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Chicago's Holocaust Survivors home on Access Utah Wednesday

Refuge: Stories of the Selfhelp Home, chicago, holocuast victims, eyewitness accounts

Over the years, the Selfhelp Home in Chicago has brought together more than 1,000 refugees and Holocaust survivors under one roof. A new documentary film, "Refuge:  Stories of the Selfhelp Home", features the stories of the eventual residents of Selfhelp, who spent the war years surviving by any means necessary – fleeing to the Jewish ghetto of Shanghai, hiding in the French countryside, taken in by English families as part of the Kindertransport, or as prisoners in Auschwitz and other concentration camps.

Theirs are stories of separations, of deportations, of selections and of decisions that meant the difference between life and death. Bringing their stories up to the present, the film also addresses the founders’ concern for the home’s future, when the last eyewitnesses to the Holocaust, who animated Selfhelp and gave it its unique mission and meaning, will be gone.

On Wednesday’s Access Utah, in the final program in our recent Holocaust series, we’ll talk with the director, Ethan Bensinger, and hear stories of Holocaust survivors and refugees in their own words from the film. 

Tom Williams worked as a part-time UPR announcer for a few years and joined Utah Public Radio full-time in 1996. He is a proud graduate of Uintah High School in Vernal and Utah State University (B. A. in Liberal Arts and Master of Business Administration.) He grew up in a family that regularly discussed everything from opera to religion to politics. He is interested in just about everything and loves to engage people in conversation, so you could say he has found the perfect job as host “Access Utah.” He and his wife Becky, live in Logan.