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Iraq. Mr. and Mrs. Man you can get to Des Moines Iowa formally from polling the city of loads. It'll. Fall on her right arm 9. Get the car out of the gap. For my life I rock out to her and behold my ship. On my vacation with my kids it was a small town rosebush never go to the name of this occasion. I get a full play
it and forests don't really like to go tell it you have to go target from supplies and DOS and I don't know if you're just surf around play cut out Street Books play bro go to swim thats and take care of 5 kids that a brother I got wrong did all she get another yelling wrong way to get the boy and baby bro. So on Friday the husband came full color south of the unsound. People came to us to go to people young people was a really nice time to this time going to get to him. He then when he came in and started an hour and I haven't time was out.
As I remember it we were in front of the second. Doing reconnaissance for the Second Armored Division. And we were out there. Probably a screen in there front of that one of their drives and week came up to this camp and the smell. I mean we realized we wait we had something that we didn't you know wasn't from my airwaves and of course this type of us now you don't have to. Be a doctor recognize what is. Inside people coming up to the fences and things. They're probably there first that would be a way 975
£200 a time to 85 or 90 mm mm mm mm mm mm mm where they were too weak to do anything. And then we found out to use different things to survive. Found medicines that we knew nothing about like they used coal like Donna gold to get certain gradients and. Shooting at you and you shoot back the way you expect people to get hurt when you see people that are
starved to death in prison. Russians. Oh yeah. French French people I remember most of my Polish. I started the business you know and I have one question 20 1926. One thing straight from fiction and from thinking I was a gentleman comes from our organizations should be good they're going to go. That's for me to like them bring in business and make some of our day today.
Yes and at the time you know if it's different you know you know the feast of St.. Yes you can bring your kids but I groan when I bring it you took the salami. Yeah. Do so at the start and change it 10 15. Just stop stop.
I used to be before. Did you. Did you have a feeling. Even the kids. It's sad.
The second world war begins officially at dawn on September 1st 1939. And Poland falls and 17 days. Bloats is renamed lists munge stopped in honor of a World War One German general within five months of fundamental civil liberties for lots Jews I just saw. You're.
Right. You're right. Maybe so. And how can I not. She was Jewish. Talk to him.
Right. Oh. The area designated as the ghetto in loads already contains 60000 100000 more. Barbed wire is. Ghetto is reality. The Nazis appoint an old man. They get a president. And quickly develops an organization that is as complex and in many ways more efficient than the Nazi. He favors. Justice and
is over 70 but prefers young girls. And postage stamps which his picture directly in the genocide revising some of his subjects to the Nazis. I have to.
Were you always fearful that something was going to happen bad or worse something worse you know. What did you think they were going to. You didn't really care. Big place. So there's. You know at that point in time you had almost given up. Conditions in the ghetto are deteriorating by 1941 it has become a dumping for Jewish transports model but your overcrowding begins to tell. There are six to eight persons per room in the winter. They tear apart from each other
for a few typhoid and typhus break out individual food ration is below prison level 24 ounces of meat and a handful of potatoes each month. It is planned the starvation of those who escape starvation selection. The Nazi euphemism for death illness is automatic selection. And in 1943 Bellamy at age 5 is ill. Everybody have to go. Yes if there's any question even if I get killed. In the kitchen to my plate. Even look at him. So his mother you're still going to get the plunge. So she used to go up and laid their clothes on a tradition to look for the older kids
I have to go into a different place to get the players much. They're took and not play the roles are lots of kids not just have to have a big push for that. So I get that to the front of this room cause he said Miss Michigan I can help you to take him because it's not in the home the whole day in the snow I should cry. So I give you know and she got sick and I went off that I went in first thing going on and I have to walk. It's kind of turned on. Every night I think I'm sure it was not good for me to get the good care of the kids. Oh it's happening all over Michigan. Number one you are the target of the hospital and
so now you're going to give the nod that you know the truth that sick thing that kind of thing and I don't rush to action. OK. It is hard to know when it is vaguely referred to and never really.
