This is not just a Jewish story … it’s a Humanities story!
The Dr. Edith Eva Eger Story
Described by Oprah Winfrey as a pioneer in the field of Psychology, Dr. Edith Eger, at the beautiful age of 92, is still teaching people how to use their pain to help them heal. “We have that possibility within us, to find meaning in suffering,” said Dr. Eger. Using her formal education as clinical psychologist and her own heroic story as a Holocaust survivor, she teaches people how to harness the power of choice to free themselves from past traumas and move forward in forgiveness. “You cannot heal what you don’t feel! Give yourself permission to go through the feelings and stages of grief and come to the aftermath of forgiveness,” Eger says.
Two years ago, Dr. Eger wrote her first book, THE CHOICE: Embrace the Possible. Now translated in multiple languages, and a New York Times international best seller, the book has been described as a tool for healing. Her astonishing story and inspiring message is one that speaks to all of us: “We have the capacity to hate and the capacity to love. Which one we reach for,” Dr. Eger says, “is up to us.” Specializing in treating patients with post-traumatic stress syndrome, she developed what she calls Choice Therapy – choosing Compassion, Humor, Optimism, Intuition, Curiosity and self-Expression. “Auschwitz gave me a tremendous gift in some ways, I can guide people to have resilience and perseverance,” said Dr. Eger.
At the age of sixteen, Edith Eger was sent to Auschwitz. Hours after her parents were killed, Nazi officer Dr. Josef Mengele, forced Edie to dance for his amusement and her survival. Edie was pulled from a pile of corpses when the American troops liberated the camps in 1945.
Edie spent decades struggling with flashbacks and survivor’s guilt, determined to stay silent and hide from the past. Thirty-five years after the war ended, she returned to Auschwitz and was finally able to fully heal and forgive the one person she’d been unable to forgive—herself.
Edie weaves her remarkable personal journey with the moving stories of those she has helped heal. She explores how we can be imprisoned in our own minds and shows us how to find the key to freedom. The Choice is a life-changing book that will provide hope and comfort to generations of readers.
Looking to the past to create inclusion and acceptance for all
The Holocaust Education Film Foundation, founded in 2017, produces first-person narrative documentaries of Holocaust Survivors with the goal of fighting antisemitism and social injustice, and to ensure the lessons of the past are never forgotten. Further, to battle what has now become a widespread renewal of hate and injustice in our world today.
Dr. Edith Eva Eger is the subject of the Foundation’s most recent full-length documentary (approximately 48-70 minutes), which is more than an oral history interview. The Dr. Edith Eva Eger Story is the first program from the Foundation and strategic partner The Stan Greenspon Center for Peace and Social Justice, which will include the development of Lesson Plans and Teacher Guides suitable for middle and high school classrooms. These tools will help teachers contextualize Dr. Eger’s story within the broader history of World War II and the Holocaust in a meaningful way for their students. The educational materials will contain classroom-ready lesson plans adapted to satisfy the Common Core standards. A digital and physical distribution network will ensure everyone has access to these programs. The goal is to allow Dr. Eger’s story to seamlessly fit into any classroom in the US!
These lesson plans will be available for online distribution, as well as in a published format. Materials will include:
- Overview of the Holocaust and how Dr. Eger’s story fits within this larger context.
- Common Core standards met by this program for Social Studies, ELA, and other pertinent subject areas.
- Overview of Dr. Eger’s life story with corresponding relevant educational materials.
- Chapter focusing on Eger’s central message and the way in which her story can inform our world today.
Help us fight antisemitism and hate
Though the extraordinary on-camera interviews with Dr. Eger were completed in early December, the next phase of editing the documentary and creating the lesson plans and teacher tools must happen now. The sooner we complete this initiative, the sooner we can impact the DFW area classrooms, as well as ones across this country!
Please support this project by making a tax deductible donation and let us know if we may acknowledge your contribution in the film and on the educational materials. You may use a credit or debit card, wire transfer, stock or simply mail a check. 100% of revenue goes back to Holocaust Education… in the case of The Dr. Edith Eva Eger Story, proceeds will be directed to The Butterfly Project.
Holocaust Education Film Foundation has established the Holocaust Education Film Foundation Fund in partnership with the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry, a 501(c)(3) organization. All contributions to the Fund are fully tax deductible as allowable by law.
The Holocaust Education Film Foundation was established to build an international, interactive online community one Holocaust Survivor Story at a time; ensuring we “Never Forget.” We produce and distribute personal and impactful television documentaries featuring the lives of Holocaust Survivors, as told in their own words or through the recollections of direct descendants.
The Stan Greenspon Center for Peace and Social Justice exists to give voice to the voiceless, and form community partnerships to create positive change. We draw on history to guide our way as we advocate for those who need a spark of hope to lead them out of despair. In every instance where people have had to overcome unspeakable acts of violence, discrimination, and persecution, hope has led the way. Hope for peace, for love, and for equality.
The Butterfly Project is a call to action through education, the arts and memorial making. It uses the lessons of the Holocaust to educate about the dangers of hatred and bigotry and cultivates empathy and social responsibility. Participants paint ceramic butterflies that are permanently displayed as symbols of resilience and hope, with the goal of creating 1.5 million butterflies around the world—one for each child who perished in the Holocaust, and honoring the survivors.