Chronicle

Shimon’s Returns
June 27, 2016

On June 27, 2016, at 6.30 pm, the Center for Urban History will host a screening of the documentary "Shimon’s Returns," followed by a meeting with Shimon Redlich. The talk with Shimon Redlich will be moderated by Anna Susak-Chebotariova, researcher of the Center for Urban History.

This event is part of the ASEEES (Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies) 2016 Summer Convention, which will take place at the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv on June 26-28. The event will be opened by Prof. Padraic Kenney, President, ASEEES.

The 2014 documentary "Shimon’s Returns" tells the story of Israeli historian and Holocaust survivor Shimon Redlich. Shimon, born in Polish Lwow in 1935, lived with his family in the town of Brzezany until 1945. He and three other members of his family were saved thereby Poles and Ukrainians. They lived in Lodz until 1950, when they immigrated to Israel. Redlich’s journey into his past started in the late 1980s and early 1990s, during the momentous changes in Poland and Ukraine. As a result of his physical and mental return to Brzezany and Lodz he wrote and published "Together and Apart in Brzezany: Poles, Jews and Ukrainians 1919-1945" and "Life in Transit: Jews in Postwar Lodz 1945-1950."

In "Shimon’s Returns" the protagonist travels to the sites of his childhood, meets with his saviors and talks to Poles and Ukrainians. He also visits the Residence and the Cathedral of the late Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytsky in Lviv, and speaks about his efforts to have Sheptytsky recognized as a Righteous Gentile. Redlich’s perceptions of Poles and Ukrainians differ from prevailing Jewish stereotypes.

His memories of the War and the Holocaust are quite unique as well. Although as a survivor and historian he is fully aware of the suffering and loss, he looks for the brighter sides of the darkest of times.

The film screening will be held in English with simultaneous translation.