International Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 27th, was designated by the United Nations General Assembly and marks the date in 1945 when Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi concentration and death camp, was liberated. In commemoration of this date, the Vilna and its partners will convene a panel to discuss the search for a little-known Holocaust victim, Matilda Olkin, and her extended family. Matilda and her family were killed in an isolated location in northern Lithuania in the beginning of the Holocaust in 1941. The film, Finding Matilda: The Anne Frank of Lithuania by college student Kyle Conti, follows the search for the mass grave.
Matilda Olkin was a wonderfully talented Jewish poet and a college student at the University of Vilnius. Like Anne Frank, she kept a diary that was discovered after her death. Matilda’s diary and poetry were hidden by a local priest and only recovered many years after the Holocaust. Her work adds to the background and the depth of the loss of this unique Lithuanian-Jewish voice. The poetry and diary chronicle Matilda’s life just before her untimely murder at the hands of Nazi collaborators in her native Lithuania. The film traces the life and death of Matilda and her family through the lens of the scientists tasked to use testimonies and documents, historical photographs and geoscience to find the isolated mass grave where they were placed after their brutal killing.
Join the science team: Dr. Richard Freund of Christopher Newport University, Dr. Phil Reeder of Duquesne University and Dr. Harry Jol of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, to discover how and why they sought to reclaim Matilda’s story and discover her grave. The science team will be joined by Matthew Shaer, who wrote an extensive account of Matilda’s story for Smithsonian Magazine; Dr. Susan Cardillo, University of Hartford Director; and Kyle Conti, Editor and Student Filmmaker.
FREE PROGRAM – REGISTRAION REQUIRED
Click HERE to Register
After registering, a link to the documentary will be emailed to you to watch PRIOR to the discussion. The documentary will not be shown during the January 27th discussion.
Documentary running time: 20 mins.