Becomes policy. Has been spared a year longer than Warsaw. Only because it's enormous textile industry is important to the Nazi war effort. Nevertheless in August of 1944 Kingdom is liquidated loads is phased into the Holocaust. Then they decided to take you to the can't trust him to get in on time. You mean that you think that maybe the war was won was this now 1940 44 when in 44 just in August we went to look for the first time obvious fifty fifty three I think it was just a night in get to where
you're desperate trying to change that. There are much lighter German soldiers. One shallow retreat but it's up to you SURE BUT IT. Might assure you are you going out to three in front of you get a priest read for you to go on. I know of that they kinds of everybody else had paid their go to guy said go ahead. So she then became general. But you know that I got that feeling God don't know about the human missed it take us so to die and sampling the course in this lodge on the seventh
time they're making big graves to pull fly people in and kill them in those graves and Jewish people have to make things right and not just say that you have to make it right and I know friends of ours that they're there and they're going to put their man because in the meantime there got there was free from somebody will make them praying I've been there done that don't put them in those graves. When you were on the way to the camp you were in the car. Yes. Were you together so the kids took the pen with those kids.
And so few kids. There's sometimes somebody you go should you go people. So it makes people look like monkeys. Yes. You can myself. I'm going to. So there's no way.
If you are with the misfits that August afternoon there are many things you will never know that you have arrived at the last fully functioning death factory and we will order its gas chambers and crematoria dismantled in 3 months. You will not know that hanging over the entrance is a mocking aphorism. Work brings freedom three to four million people die each year. You will not know these things. Because you will probably die here too. When the misfits arrive at Auschwitz 80 percent of all prisoners are sent directly to the gas chambers. At a later time missed. It will meet the Lithuanian who pushes Caiman into and out. Gas chamber she survives because she looks healthy and. Is saved by chance.
At the unloading ramp see him drinking water from a bucket and this is part of the on boating group. And when you got to Auschwitz they were the women the women either went to work or went to the gas chamber immediately and then came down from the train to talk. I. And they go first. So. And so they took us to the crematorium people. They took all the children did
they have to be alive. Q You said that you know each other and like you. Made tonight can't save you. I wish you were there. After two weeks at Auschwitz it is shipped to the dock complex in Germany. I don't think the train we can trade day and night never can say how much but many things to say. Mon your admission that you are in the random madness of doc they call it a work camp. The plan is simple. You work until you die.
If you are sick. Push your chest out. You may live another day. You learn to be anonymous not noticing what goes on around you. Still you see many things you see a man's but acts shredded for sneaking in line for extra soup. You see men exercise the only right the SS have not taken away the right to suicide. In an insane moment of chance you see your own nephew as his work crew passes the little boy. He recognizes you. Undermine. You know. The boy will not leave you in a tin can and hangs over your head in the bunk your private one does not venture from the block unless necessary. It is always time for SS games.
You now weighs sixty two pounds and are forced to carry hundred pound sacks of cement if you fall. The cable I won't kick you in the ass. He would chop wood for the SS fires and get your teeth knocked out and return it. You escaped the left line the gas chamber line twice once at night by simply walking to the right side again. When your block leader recognizes you at pay demand is what you see here will be nightmares. Twenty five years later Mrs Misc it is in Auschwitz for six weeks before being shuttled to nine different camps. What did you talk about at night. Nothing you know kind of tough because we got that good or bad you sure saw me sure. Yeah I was the black leader Yeah he's a racist. Yeah sure I said no not soon realize why why did you ever wonder why people should treat
knives she give them a bit of a dose of Polish woman. She cannot cure them. She was worse than when she was so out there just Friday night you can candle light should put some money on her head and she would like to kill somebody kick down run away I know my block was a target of hers. So she said she could promotion of them to not just come in and they're stuck for contests so long will show. So that took us out in the middle and you have to stay for three hours on the gravel in the gravel because somebody ran away. Oh you're not for. They. Beat us so you grab a minute you know anything to look healthy. I wash my face mature and you don't have water
and you wash your face with my urine. I never forget this. This was in the can you. Or did you major. I met my match. Well you want us to Matching. Just I don't remember if you kill me I don't want to play on yours. And just getting to me. I said Listen. Together for somebody. Yes yes and re slapped understand. Thank God you can relax. Try to calm down calm down and I got on my hands. And I slapped Tom just a little bit tired
and demonic winder stuck to our side wake up wake up. Nothing glistening there cannot be that. Was there any time when you ever saw and then asked God why he was doing this God. When did you get an answer. I said to myself if I believe in you my have to believe again because of me. He she did Congressman. But people get from nothing. Yes. Did you never ask myself. Maybe they have to make the Humber generation something. You have to. Do you have a piece. You know I will. And I'm excited. I see you're there to have people be
alive and I'm I'm alive but I'd like to be there. Ms.
