50 years after the liberation of the Nazi extermination camps, 367 people from 33 different countries and from all walks of life gathered together near the Auschwitz concentration camp for 3 sessions over 3 days (August 1995).
Their common goal: honor the memory of the victims, study this extreme example of man’s power over man, examine the lessons of history in order to participate in a different future. In 50 years from now, what decisions will we be proud to have made today?
Based on participants’ testimonies (historians, camp survivors, key people from communities in conflict, teenagers…) and images of the camps, this documentary conveys some of the pains of history and hopes of how we can forge the future.
Turning Point ’95 is a Film and an exhibition that traveled around the world
The Turning Point film, produced by BSC Production, is archived in Germany at the Museum of Wansee, and in the United States at the Washington Holocaust Museum.
The film was broadcasted twice on National Television in France.
Along with the film, an exhibition composed of pictures, texts and poems was created and in different forums like at the European Parliament in Brussels (January 1997) and at the State of the World Forum (September 1997). The exhibition is now partially accessible on the internet.
- February 22nd: Lara and Claire Nuer meet Rachel Levin from Steven Spielberg’s Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation in Los Angeles to present the film and raise funds.
- March 3rd – 5th: The film is presented at the “26th Annual Scholars’ Conference on the Holocaust and the Churches.”
- March 24th and 26th : Public screenings of the film in Paris.
- September: The film is broadcasted twice on national television (Channel France 2) in “La Source de Vie” hosted by Josy Eisenberg.
- October 2nd – 6th: Claire and Lara Nuer participate in the “State of the World Forum.” Claire is a speaker in the panel ” Evil and Civilization ” to talk about the Holocaust and about the ” Turning Point” project, accompanied by Gottfried Wagner (the great-grand son of the composer).
- October 7th: Claire Nuer is invited to a screening of the Turning Point film, followed by a Q&A at Zieva Konvisser’s home, close to Detroit. Among the twenty guests: Rabbis, University Professors, and members of Zieva’s Chrysler management team.
- November 15th: Claire and Lara Nuer present the work of ACC and the Turning Point film to professor Abdul Aziz Said.
- January 27th – 30th: Display of the Turning Point exhibition and screenings of the film at the European Parliament in Brussels.
- March 1st – 4th: Display of the Turning Point exhibition and screening of the film at the “27th Annual Scholars’ Conference on the Holocaust and the Churches” in Tampa, Florida. Claire Nuer, Lara Nuer and Marc-André Olivier represent the project.
- March 1st – 3rd: Lara Nuer presents the Turning Point film at the “28th Annual Scholars’ Conference on the Holocaust and the Churches,” in Seattle, Washington. The conference is sponsored by the University of Washington on the theme: Holocaust and Genocide in the 2Ist century.
- November 5th – 9th: At the “State of the World Forum” in San Francisco, Lara Nuer organizes and participates in a round table on “Business for the World, a Daily Challenge for Leaders and Organizations” with Claire Nuer, Peter Senge (author of the best seller The Fifth Discipline, founder of the Society for Organizational Learning, and Professor at MIT), Iva Wilson (ex-president of Philips Display Components, president of Society for Organizational Learning) and George McCown (Managing Director at McCown DeLeeuw & Company). Shayne Hughes also presented the Turning Point exhibition.
15 years later, the influence of the Turning Point Gatherings continues…
For example, during one of the walks through the camp, participants Zieva and Marc Konvisser from Michigan, had joined in with the group at the killing field in Auschwitz-Birkenau in chanting the Kaddish (Jewish prayer for the dead) to commerate the memory of those who had perished there. At the suggestion of facilitator Sam Cohen and the members of Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam (a cooperative village where Jews and Palestinian Israeli experiment living together) they added a few words for world peace to the last two phrases of the Kaddish to include the world:
- “Let there be abundant peace from Heaven, with life’s goodness for us and for all the people Israel – and for all the world. And let us say: Amen.”
- “He who brings peace to His universe will bring peace to us and to all the people Israel – and to all the world. And let us say: Amen.”
Shortly after Zieva and Marc returned home, they shared this experience and offered the same suggestion to the members of their Conservative synagogue during the Yom Kippur Martyrology service commemorating those who had perished in the ghettos and concentration camps. The entire Beth Shalom congregation rose and chanted this version of the special Martyrology Kaddish – and have continued this tradition.
In 2011, they changed mahzors from the traditional Harlow mahzor to the newly published Mahzor Lev Shalom. The new language [v’al kol yosh’vei teiveil] was included in the mourner’s kaddish throughout the Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur services:
- “May the One who brings harmony on high, bring harmony to us and to all Israel [and to all who dwell on earth]. And respond with: Amen.”