INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — A Carmel teen is racing against time to share Holocaust survivors' testimonies while they are still here. Many of them are 80 years old or older. Ashton Gleckman, 19, spent the past year and a half traveling the world, interviewing survivors and producing his documentary "We Shall Not Die Now."
The documentary is already streaming on certain outlets, but there will be a special showing on Tuesday, January 28 at the JCC Indianapolis, and you can find tickets here. Local Holocaust Survivor Frank Grunwald will join Gleckman to answer questions for the audience following the showing.
"I think these very messages that the survivors have to share regarding tolerance, regarding how we treat other people, the common dignity in humanity, I think those things are really, really relevant in the world that we live in now," Gleckman said.
It is told from the perspective of more than 25 survivors, concentration camp liberators, and scholars.
"One of the camps I went to was Treblinka where 900,000 people were killed," Gleckman said. "It was one of the Nazis' primary death camps aside from Auschwitz."
Gleckman said it is difficult to find the words to describe his encounters but hopes this film will help others have their own experiences.
"Walking through the gates of Auschwitz, walking the streets of the Krakow Ghetto, it's a very life-changing experience," Gleckman said.
Gleckman said "We Shall Not Die Now" is unique because it is told only through the people who lived through the Holocaust, liberators and scholars. If you want to know more about the film, you can visit its website, www.weshallnotdienowmovie.com.
The viewing of "We Shall Not Die Now" coincides with International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is one day later on January 27. The Indianapolis JCRC is also hosting events around this day. You can find a list of those here.
As a note, Gleckman, who is 19 now, finished his sophomore year of high school but did not return. Instead, the musician said he was discovered by Hans Zimmer of the Lion King and worked with him in his studio. He then wrote music for films, working in Austria and New York before making the jump to film making.