Ann Arbor Weather:
Friday December 14, 2018
Follow us: facebook twitter RSS feed

Never a Bystander

Lessons from the Holocaust

by Shelley Daily

From the May, 2014 issue

Four years in the making, the documentary Never a Bystander premieres this month at the Michigan Theater as part of the Jewish Film Festival (see Films, p. 73). First-time filmmaker Evelyn Neuhaus (Ann Arborites, January 2012) raised $30,000, mostly from individual donors, to complete the thirty-minute film that celebrates the life and work of retired U-M professor Irene Butter--Holocaust survivor, human rights activist, and co-creator of U-M's Wallenberg Medal and Lecture.

The film traces Butter's German Jewish family through exile in the Netherlands to their imprisonment in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, Butter's survival, and her subsequent activism.

Neuhaus, whose own parents fled Nazi Germany, met Butter as her student at the U-M in the 1970s. She lost her mother to the debilitating genetic disorder Gaucher's disease when she was seven. Neuhaus also has the disease and uses a wheelchair, so she had to hire people to assist her with camera work; she also got help with editing. Between the logistical and financial challenges, she admits, at times she "wasn't all that certain" the project would come to fruition. Now, she hopes audiences will be inspired by Butter's example of how "a person can suffer as a child and still build a life of love and social activism."

For her part, Butter hopes the film will encourage people "not to be passive and silent when they face wrongdoing. I want students to realize there are problems in the present-day world. Genocide, prejudice, discrimination, and hatred have continued ... It's a wake-up call."     (end of article)

[Originally published in May, 2014.]

 



 
Bookmark and Share
Print Comment E-mail

You might also like:

Secret Crisis Comics Opens
Living a childhood dream
Shelley Daily
Galleries
Subscribe to the Ann Arbor Observer
An Underground Boutique in Dexter
And other Dexter marketplace changes
Sabine Bickford
Luna's Reappears
The Issas add Mexican to the downtown Ahmos.
Sabine Bickford
Bandito's Is Still in Construction Hell
And Kanwar Sandhanwali is borrowing money to pay his staff.
Sabine Bickford
Today's Events
Cinnabon Farewell
Briarwood searches for a new franchisee.
Sabine Bickford
Photo: Geese at Mary Beth Doyle Park
Musical Bakeries
And other Saline marketplace changes
Billie Ochberg
spark ann arbor
Delux Drapery offers window treatments in Ann Arbor, Michigan like draperies, curtains, shutters & H
A visitor's guide to Ann Arbor