two part documentary

a documentary film by Elka Nikolova

A documentary film about the legacy of the Holocaust in the Balkans, as seen through the eyes -and conflicting memories- of three Bulgarian Jewish survivors in New York.

Chaim Zemach, a cellist; Robert Bakish, an engineer; and Misha Avramoff, a social worker on the Lower East side of Manhattan, were living with their families in Bulgaria during the country’s alliance with the Nazis. When in March 1943 the Bulgarian government first postponed and ultimately cancelled the imminent deportation of the entire Bulgarian Jewish community of 48 000, Chaim, Robert, and Misha were ages 5,

14 and 17.

After the war their families left Bulgaria. The three young men only grasped how close they came to death after they arrived in New York and learned the fate of millions of European Jews. Ever since, they have struggled to place their unusual story of survival into the more conventional narrative of the Shoah. The realization of how they narrowly escaped the death camps has left them questioning the value of their experiences and to debate whether they are true Holocaust "survivors."