Melbourne Family’s Survival Song Sweeps the World

July 13, 2010 by J-Wire
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A video made by Melbourne artist Jane Korman featuring her family dancing at Holocaust sites lurked quietly on YouTube for six months has now exploded on to computer screens worldwide.

George Foster, president of the Australian Association of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Descendants told J-Wire: “I can see there is a place for people who have survived the terrible experience of the Holocaust to celebrate…but I don’t think locations like Auschwitz, Dachau and Theriesenstadt are appropriate.”

The video, in which the family dance to the music of the Gloria Gaynor hit “I Shall Survive” has outraged survivors according to the U.K. paper “The Sun”. Korman is quoted in the paper as saying “I wanted to make artwork that creates a fresh interpretation of historical memory. It is a celebration of life and survival.”

On her web site, Korman, who made the video on a trip a year ago to Poland, the Czech Republic and Germany with her father, four children and her niece, writes: “The video portrays the family, comprising three generations, improvising an awkward dance. This was performed at numerous historically traumatic sites from my parents’ past.

Her 89-yr-old father Adolk who is a survivor is featured in the clip wearing a white tee-shirt with the word “Survivor” printed on the front.

Foster added: “It’s not to day that dancing in not appropriate. When I went on the March of the Living to Auschwitz, we visited the Lublin Yeshiva and there we danced in celebration of having survived the Holocaust. It’s just that I feel the places Korman selected are not appropriate. After all, they are the last known locations of millions.”

In an accompanying video on Korman’s web site, the family is seen in one of the boxcars used to transport Jews wearing the yellow Stars of David.

According to Foster, the dance video made little impact when first published on YouTube. “I have no idea why it has suddenly  getting so many hits. So far, we have had no complaints…but that might well change.”

The late iconic American comic Groucho Marx was taken on a tour of Berlin in 1958 and was shown the pile of rubble that marked the location of Hitler’s bunker in which the Nazi leader had suicided. Marx spontaneously climbed on top of the rubble and danced a two-minute can-can.

J-Wire believes the videos published on YouTube may contravene Gloria Gaynor’s copyright and we have removed them accordingly from our site….


3 Responses to “Melbourne Family’s Survival Song Sweeps the World”
  1. isaac feldman nyc says:

    i was totally crying when I watched your video…you got it and hit the point. We have survived no matter what they threw at us, we celebrate and show the world that we are here. After shooting five years of holocaust video interviews i can say that the most touching point was when at the end we got the whole family together to show that we survived and it’s time to celebrate…bring out the music and let’s start dancing.
    All the anti-semites will always twist “it” , they will say whatever they have to say and will always be around with their disgusting attitudes . The Jews, well we know that there will always be controversy, that’s the nature of the Jews. You did the right thing and showed it in your way…keep up the good work!!

  2. George Sternfeld says:

    To dance in Auschwitz is like dancing on your parents graves. I am a Holocaust survivor – I find it distasteful and verging on desecration. I disapprove!!!

  3. Brenda Franks says:

    I think they are wonderful. The joy of their grandfather’s survival is there for all to see.

    I visited these same locations in April 1993 to commemorate the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. I was living in England at the time (I live in Australia now).

    It was heartbreaking to be there and to be aware of the horror suffered by so many millions of people. I can certainly understand those who wish to retain the solemnity of these places.

    There were several Shoah survivors who came with their grandchildren and for most it was the first time they had been able to face returning but they wanted their grandchildren to understand what they went through. It would have been wonderful to have seen them dancing too.

    This Aussie family are simply wonderful and dancing in the face of this hideous attempt to stop them all from being born is in my view an entirely appropriate reaction. Good for them. Am Yisrael Chai – let us never forget that!!

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