A new Holocaust film, directed by Agnieszka Holland, the woman who directed the film “Europa, Europa” back in 1990, opened in “select theaters” on Feb. 17th and will be shown in my city next week. I am looking forward to seeing this film because I liked “Europa, Europa” so much that I saw it twice.
The new movie is about the Lvov Ghetto in what is now the city of Lviv in Ukraine. Before the joint invasion of Poland by Germany and the Soviet Union in 1939, the city of Lvov was home to 120,000 Jews. At that time, Lvov was located in territory that had formerly belonged to Germany before World War I; the German name for the city was Lemberg.
The Nazis did not occupy the city of Lvov until after the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941 and by that time, the number of Jews in the city had increased to 220,000, according to Wikipedia. Between October 1939 and June 1941, Lvov had been in Soviet-occupied territory. The Lvov ghetto was set up by the Germans in November 1941 and liquidated in June 1943 when the Jews in the ghetto were sent to the Belzec death camp or the Janowska concentration camp.
One of my most popular blog posts was about how Amon Goeth saved Jews from the ghettos in the Lublin area by taking bribes from them in exchange for not sending them to Belzec. I haven’t seen the new film about the Lvov ghetto, but I wonder if some of the Lvov Jews saved themselves by bribing the Germans who were in charge of sending them to either the Belzec extermination camp or the Janowska concentration camp.
I learned a lot from the film “Europa, Europa.” I learned that some of the so-called rivers in Poland are so shallow that a person can easily wade across them. Not like the real rivers in Missouri where I grew up (Missouri river and Mississippi river). I learned that many Jews escaped into the Soviet zone of Poland during the German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939 and that they waded across the Bug river which divided the two zones. The Soviets invaded Poland on September 17, 1939.
I will write more about the Jews in Lvov after I see the new movie. It has been nominated for an Oscar for the best foreign film this year.
Read more here about the Lvov ghetto at the USHMM website. The photo below, from the USHMM website, shows a German soldier watching as Ukrainian civilians drag a Jew down the street in the Lvov ghetto.