It is in the spring. Forty five the camps liberated. By the Russian army and near Munich the American army reaches almost a year past. It is time for another miracle. It. Happened in the night time.
Well this mission gets was produced under ground from the National Endowment for the Humanities for the audiovisual Committee of the Iowa humanities board members of the committee are here to discuss the film. Moderator Don Solavei understanding. I personally feel there is a relevancy and I think that. These things should be periodic Lee stop and Chong to man to remind him of what he is capable of. This is one man's point of view. Do any of you share that. Well my first reaction I had to the program and while I've as you indicated we've seen it several times now some of us My first reaction each time it has been almost totally an emotional reaction and just the power of the film and the gradation of shows is so overwhelming and now there's a little less intensity
to over intellectualize this thing. But it is Important that. I think that we do try to at least. Analyze you know our emotional responses to the point of. Speaking to contemporary relevance. Listen you have a bit of you know a bit of a quandary because you can't say that is a terrific film. That's a good film. You know what you can say is that it makes its statement very well. And from that point on we have to and there's some other connotation. And this would be what I think is important about seeing the film again I don't think that this particular this particular black page in history is unique and never to be repeated or never has been done before. I think there is something there is some kind of a general picture of man's relationship to man if you will that is expressed in this particular event
this this event that took place in Germany is as a human tragedy of monstrous proportions. But it's not something that has never occurred before and probably will never occur again. And therefore I will I agree with Dick I don't like to intellectualize in something that I feel so viscerally it still comes out that I think if we're ever going to learn as a human species to avoid this kind of terrible mistake that we've got to be able to look at scenes like this and find out what it is that makes it so awful. You know one of the things done that you mentioned out of the beginning was that it's. Not just a film about something that happened if it was a film about something that happened which was quite apart from us it would be easy to talk about it but the difficulty is talking about this film is that it's about. Us in a way I mean it's about man in some sense. I look at the film and
I don't like to realize this but I'm forced to realize that there's a little bit of. Of this kind of of the kind of character that produced this terror and evil in a song. And and it's like talking about something in our own family something very personal if we could if we could make it something that wasn't personal to us we could speak easily that. Icon might come back to something Bruce. Are there any lessons in this about the innate. Nature of Man. And I don't think we should. We should be. Correct about this Bruce and that is this country was set up on a high degree of conviction. That man was a selfish greedy at least to take the least oppressive terms. Personally. I'm not sure we went the whole route and assumed with as Hobbes did that man was.
Destined to live an eyeful life nasty brutish and short in the absence of government. But the entire separation of powers. And to some degree. Other elements of what we call the mixed state was set up as. A hope of holding people away from each other's throats by the general diffusion of power then used upon a theoretical assumption that man really isn't a terribly good guy. In the language of the Declaration of Independence seasoned with certain natural rights Governments are instituted to protect those. If you stop and think about it the basic assumption is that he's really not terribly good. Or did John Locke think he was very good. Probably through the decoration. On the whole that's a pretty good assumption to go on I think that's why most of us get very excited and anxious when some of those some of the structure
that's meant to protect us from each other and from ourselves begins to be eroded. I don't think any of us feel that the man is a basically good person who without any laws and without any structures are going to treat each other quite well. You know gentlemen I don't know about you but I I was quite shocked. That the lack of reaction of the average American when these things about me lie cetera. Were revealed I think a lot of people in our country even people my age who remember these other things. Very clearly impossible you know this sort of thing can't happen. You know our country we're we're we're too civilized to or above that sort of thing is the thing I wish there would have been a normal reaction because the whole the progression you know we talk about it has mentioned it several times or it has to do with how people are given jobs people or lives are made in Germany.
