Teenage Witness: The Fanya Heller Story, Airs Sunday, April 11
NEW YORK, April 6 /PRNewswire/ — On Sunday, April 11, THIRTEEN will air Teenage Witness: The Fanya Heller Story, narrated by Richard Gere and based on the memoir by Fanya Gottesfeld Heller, Love In A World of Sorrow.
Teenage Witness is a raw and emotional look at survival through an unfiltered narrative lens. Only through the kindness of a Polish peasant did Fanya and her family survive – hidden beneath a chicken coop with her parents and brother for two and a half years. Fanya’s story resonates with the extremes of fear, starvation and a remarkable tenacity of spirit even as death is slowly seeping in against life.
We learn about Fanya’s relationship with a Ukrainian soldier, a Nazi collaborator, who also helped to save her family from certain death. And how, in the end, this relationship leaves Fanya with questions she continues to struggle with to this day.
Mrs. Fanya Heller, an 85 year old Holocaust survivor, has made it her life’s work to share her unique story with inner city teenagers. They understand the choices that she was forced to make and relate to the unexpected love she found in the midst of horror and chaos.
Since the publication of her book in 1993, Fanya has dedicated her life to spreading her message of hope to audiences young and old.
“What is most important to me about making this film,” says Fanya, “is that this is another medium of reaching people – particularly the younger generations – who must be exposed to lessons in courage and tolerance, as well as to the dangers of prejudice and baseless hatred.”
As the survivor population grows older, with most in their seventies, eighties, and beyond, there is an urgent need for their stories to be shared so that people will never forget what happened. The atrocities of the Holocaust happened more than sixty years ago, but the lessons are just as relevant today.
Teenage Witness: The Fanya Heller Story, produced by On Screen Entertainment, airs on THIRTEEN/WNET, Sunday, April 11, 11 – 12 PM (check your local listing).