Tag Archives: if you cried you died

A little boy on the big screen…

18 Oct

This week, Indianapolis is hosting the Heartland Film Festival.  In light of this fact, I thought I’d go back to the archives and repost an entry from Sammy’s website.

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9/26/08 – There are moments when I have no words to describe my thoughts and can only shake my head in utter amazement. This week, I had one of those moments.

I received word that my little Sammy—a boy who couldn’t walk or talk—will appear on the big screen at the Heartland Film Festival, October 16-24. He will appear in the documentary “Auschwitz—If You Cried, You Died”.

I know what you’re thinking, “How in the world did Sammy find his way into a documentary about the Holocaust?

Several months before Sammy passed away, I began working with a graphic designer, Jennifer, to design a logo for Families for HoPE. During the process, she shared with me that she felt God was directing her to tell me about another project on which she was working. Of course, she was probably a little worried about what I would think, but she bravely posed the question, “Do you have any interest in the Holocaust?

In the months prior to her question, I had begun reading a lot about how the German government in the 1930s instituted euthanasia for the systematic killing of the mentally and physically disabled. (The secret operation was code-named “Action T4“—Google it and see for yourself.) Because I had been trying to comprehend how human beings could come to the common understanding that an entire race of people should be exterminated, I had begun reading on topics such as Eugenics, Euthanasia, and Social Darwinism.

Jennifer explained that she was editing a documentary about the Holocaust which chronicles the journey of two Holocaust survivors as they revisit Auschwitz Concentration Camp. The documentary which has been distributed to high schools across the U.S. also addresses the dangers of prejudice, the value of diversity and the need to respect others. The theme of the documentary is that “we must learn from the past to protect our future”, and it addresses topics such as cruelty, bullying, and dehumanization.

There is a segment of the newly-edited version where the students are urged to ask themselves how they treat others based upon appearance, money, race, religion and even upon mental handicaps or physical disabilities. Then, we see Sammy’s cute little face along with a video clip of Steve and me explaining Sammy’s condition and our worries of how our precious little boy might be treated by society as he grows older.

Back to the question, “How in the world did Sammy find his way into a documentary about the Holocaust?” God called upon our “imperfect” child to be used in His Perfect Plan by bringing him into the world not to learn, but to teach.