Thursday, January 7, 2010

Survivor Celebrating 89 years, subject of feature film: An Unbroken Chain

This month, Holocaust Survivor, Henry Oertelt turns 89, but he’s still just a kid to his big brother Kurt, age 95.

Why another Holocaust flick? Abraham Foxman, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League  calls 2009 arguably the worst year for anti-Semitism in his tenure with the organization.

Last month, the Auschwitz sign was stolen. One man who was there wants to tell his story in order to educate people about acceptance. Minnesota resident, Holocaust Survivor and author, Henry Oertelt was born almost 89 years ago, January 13,  in Berlin, Germany. His book, An Unbroken Chain: My Journey Through the Nazi Holocaust, tells of 18 life saving events and circumstances that led to his survival and that of his 95 year old brother, Kurt’s from 5 concentration camps, including Auschwitz.

We are making an exciting action film that will entice the next generation. An Unbroken Chain will be designed from the start as a tool for educators as well as a national theatrical release.

Today teachers are using documentaries from the Shoah Foundation, as well as Life in a Jar: The Irene Sendler Story, Paper Clips and older films like the 1969 based The Wave and the Diary of Anne Frank.  However, one teacher commented that films like The Wave “seem very outdated for the young and twittered.”

We are consulting with experts like Facing History: Facing Ourselves and educators to insure that our film will be a lasting tool for Holocaust education in schools. The budget of our project? $6,000,000.00.

We started a 501(c)(3) education fund, Six Million for Six Million, for the film project that will provide tax deductions to donors.  We have estimated the film and marketing budget to be six million dollars. We thought, if six million people donate one dollar each, we can make this film.  Now we have raised one third of the funds from our partners at MarVista Entertainment who will executive produce and distribute this film. Karben Publishing, the book’s publisher, will carry the film and distribute it to educators all over the world.

The campaign against hate doesn’t stop with anti-semetism. The ADL is also working with MTV on a new project called “A Thin Line” which is aimed to curb the spread of abuse occurring via cyberbullying, text messaging and other digital mediums. Cyberbullying is a growing problem that affects almost half of all U.S. teens.

Henry's lecture and book, An Unbroken Chain, have amazed audiences for 40 years. Help honor Henry's 89th birthday on January 13 and spread the word. Consider donating a dollar or more at

(Henry is pictured with Inge, his wife of 63 years)

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