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January 5, 2016 3:15 pm

Renowned German-Jewish Filmmaker Says Country’s Media Deserves ‘Serious Criticism’ for Israel Coverage

avatar by Shiryn Solny

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German-Jewish film producer Artur Brauner. He has produced many films about the Nazi era and the persecution of Jews. Photo: Wikipedia.

German-Jewish filmmaker Artur Brauner, who has produced many films about the Nazi era and the persecution of Jews. Photo: Wikipedia.

The German press should be called to task for its bad coverage of Israel, prolific Jewish film producer Artur Brauner said on Sunday in an interview with German broadcaster Deutsche Welle.

“German media reporting on Israel must be criticized, sometimes seriously criticized — with the exception of some reputable, pro-Israel newspapers,” the Germany-based movie-maker and entrepreneur explained. “Negative reports contain some discontent that has built up with regard to the success of the Israeli state.”

Brauner, 97, was born in Lodz, Poland. He said the defining moment of what would become his career in the film industry occurred during World War II, when he saw a Jewish boy killed by SS officers.

“At that time, I decided to make my childhood dreams come true,” he told Deutsche Welle. “My intention was to produce a film about the innocent victims, about the extermination of an entire people.”

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The Golden Globes winner has produced over 250 feature films, including dramas about the Nazi era and the persecution of Jews. His first major 1948 film, Morituri, is about a group of Jews who escape a concentration camp and hide in the Polish woods, where they meet other fugitives who have been there for months.

Brauner told Deutsche Welle that he hopes future generations will view his “anti-Nazi films” with “interest.”

“What happened in the past still seems unbelievable,” he said. “How is one to imagine 30-year-old men shooting infants between the eyes or two heads being put together to use fewer bullets? Or how can one imagine that boys crying for their parents were thrown into a cesspool? You can only grasp that here and now because such acts can still be confirmed any time. Later, in one or two hundred years, it will hard to maintain the credibility of these subjects.”

Brauner described Jewish life in Germany today as being “positive,” though he believes relations between Jews native to the country and those who immigrated from Russia are “rather frosty.” He said whenever there is a spike in neo-Nazi riots, he considers emigrating. But, he said, “I am so connected and bound to Germany that moving would be difficult or almost impossible.”

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  • marta mikey frid

    He should stay connected, if that’s what he chooses. Talk about cognitive dissonance!