separated from his parents and whisked from hiding place to hiding place to escape deportation.

Decades later, his own son David attempts to forge his own path after his father’s mental health disintegrates under the weight of his memories. The film reveals the hereditary trauma of the Holocaust: the deep emotional wounds of forefathers passed on to children and grandchildren. Narrated by both Peter and David, the film depicts an intergenerational conversation, reverberating across the decades.

25 min.
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