“From Buchenwald to Hollywood, The Robert Clary Story” – A film by Karen and Richard Bloom and Michel van der Burg .
Watch now online … a truly inspiring film about a Hollywood legend ….
Click ⓘ right corner YouTube screen – for link to the site of the Sydney & Melbourne Lift-Off Film Festival 2021 Monday 22nd November – 20th December
The Lift-Off Film Festival 2021 is screening 41 feature films.
The Robert Clary Story is Episode 19 .
Get a ‘Features’ ticket with access to all the 41 Features from the Lift-Off Film site , which also allows voting (2 votes) for the films.
The producers of Transport XX to Auschwitz and Defending Holocaust History are proudly bringing to the screen, the inspirational film, From Buchenwald to Hollywood, The Robert Clary Story, about a Hollywood legend, an internationally known actor, Broadway star, singer, artist, author and Holocaust lecturer.
Mr. Clary is widely known for his role as Corporal Lebeau on the long running TV series Hogan’s Heroes. What is little known by the public is that Robert’s real last name is Widerman, and in 1942 at the age of 16, he and thirteen members of his family were rounded up in Paris, France and deported by the Nazis to concentration camps. He was the only one to survive, having endured 31 months in four Nazi camps and a death march until his liberation from Buchenwald by the U.S. Army on April 11, 1945. He was discovered singing in a Paris nightclub in 1947, signed to a recording contract and brought to the United States in 1949 where he met Merv Griffin, who introduced him to Eddie and Ida Cantor and their daughter, Natalie, who he would later marry.
USHMM (news facebook Nov 21, 2021) – “That was second nature with me—singing, dancing, clowning around. And that helped me tremendously when I was deported.”
Before Robert Clary was a star in the 1960s TV hit, “Hogan’s Heroes,” playing a French POW, he survived several concentration camps.
In 1942, at age 16, Robert, who was a born to a Jewish family in France, was deported along with his parents and several other family members.
Robert’s singing talent became a means of survival. He remembers performing for inmates at one camp he was sent to and having the SS come to watch at another. He concluded that maybe “they had such a terrible life hitting us and killing us that they wanted to be entertained too.”
As Soviet troops approached German-occupied Poland in January 1945, Robert was imprisoned at Blechhammer, a sub-camp of Auschwitz. Blechhammer was evacuated. The SS forced prisoners on a days-long death march to the Gross Rosen concentration camp. Robert was then evacuated by train to the Buchenwald concentration camp.
After Buchenwald was liberated in April 1945, Robert reunited with some of his siblings who had survived in France. He later learned that his parents and the other family members he had been deported with had not survived. In 1949, he immigrated to the United States.
After years as a recording artist, he was cast as Corporal Louis LeBeau on “Hogan’s Heroes.” Many questioned how Robert felt about his role on the show, particularly because he didn’t speak openly about his Holocaust experience until the 1980s. He later noted how humor helped him survived.
“For the ten minutes that I worked, or the 15 minutes that I sang, they forgot where they were—and that was the most important thing. And that’s what makes me—being alive.”
The World Premiere was November 13, 2018 at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival in Cinema Paradiso, Hollywood, Fl (USA).
Earlier this year the film was online at the Paris Lift–Off Film Festival, and now again available worldwide online at the Sydney & Melbourne Lift-Off Film Festival 2021 from today Monday 22nd November till Monday 20th December.
The film is also available at the holocaust centers USHMM and Yad Vashem.
Promo film (20211122) by Michel van der Burg | Miracles•Media
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Festival site https://liftoff.network/sydneymelbourne-lift-off-film-festival-2021/
Vimeo users may also watch directly via Vimeo on demand – with no option for voting though – via channel https://vimeo.com/ondemand/australialiftofffeatures
Richard Bloom Productions – http://richardbloomproductions.com