Grim history lives on

Frontline comes to Texas Panhandle viewers each week, presenting compelling documentaries on all manner of issues. Most of them are huge.

Tonight’s installment is as big as it gets.

Never Forget to Lie

“Never Forget to Lie,” airs tonight on KACV-TV at 9 and it takes viewers back to the darkest period of the 20th century. The Holocaust lives forever in the minds and hearts of those who know about it and certainly those who — by God’s grace and a bit of good luck, perhaps — managed to survive it.

Tonight’s Frontline segment takes us back to the Warsaw ghetto, where Jews were persecuted, imprisoned, executed in the streets, crushed as they sought to rise up against their Nazi captors.

The Holocaust is so important in many cultures that it is part of public education curriculum. Israel, where many thousands of European Jews fled after World War II is one such place that teaches young people about the Holocaust and reminds them of humanity’s capacity for cruelty.

I met someone four years ago this month in the city of Eilat, on the southern tip of Israel. His name is Jackie Pri-gal, who fled with his family to Israel from his native The Netherlands after the war. He now calls himself an Israeli, having given up his Dutch citizenship many years ago. He harbors resentment over the way he and his family were treated after the war, saying that discrimination against Jews in Europe did not abate even after the Nazis were defeated.

What does he do now? He takes high school-age students on pilgrimages to Eastern Europe, to view the death camps that American, British and Soviet forces discovered when they liberated Europe from Adolf Hitler’s tyranny. Pri-gal says it is critical to teach young Israelis about their heritage, which includes horrifying tales of deprivation, torture, starvation and death.

Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Marian Marzynski will tell his own story tonight on Frontline when he revisits the Warsaw, Poland ghetto from which his parents smuggled him when he was a boy. He knows his family history and wants to share it with the world.

It’s a story worth telling … again and again.

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