There is a crisis situation there problems that people confront the problems that really bother them and then they're given jobs and their material existence is made easier. We keep saying these things we protest the Vietnam War we protest these atrocities perhaps but eventually we don't protest them so much anymore they become they become simple events that are happening rather than before personal circumstances that we confront. And then it is just this kind of progression and that's just part of our time right now because I think when they when the story the history of the Vietnam war is written with all its corruption all of its brutality all of the terrible things. Happen to be one of the more sordid chapters in the history of the world and we are involved in it. But no one today really knows too much about it. And some people don't care much and much of the reaction against me life for instance
simply parroted the reactions you hear in defense of the German people. In Nazi times. Because he was only following orders. That was one defense and many people simply that I simply deny that happened it was a frame of some sort going to happen squire who was why they were trying to frame him. But there was a denial that this happened they simply didn't believe it. And many people I think today perhaps still believe that will not face the fact that American soldiers did it when they do face it they simply say that he was only following orders which was Eichmanns just what the German said about it's not about that particular incident brings this you know me alive if you so soon became history and that history your minds of so many. I guess
one of the things I thought of when I first mentioned your lie was very early in the film. This is Michigan mentioned the hanging of some of the inhabitants of the ghetto and there's a photograph which is used in the program showing some German officers and. Standing. In. Well it's in the aftermath of the hanging and they are standing in front of it and here are the bodies in the background. And. You know that's not indifference on their faces and it isn't sorrow. They're just smiles. Yes I know there's a parallel here I think to be drowned dreams too. The three things essentially happened in the camps. So I understand the motions all adding up to the dehumanisation of the of the person as
has been pointed out the American army saw the bodies they did not see the living death that went on prior to that there was an elimination first of any juridical. Conscience in. Those rounded up were innocent. In fact. If a man were under sentence for the commission of a felony in Germany in the 30s he served the normal prison term first. Before he was ever taken to a camp. The very business the abolition of a juridical sense any sense of justice. The second one came in in the stamping out of any moral sense at all. This is mish good dick to borrow another piece in the film and the narrator pointed out that if you don't want to inform me. There was. Turning on the other prisoners yes and no sense of right or wrong.
The final thing that went was that peculiar individuality that every person feels in some sense he is is no different from the other which was the hardest thing to stand by and which was through the process of shaving mass nudity. Other things she said we try to cover each other up we were ourselves we were ashamed. On the elimination of any humanizing element the people of all women want to does this too I think. And I certainly would be interested in knowing how you gentle skinny feel about this. That periodic really it is a good thing to dredge up something like the Misfits to show to the generation coming up. This is one man's feeling one then his reaction I may be totally off base but somehow or another. We Forget.
Very fast. Right now the most important thing to confront I think in our system in our society and in our government. The most important thing we are confronting is the same kind of thing that they confront in Germany at that time and that is that. That whole business of the dehumanisation the ability for the government to begin to pursue the national interest analytical mathematical logical terms that manipulate entities rather than confront human beings which I feel is happening to an ally and I think it's particularly a message for the nation state was founded to protect minorities that are here with us to accept one of the great paradoxes of all time is that it was seemingly overpowering engine created to protect was the only thing available to do it. And the
when it becomes sour Of course it's quite quite deadly. I think that if it were to become sour in our society it would be on two or three prongs of one juror. One thing the German's experience does prove when it becomes supra national do minorities perhaps by virtue of chiles throughout the world become something of a threat to it. And secondly when it seems to me anough of the citizenry are purely privately motivated and selfishly motivated you can you can engineer people if you do not have a public conscience. If enough people say I've got a job and Joe Nemeth on the weekend and on politics then I think we have a problem. But you know our country as a whole is at least
a very significant majority of the country is is affluent and is feeling comfortable. And it's difficult to. In that state of affairs for people to try to act as kind of profits and look into the future and see the long term consequences of of the indifference or lack of the sand lack of outrage toward whatever kinds of inhumanity are being practiced in the world at the moment. If you keep the great Senate majority silent by keeping them comfortable then of course all kinds of things can be done in the direction that we've been talking about. That's I think that's one of our greatest fears is apathy. Forty percent of the people did not vote the last election. Well and as you know as as Starla said is is voting doing anything.
