What is the film?
Filmmaker Judi Beecher shares her family's personal story of survival.
As the Nazis close in, Judi's Mother Ronya a six year-old German Jewish girl, flees across the French border to Switzerland all by herself.
"Run Ronya" is a road movie into the past. It explores the true stories of Ronya and her parents, Adolf and Alice, who escaped the camps separately, dodging all sorts of terrors and close calls, ultimately helped by guards and police who wanted to arrest them.
Seventy- five years later, Ronya and her daughters retrace her incredible journey to safety. This is her unique, heart-wrenching, and miraculous true story.
"Run Ronya" is a tribute to those who had the courage to be compassionate in the darkest of times
Ronya was deported from Germany with her parents at four and a half-years old and interned in camp Rivesaltes in the south of France. At five and a half years old Ronya was smuggled out by the Swiss Red Cross and put into hiding. At six-and a half years old she escaped across the French-Swiss border to freedom.. alone.
After her arrival in America in 1947 Ronya decides to never speak about the past again. On her 80th birthday refugee children are being separated from their parents, and intolerance and anti-semitism are once again on the rise. This awakens in her a buried yearning to understand what happened to her and her parents during her own separation and a need to know if the past is repeating itself.
Seventy five years after being separated and reunited with her family; Ronya and her daughters embark on an incredible needle-in-a haystack quest across four countries.
Guided by her father's recorded voice and the original map her parents used to escape, Ronya Beecher and her two daughters, Judi and Andrea, travel back to Europe, to re-live, recreate and chronicle Ronya’s and her parents, authentic story of escape from the Nazi horror camps.
On their journey they meet with historians, survivors, students and current day refugees and make incredible discoveries as they learn the truth about what really happened to her and her family.
The last generation of survivors are now in their eighties, nineties and hundreds. Soon there will be no one left who lived it first hand. The Holocaust is fading from memory. A survey by Claims Conference finds significant lack of Holocaust knowledge in the United States. Four in ten Millennials don’t know that six million Jews were killed. Twenty two percent of Millennials say they haven’t even heard of the holocaust. Distortions of historical events happen as time goes on. First hand accounts told by those who actually lived it, are so important.
In today's world of intolerance, kindness is more important than ever. Ronya's journey to freedom and that of her parents was only possible through the compassion of strangers who placed themselves in harm's way.
Why This Film Is Important
We become complacent and think it cannot happen to us, but history has proved otherwise. The refrain has always been, “never forget”, but we do forget, and we constantly need to be reminded that things can change in an instant, as it did with Hitler in 1933. The fate of the Jewish refugees in the 1930’s is a cautionary tale of the consequences of inaction and indifference in the world today.
It is important to remind the world of the consequences of continued callousness and indifference to the plight of European Jewry, and people around the world who are suffering. If we don’t learn, nothing will change.
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