Those Days in Terezín

Diese Tage in Terezín
by Sibylle Schönemann
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Sibylle Schönemann’s best-known film, Locked Up Time (Forum 1991), which screened in 1991 in Jerusalem and elsewhere, and Those Days in Terezín (Forum 1997) about the ghetto cabaret artist Karel Švenk, known as the “Chaplin of Theresienstadt”, are separated by seven years. Although Schönemann made several films during this period, her thoughts and research since the trip to Israel focused predominantly on one subject: the Shoah. The subsequent stations for the gifted entertainer Švenk were Auschwitz and Meuselwitz. He died on a death march to Mauthausen. Fifty years later, Schönemann walks through the streets of Terezín with the author Lena Makarova and the Israeli singer Victoria Hann Gabbay. What is fascinating about their search for traces is that each new encounter with people who knew the cabaret artist develops an ever-growing network, in which a dialogue between cultures (Czech, Hebrew, German, English – everyone here is a polyglot) and generations is cultivated. And thus, there is also memory: of laughter in – and as – resistance, and of songs, not least of the “Terezín March”. A clever and radically open movie. A powerful gesture of rebellion.

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