I think the great danger is that the. I've never personally been disturbed about studies that show that that high percentage of people are not concerned about some particular issue. Fact of the matter is somebody is concerned and these are the articulate voices. The problem with the silent majority is that they can create an atmosphere of. Passive A-D into which changes can be injected in the structure. I do not mind one thing that disturbs me very much is the past two years the United States Supreme Court in this in this sense not any issue particularly but the injection of. A real change into. A enormously valuable democratic instrument. In an era of security consciousness stymied economic security and general psychological security.
But we have. No business expecting you know everyone in the country or even the majority of the country to be concerned about every important principle that comes along. It's impossible. But. We need at least to. Be sure that the avenues are open for the sun on the part of those who have seen through it with anything that struck me and still does as I keep wondering. After. Nine years of Vietnam in our. Living rooms. After. All of the events that have taken place in the last two years. What. Will. Americans get excited about. Besides the Super Bowl. And I like to see what lovely Americans get outraged about. What will it take. Normal and that is that. That question bothers me especially in the light of this film because.
We will get outraged at seeing these bodies of these women being thrown into the pits that does outrageous but that is a fait accompli that's over. That's at the end. There have been studies done. On people who lived through the depression of the Second World War as combatants in the Second World War 2 which of the two events. Linger with the most of this age and the depression wins hands down. Through this in the showers. There's a drama in the war and there is just a terrible kind of degenerating. Condition of humanity in the business of in the Depression. And that's terrible approach. Going on is more individual ox issues when. You mention the students why aren't the students excited and I think one of the reasons why they aren't as excited about politics right now is that. The job situation is
difficult. Students now are no longer assured of a job. They're all a lot of their energies are worried about getting a job. Now don't sound self-righteous about that either because my point is that it's not just the German people who want a depression that are guilty or not just the silent majority in America who are interested in their lives. I think all of us when we get hit economically our energies in our interest go toward that in such a degree that we run the risk just like the German people did just like the students are doing just like the silent majority of whoever they are. But I do that's why it's so important to come back and see this movement in time not because it's about the German people but it's about. The alternatives the possible alternatives we may find ourselves in if we get down to a place where we are. We don't have a job for five years and somebody comes in and says well we'll give you a job. Just to just let us run the country we want. What would we choose.
It's not a matter of them. I hate to be repetitive but I'm not sure that isn't going on right now. We have. Upwards probably of 25 million people and maybe more who are enduring something of a living in the camps. We've been. Hearing an awful lot of middle class talk about. Job security. But if you the thing that got you there is the humanism of this thing. You don't do this to people. And. The measure for my money. Is not its gadgetry. It's not it's jobs we can go to the moon we can feed the fattest doers in the world. We can do all these things. It treats its minorities and if it doesn't do it well you've got nothing here.
It's the central coast of the nation and that's not what we have been able to spend billions of dollars over. That is the measure of your civilization. Thank you very much gentlemen for coming. We hope that perhaps the showing of this film will stimulate some people our audience to continue their own discussions in their own way and perhaps with some better thank you and good evening.
The Mischkiets
Producing Organization
Iowa Public Television
Contributing Organization
Iowa Public Television (Johnston, Iowa)
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A documentary film about the Holocaust shared through the experience of two Holocaust survivors, Monek and Fela Mischkiet, formerly of Lodz, Poland. Graphic footage of concentration camps is used. A studio discussion follows the film.
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Produced for: Audio Visual Committee, Iowa Humanities Board under a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities
IEBN Public Affairs Presentation
Copyright IEBN 1973
Media type
Moving Image
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Director: Beyer, John
Director: Photography: Burnell, Ron
Musician: Smetana, Fratisek
Musician: Eklof, Jim
Narrator: Soliday, Don
Producer: Beyer, John
Producing Organization: Iowa Public Television
Production Assistant: Frasher, Sara
Sound Recordist: Miller, Michael
Writer: Beyer, John
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Iowa Public Television
Identifier: 8D10 (Old Tape Number)
Format: U-matic
Generation: Master
Duration: 00:58:15
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Chicago: “The Mischkiets,” 1973-01-30, Iowa Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed August 8, 2020,
MLA: “The Mischkiets.” 1973-01-30. Iowa Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. August 8, 2020. <>.
APA: The Mischkiets. Boston, MA: Iowa Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from