In Berlin in the 1930's, the civil rights of Jews were systematically stripped
away. A young rabbi refused to be silent. His name was Joachim Prinz and he set out to restore the self-esteem of the German
Jews. Knowing the Nazis were monitoring his every word, and despite repeated arrests, Prinz continued to preach about the
value of Judaism. He saved many lives by encouraging Jews to emigrate from Germany.
Expelled from Germany in 1937, Prinz arrived in the United
States, the land where democracy had supposedly triumphed over bigotry and hatred. Here, he witnessed racism against African
Americans and realized the American ideal was not a reality.
As rabbi of Temple B'nai Abraham in Newark, NJ and later as President of the American
Jewish Congress, Prinz became a leader of the civil rights movement. Prinz worked to organize the 1963 March on Washington
for Jobs and Freedom, declaring, "bigotry and hatred are not the most urgent problem. The most urgent, the most disgraceful,
the most shameful and the most tragic problem is silence." Moments later, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his "I
Have A Dream" speech.
THE FILM MAKERS:
Rachel Fisher and Rachel Pasternak are the principals of R2,
a multimedia production company. They produced the documentary film Remembering Oswiecim. The film is shown daily at the Auschwitz
Jewish Center in Oswiecim, Poland.
Rachel Pasternak holds a Master’s
Degree in Jewish Studies from the Jewish Theological Seminary. While pursuing her graduate studies, Rachel obtained access
to Joachim Prinz’s private archives, conducted original research on Prinz, and wrote one of the first academic papers
on his life and career. Rachel began her journalism career as a writer for the New Jersey Jewish News, where she established
her own column. More recently, her work has appeared on various blogs as well as in the New York Times.
Fisher earned a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from the University of
California, Santa Barbara. She was the founding director of the Genealogy Institute at the Center for Jewish History in Manhattan,
where she developed the Samberg Family History program. She has consulted for several cultural institutions, including Beth
Hatefutsoth (The Diaspora Museum) in Tel Aviv.