Echoes from the Attic, a short documentary released in 2015, was screened this past April at the Museum of Tolerance in conjunction with Yom HaShoah.
It’s the follow up to Debbie Goodstein’s 1987 groundbreaking documentary, Voices from the Attic. In this update, the 26 members of the family travel to Poland after learning that Farmer Grocholski and his family would be honored by Yad Vashem as being Righteous Among the Nations.
Farmer Grocholski and his family hid Goodstein’s ancestors in their attic for two years during World War 2. The reasoning for the trip is to help pass the torch to a new generation of family members. There’s a fascinating conversation with Grocholski’s daughter following the ceremony. We learn more about her experiences during the war and how she forgives her father for doing what he did even if it meant not really having a childhood. While some have written or recorded their stories from experiences during the Shoah, many have not shared their stories. We never really learn how hiding Jewish people during the war effected the the family members unless they choose to tell their story.
The Grocholski family consisted of six family members while Debbie Goodstein’s relatives consisted of 16. For both, the Shoah was about survival at a time when so many Jews and those who hid them were being arrested or killed. Think about how much food they had to make. When a neighbor inquires why they are peeling so many potatoes, one of the excuses was that their horse was sick and wouldn’t eat potatoes if they weren’t peeled.
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