Oscar-Winning Alumna to be Featured at SUNY New Paltz Holocaust Memorial
NEW PALTZ -- June Beallor, co-producer of the film which won the 1998 Academy Award for Best Feature Length Documentary, the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation's The Last Days, will be presenting the documentary at SUNY New Paltz on Tuesday, May 9. The presentation is part of the 11th annual Louis and Mildred Resnick Holocaust Memorial. It is free and open to the public, and begins at 8 p.m. in Lecture Center 100.
Beallor, a 1983 graduate of the university, said, "My education in social history began at New Paltz." She earned a bachelor's degree with dual majors in sociology and journalism.
The Last Days chronicles the experiences of five Hungarians who fell victim to Adolf Hitler's final genocidal push at the end of World War II. From the villages of Carpathia to the cosmopolitan city of Budapest, the Nazis ravaged Hungary and filled the Auschwitz death camp beyond capacity. In The Last Days, survivors journey back to their hometowns and to the places where they faced the Holocaust. Their eyewitness testimonies and rare archival footage reveal the harrowing journey that meant death for millions and survival for a precious few.
"Experiences should be shared so that people can learn from each other and society can learn from its mistakes," said Beallor.
SUNY New Paltz Distinguished Professor Gerald Sorin explained the annual Holocaust event at New Paltz. "We feel compelled to remember. That compulsion is the product of two different things: time passing, and with it, the passing of Holocaust survivors whose testimonies are such a powerful link to this important historical episode." He added, "The Nazis were bent on annihilating not only a Jewish physical presence, but the Jewish memory the very faculty that had distinguished and preserved Jews as a people. By remembering, by collecting testimonies of aging survivors, by reviewing those testimonies, we are denying victory to the power of forgetfulness."
The Last Days was executive produced by Steven Spielberg, produced by June Beallor and Ken Lipper, directed and edited by James Moll, and the original score was composed by Academy Award winner Hans Zimmer.
Spielberg founded the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation in 1994 and appointed Beallor and Moll as founding directors. Beallor has previously produced two award-winning television documentaries for the Shoah Foundation: Survivors of the Holocaust and The Lost Children of Berlin.
The Resnick Holocaust Memorial is made possible by a charitable gift to the SUNY New Paltz Foundation from Louis and Mildred Resnick of Ellenville. Building upon activities and programs in Jewish studies already supported by the Resnick endowment, the Resnick Institute for the Study of Modern Jewish Life offers educational, research, and Jewish archival programming for both the campus and community.
For additional information on Beallor and the Shoah Foundation, please call the Foundation at (818) 777-4673.
Located in the heart of a dynamic college town, 90 minutes from metropolitan New York City, the State University of New York at New Paltz is a highly selective college of about 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
One of the most well-regarded public colleges in the nation, New Paltz delivers an extraordinary number of majors in Business, Liberal Arts, Sciences, Engineering, Fine and Performing Arts and Education.
New Paltz embraces its culture as a community where talented and independent minded people from around the world create close personal links with real scholars and artists who love to teach.