The Columbia Holocaust Education Commission is proud to announce a fascinating Holocaust Education Program featuring a local biographer and a New York Emmy winning film maker. The public will have two opportunities to view the documentary, Lost Childhood: The Story of the Birkenau Boys, followed with a talk-back with the writer and co-producer of the film, Rich Newberg; and Sarah Spoto, writer and educator.

Sarah Spoto, a Social Studies teacher in Elgin, SC, will lead this FREE public program at the Katie & Irwin Kahn Jewish Community Center on Sunday, February 25th at 7:00 pm and at Harbison Theatre on Tuesday, February 27th at 7:00 pm. The program will also be shared at various Midlands-area schools throughout the week.

Lyssa Harvey, CHEC Co-Chair, says, “This program is designed to help students increase their knowledge of the Holocaust and find significance by relating to the experiences of the Lost Childhood. Our goal is to help integrate personal experiences to increase tolerance and acceptance of all individuals.”

Prior to moving to South Carolina, Sarah Spoto was working in Rochester, NY and became a close friend and confidant to Holocaust Survivor Henry Silberstern. Sarah wrote the biography of Henry, describing the years in which teen Henry was shuttled from one concentration camp to another. Ultimately, Rich Newberg made a movie about Henry’s association with other young male teens, who became known as “the Birkenau Boys,” during this time. This award-winning documentary follows the Boys’ return to Europe fifty years after their liberation, delivering a powerful message about horror, humanity, and hope. Following the documentary viewing, Sarah and Rich will share their insights and experiences with Henry, and questions will be entertained.

This program is made possible through sponsorships by the Selden K. Smith Foundation, the South Carolina Council on the Holocaust, and the Columbia Jewish Federation.