Heroes of Salonika is a unique documentary film telling the story of the Jewish community of Salonika, which was the largest Sephardic community in Europe prior to World War II. Over 50,000 Jews lived in this coastal city, the second largest city in Greece. During the Holocaust, 96% of Greek Jews were annihilated by the Germans and less than 5,000 survived. The story of the Jews of Salonika is hardly known. Filling this void, a new documentary film, "Heroes of Salonika," produced by Yigal Yosef Pomerantz and Sol Levi.
The idea for the movie arose when Pomerantz, a teacher from Jerusalem, read in 2015 an article in the Hebrew Makor Rishon weekly about Jaco Maestro who saved hundreds of Jews in Auschwitz. He had access to the prisoners' files and was able to place Salonika Jews and some Polish Jews in easier jobs, thus saving their lives. The story of Salonika Jews is told through the personal experiences of six survivors, the Heroes of Salonika.
The film's crew includes well-known Israeli filmmakers including director Tom Barkay, cameraman, Yochay Rosenberg and production consultant Itay Ken-Tor. The original music is by Boaz Schory. Prof. Dr. Gideon Greif, an expert on Auschwitz, is the film's historical and academic advisor. He regards Maestro's rescue efforts as unique.
Dilemmas of family loyalty, faith, and survival at all costs come up in this film which is also intended for wider audiences who may know little about the Holocaust.
I need your help, in order for the film to reach large audiences it must be translated to Spanish, Russian, German, French, Greek and Japanese.
Most people in the world know very little about the Holocaust and this film is structured in a way that goes through the trajectory of the Holocaust through the personal experiences of the Heroes. It also raises ethical, psychological and religious questions.
For donations and any questions you can write to me at:
Yigal Yosef Pomerantz