Lanzmann documentary on Holocaust to have its premiere on Turkish state TV

Turkish TV station TRT will become the first state broadcaster in the Muslim world to air French director Claude Lanzmann's ten-hour-long documentary ‘Shoah'. The film on the extermination of European Jews has been subtitled for the first time in Turkish, Arabic and Persian. In March 2011, the Los Angeles-based ‘Pars TV’ satellite channel aired the Persian version for television viewers in Iran: While the regime there reacted with ire, viewers welcomed the initiative, and the station received close to 3,000 emails and calls in support of the broadcast, the Aladdin Project said in a statement.

Launched in 2009 under the patronage of UNESCO, the Aladdin Project is an international organization promoting intercultural rapprochement, especially between Jews and Muslims, on the basis of education, knowledge of history and rejection of Holocaust denial. 

"Broadcasting ‘Shoah’ on public television in a Muslim country is a major step, and I welcome the decision of TRT’s executives,” said director Claude Lanzmann (pictured below). “I hope this initiative will lead other countries in the Muslim world to follow the example of Turkey. No part of our international community should exclude itself from the universal lessons of the darkest pages of Europe’s history; lessons that are only too relevant today as our world finds itself in the throes of turmoil and radical change.”

Lanzmann devoted eleven years of his life to the production of ‘Shoah’, finishing in 1985. The film primarily consists of interviews with survivors, perpetrators and historians, and of visits to key sites of the Holocaust such as Auschwitz. It is considered to be the foremost film on the subject. Simone de Beauvoir called it “neither fiction nor documentary” and added: “’Shoah’ succeeds in recreating the past with very limited means: places, voices and faces. The great art of Claude Lanzmann lies in making places talk, in reviving them through voices, and, beyond the words, in expressing the unspeakable through faces".

Lanzmann will attend a ceremony to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust at Istanbul's Neve Shalom Synagogue on 26 January 2012, in the presence of more than six hundred politicians and intellectuals.

Link: Aladdin Project

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