RESISTANCE – THEY FOUGHT BACK - with Filmmaker Paula S. Apsell in-person


Cinema Arts Centre - Cinema 1 Thu, Jul 25 7:15 PM


Thursday, July 25th at 7:15 PM

In-Person: Filmmaker Paula S. Apsell

Guest Host: Dr. Jud Newborn

$18 Public | $12 Members

“People have this myth stuck in their heads that Jews went to their deaths like sheep to the slaughter. But this is where the real story begins...Jews did not go as sheep to the slaughter... They fought back.”  - Professor Richard Freund

We’ve all heard of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, but most people have no idea how widespread and prevalent Jewish resistance to Nazi barbarism was. Instead, it’s widely believed “Jews went to their deaths like sheep to the slaughter.” For decades, the world thought that Jews faced their fate passively during the Holocaust. This ambitious and groundbreaking film unveils a different story, shedding light on the heroic stories of Jews who actively resisted their oppressors. They engaged in over 60 armed uprisings in ghettos, 25 within concentration and slave labor camps, numbered in the thousands among partisan units in the forests of Europe, and joined in non-violent resistance campaigns against the Nazis. Filmed in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Israel, and the U.S., Resistance – They Fought Back provides a much-needed corrective to this myth of Jewish passivity. Everywhere in Eastern Europe, Jews waged campaigns of non-violent resistance against the Nazis. The film illuminates the forgotten, and largely unknown, stories of Jewish resistance during the Holocaust — and honors the fighters' soulful bravery and leadership. Through interviews with historians, survivors, and their families, the film belies a long-held myth and shines a new light on a lost chapter of history. (USA, 2024, 97 min., color, DCP)

Paula S. Apsell created the feature documentary Resistance – They Fought Back with the goal of correcting the myth of Jewish passivity during the Holocaust. Before that, she spent 35 years as the senior executive producer of the PBS NOVA science series, responsible for more than 650 documentaries in the sciences, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine, which won every major broadcasting award including the Emmy; the Peabody; the duPont – Columbia University Gold and Silver Batons; and an Academy Award nomination for Special Effects. She has been recognized with numerous individual awards, including the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Emmy of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. She’s now the CEO of Leading Edge Productions, Inc., a 501(c)(3) public charity.

Dr. Jud Newborn, whom many of you know, spent more than three years in Germany and Europe doing his doctoral fieldwork for the University of Chicago on Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. During this time he hunted down former SS Officers and Nazi leaders to interview.  He also worked briefly underground for Poland’s “Solidarity” freedom movement six months into the Communist Declaration of Martial Law and the sealing of Poland’s borders, reporting back to Radio Free Europe's headquarters in Munich. Jud served as Founding Historian of New York’s Holocaust museum, the Museum of Jewish Heritage, and is the Cinema Arts Centre’s Producer of Celebrity Guest Programs, for which he has won an Emmy Award. A dynamic multimedia lecture and storyteller, he has presented his programs coast-to-coast, and from Canada to Cape Town. He also broke a long-time barrier at the United Nations by giving the first lecture to his knowledge on the Holocaust ever held there, on Jewish Anti-Nazi resistance.  He has written for The New York Times, The Jerusalem Post and other leading publications, most recently for Smithsonian Magazine. Jud is co-author of the now classic “Sophie Scholl and the White Rose,” which was released in an updated 80th Anniversary edition (1943 - 2023) this past April. The Anne Frank Center honored him in 2018 with their prestigious Spirit of Anne Frank Human Writes Award.