I Danced for the Angel of Death: The Dr. Edith Eva Eger Story
I’m excited to announce the release of “I Danced for the Angel of Death: The Dr. Edith Eva Eger Story,” a one-hour autobiographical film directed and produced by my childhood friend, Ron Small, founder of the Holocaust Education Film Foundation. The film reveals how Holocaust survivor Edith Eva Eger’s bravery kept her alive through three concentration camps, only to struggle for years with flashbacks and survivor’s guilt. Through her healing process, she discovers she needed to forgive the one person she had been unable to forgive – herself. I invite you to take a moment to learn about this amazing woman’s journey and share these top-notch teaching tools with middle-school and high-school educators.
– Dr. Greg Greenberg
Born in 1927 in Kosice, Slovakia, where she lived with her parents and two older sisters, Magda and Klara, Edith Eger lived a typical Jewish life. After moving to Budapest, Hungary, Edith and her family were put on a cattle car to Auschwitz as part of the Final Solution in 1944. Klara, a violin prodigy who didn’t look Jewish was hidden by her music professor and continued to perform during the war.
Upon arrival at Auschwitz, Edie’s parents were immediately murdered, and she spent her entire incarceration with her older sister Magda. Most chillingly, Edie had at least two interactions with the Angel of Death Dr. Joseph Mengele. First when he tore her away from her mother with the promise that your mother is going to take a shower and you’ll see her soon. The second when he discovered she was a ballerina and gymnast and demanded she dance for him. The bread she received for dancing was shared with fellow prisoners who remembered this act of kindness and saved her life later in her story.
A few months after Auschwitz, Edie was placed in full prisoner garb on top of a munitions train as a human shield to keep the British from bombing (it didn’t work) and after a brief stint at Mauthausen was placed on a forced death march to Gunskirchen Lager where cannibalism had just broken out. This film also includes a living liberator who remembers every moment of his experience in that self-described “hell hole.” The full breadth of this horror is described in vivid detail through the eyes of Alan Moskin, a 94-year-old Patton’s Army soldier who liberated Gunskirchen Lager. Edith was ultimately pulled from a pile of corpses when she was liberated in 1945.
After the war, her nightmare didn’t end. Through it all, she refused to be a victim and never gave up. Today, at the age of 93, Edith is a published best-selling author and internationally acclaimed Psychologist. Dr. Edith Eger is the author of The Choice and The Gift.
“I decided they were the prisoners, not me.” – Dr. Edith Eger
Holocaust and Human Rights Education – Resources for Educators and Students
In conjunction with the film’s release, The Stan Greenspon Center for Peace and Social Justice has provided Holocaust and human rights training to educators who teach at the middle school and high school level. These lesson plans will help teachers contextualize Dr. Eger’s story within the broader history of World War II and the Holocaust. Their goal is to bring interactive programs into schools so students and teachers can experience a day of learning together…teaching these difficult topics as easy as possible. Download Dr. Edith Eva Eger Story Handouts and Curriculum Guide for Grades 6-12.