Memories of the Eichmann Trial

with panel discussion
Thursday, October 26, 2017 - 7:00pm

Welcome by Ron B. Meier, executive director of American Society for Yad Vashem. Introduced by Yael Perlov, daughter of David Perlov, and followed by a panel discussion featuring Joel Snyder (UChicago), Leora Auslander (UChicago), Na'ama Rokem (UChicago), and Noa Steimatsky (UC-Berkeley). Screening courtesy of The Yad Vashem Visual Center and KAN 11 – IBC.

David Perlov lays layer upon layer of memory in his film Memories of the Eichmann Trial, a unique historic and cinematic document, composed of interviews conducted by Perlov in his Tel Aviv apartment seventeen years after the Eichmann trial. Those interviewed are Israeli Holocaust survivors and members of their generation, children of survivors and young “Sabras”. They reflect upon how the Eichmann trial transformed Israeli perceptions of the Holocaust and the survivors and the way it affected them and their families.

Among those interviewed in the film are: Raffi Eitan, who took part in Eichmann's capture in Argentina, Rivka Yosselevska, who gave testimony at the trial - a survivor of the killing pits of the Jews of Pohost- Zagorodski, Belarus, where her entire family was murdered by members of the einsatzgruppen and local collaborators in the summer of 1942, and Stephania and Henryk Ross, who also testified at the trial. Ross, a photographer forced by the Nazis to work at the Lodz Ghetto "Statistics Department", secretly photographed transports to the death camps.

"The moment Roth shows Perlov the hasty movement of drawing out his camera from under his coat and hiding it again is one of the most memorable scenes in the history of the Israeli cinema" (Uri Klein, "Ha'aretz".)

Broadcast only once on Israeli television in 1979, Memories of the Eichmann Trial was rediscovered and restored in 2011.

(David Perlov, Israel, 1979, 65 min., digital, b/w, documentary, Hebrew with English subtitles, Produced by: Israel Broadcasting Authority- Channel 1, Camera: Danny Shneor , Editor: Era Lapid ) 

Restoration (2011) produced by Yad Vashem – The Visual Center, with the support of the Forum for the Preservation of Audio-Visual Memory in Israel. Courtesy of Yad Vashem’s Visual Center and IBA-Israel Broadcasting Authority. Producers: Liat Benhabib, Yael Perlov.

Yael Perlov is a director, producer, and editor known for her work on films including Late Marriage (2001) and Ben Gurion, Epilogue (2016). She is also Director of the Cinema Department of the Faculty of Arts at Tel Aviv University. She is the daughter of David Perlov.

Joel Snyder is a Professor of Art History in the Committee on General Studies in the Humanities, the Committee on the Visual Arts, and the College at the University of Chicago. His interests include the history of photography, theory of photography and film; history and theory of perspective, Medieval and Renaissance theory of vision; critical theory, aesthetics and the theory of representation. He is co-editor of the journal Critical Inquiry, a quarterly devoted to critical theory in the arts and human sciences. 

Leora Auslander is Arthur and Joann Rasmussen Professor of Western Civilization at the University of Chicago.  She has been a visiting professor at the Frankel Center for Advanced Jewish Studies at the University of Michigan, at the E.H.E.S.S. and the Université de Paris, VII in France, as well as a guest researcher at the Max Planck Institut für Geschichte in Göttingen, at the Graduate Center for the Study of Culture in Giessen, and at the University of Potsdam in Germany, and held fellowships at the Institute for Advanced Study and the Center for Research in the Behavioral Sciences in the United States. Her publications include: Cultural Revolutions: Everyday Life and Politics in Britain, North America, and France; Taste and Power: Furnishing Modern France; and many articles. She co-edited an issue of the French gender history journal Clio entitled Judaïsme(s). She is currently at work on a book, Home-making: Jewish Parisians and Berliners in the Twentieth Century

Na'ama Rokem is an associate professor in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago. She is the author of Prosaic Conditions: Heinrich Heine and Spaces of Zionist Literature (2013) and is working on a book about the encounter between Paul Celan and Yehuda Amichai, as well as articles on multilingualism and translation in the works of Hannah Arendt and Leah Goldberg, and on the politics of translation in Israel. 

Noa Steimatsky is the recipient of the Fulbright Award, the Getty Research Grant, the NEH Rome Prize, and the ACLS Fellowship. She was a faculty member at Yale and at the University of Chicago, and has most recently been visiting faculty at the University of California–Berkeley. She is the author of Italian Locations (2008) and The Face on Film (2017). Her groundbreaking project on the displaced persons camp at Cinecittà inspired a documentary film on the topic and is being expanded into a book. 

Presented by the Film Studies Center, the Department of Cinema and Media Studies, and the Center for Jewish Studies.