Sioux Falls Atheists
Sioux Falls Atheists and Atheism, Agnostics and Humanism

Sioux Falls Atheists endorse Prisoner of Her Past for showing how a
victim's traumatic experiences in the Holocaust never really go
away. The memory of them lingers on in the unconscious
mind and can still heavily influence behavior.

Prisoner of Her Past

Prisoner of Her Past (2010) - 57 minutes
Prisoner of Her Past at Amazon.com

Sixty years after the war, a survivor is running and hiding again…

Prisoner of Her Past tells the haunting story of a secret childhood trauma resurfacing, sixty years later, to unravel the life of the Holocaust survivor Sonia Reich. The film follows her son, Chicago Tribune jazz critic Howard Reich, as he journeys across the United States and Eastern Europe to uncover why his mother believes the world is conspiring to kill her. Along the way, he finds a family he never knew he had.

This film is the first to illuminate a little-known illness, late-onset Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Prisoner of Her Past examines this disorder's devastating effect on victims and their families. In addition, the film highlights programs that are aiding young trauma survivors of Hurricane Katrina, in New Orleans - and how such early interventions may have helped Howard's mother.

6-16-18 Preserving the legacy of Holocaust survivors
The remaining holocaust survivors are dying. How will we save their stories? Halina Litman Yasharoff Peabody remembers the events of her life during the Holocaust in remarkable detail. She was only six when Russians invaded her Polish town, arrested her father, and sent him to a prison camp in Siberia. The Germans arrived in 1941, setting off a string of horrors for Peabody, her mother, and her baby sister: the hiding, the ghetto, the mass graves, the escape by train, and the bomb that took two of her fingers. "You don't forget those things," she said at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., recently. "And I'm one of the last eyewitnesses." Eyewitness perspectives like Peabody's have served as invaluable educational resources for the Holocaust Museum since the institution opened near the National Mall 25 years ago. But as the number of survivors dwindles, the museum must prepare for a future without them. Peabody is part of a team of more than 80 survivors who fill a wide variety of roles as volunteers, ranging from translating primary source documents for the collections to completing the museum's intensive tour guide training and leading visitors through the exhibits. Peabody has traveled from her home in Bethesda, Maryland, to the museum nearly every week for the past 15 years. Sometimes she works at the information desk in the light-filled lobby. On other days, she tells her story in front of an audience as part of the museum's First Person event series. It's a well-oiled, mutually beneficial system. Like many survivors, Peabody said she feels drawn to the museum, its staff, and the network of other survivors. "They are all my family," she said after saying goodbye to a staff member with a kiss on the cheek. "Because I don't have any, you know? They're mine." The museum staff also relies on the survivors to connect with visitors in a visceral way that an exhibit alone cannot accomplish. Diane Saltzman, the museum's director of constituency engagement, said survivors help create lasting impressions among new audiences, particularly children. Every year, she coordinates around 375 events around the country with survivors who volunteer at the museum, enabling them to travel to other communities outside of D.C. to share their stories. But time is taking its inevitable toll. Saltzman has been invited to 80th, 90th, and even 100th birthday parties for aging survivors. The oldest survivor who is still volunteering is 101 years old. "It's a challenge, from a personal perspective. These are not just people that come to work every day. They are family," Saltzman said, echoing Peabody.

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Prisoner of Her Past

Sioux Falls Atheists endorse Prisoner of Her Past for showing how a
victim's traumatic experiences in the Holocaust never really go
away. The memory of them lingers on in the unconscious
mind and can still heavily influence behavior.