Phyllis Zimbler Miller
Phyllis Zimbler Miller
Writer of Nonfiction Holocaust Material to End Antisemitism

The Holocaust Films of Ruggero Gabbai and Other Filmmakers

The Covid lockdowns provided ample time to utilize my subscriptions to the Jewish streaming platforms and to watch documentaries and films about the Holocaust. These have added tremendously to my knowledge base in connection with my Holocaust nonfiction projects.

A film director whose projects I watched on is Italian Ruggero Gabbai:

THE RAID  – documentary of the Nazi roundup of Jews in Rome on October 16, 1943 (a firsthand description of this roundup is included in my nonfiction play

THE LONGEST JOURNEY – 2013 documentary of the Nazi deportation of the Italian Jews of Rhodes in the summer of 1944.

And Gabbai’s non-Holocaust documentary:

STARTING OVER AGAIN – 2015 documentary about the exodus of the Jews of Egypt between 1948 and 1956.

After my watching the two Holocaust documentaries, Evelyn Markus and I interviewed Gabbai for our NEVER AGAIN IS NOW podcast about antisemitism.

On the podcast he spoke about his 1997 documentary MEMORIA — filmed in Auschwitz — for which 93 Italian Jewish survivors of Auschwitz were interviewed (not all appear in the documentary). Of course, I immediately watched this documentary, which can be seen on YouTube.

Also recommended on

DEAR FREDY directed by Rubi Gat — 2017 documentary about Fredy Hirsch, who ran a daycare center for 600 children in Auschwitz.

NOT ALL WERE MURDERERS directed by Jo Baier — 2006 biographical film (not a documentary) of Jews hidden by Germans in Nazi Germany.

And recommended on

SHADOWS OF FREEDOM directed by Amos Carlen and Aline Robichaud – 2020 documentary tells the virtually unknown story of the Jewish/French resistance in Algiers that had a significant impact on WWII.

BYE BYE GERMANY – 2017 film (not a documentary) about a DP camp in Germany after WWII. While this is supposedly a comedy, it is also quite serious about a Holocaust subject that many people may not know about.

And finally, a recommendation for a documentary now on Netflix:

THE LAST DAYS directed by James Moll – 1998 documentary with five Hungarian Holocaust survivors.

These are just some of the documentaries and films I have watched during the Covid lockdowns. While I do hope in the near future we will all be able to resume more of our normal activities, I recommend those activities include viewing some of the amazing documentaries and films that preserve our history.

About the Author
Phyllis Zimbler Miller is a Los-Angeles based writer who is the co-author of the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION, the founder of the nonfiction Holocaust theater project and the co-host of the NEVER AGAIN IS NOW podcast about antisemitism --
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