Ethan Bensinger, Selfhelp Board Member and film director of “Refuge” releases another documentary, the journey continues but this time with a different message.
In his last film “Refuge: Stories of The Selfhelp Home” Ethan focused on Jewish victims, specifically the experiences of six survivors, before, during and after the Holocaust. Now 10 years later, Ethan has released a new documentary.
“With my new film we are widening the lens by using a small town, to examine how “the common man” reacted within the framework of the Nazi regime,” said Bensinger.
“What we learned was that not everyone was a Jew-hater,” said Bensinger.
Fulda had its share of perpetrators and bystanders, but most importantly, at least one upstander. Bensinger shared it is an especially important message to our audience.
“People were bad, many were indifferent and yet some were compassionate and did the right thing. We chose to explore the theme of “goodness” in the film,” said Bensinger.
In the late 1930’s, just a few years prior to his deportation and murder, Hugo Sichel gifted two tablecloths to his dear friend Paul Römhild. After eighty years of safe-keeping by the Römhild family in Fulda, Germany, these tablecloths have been returned to Hugo Sichel’s great-nephew. This film is a story of compassion during the darkest hours for Fulda’s Jewish community and two tablecloths which for decades continued to represent the deep friendship between Paul Römhild and his Jewish friend Hugo Sichel. It is also a story of the creation of an emotional and physical bond between a Chicago family and their relative who had become a victim of the Holocaust. And, it is a tale of happenstance.