No. 4 Street of Our Lady
I went to the State Theatre yesterday to see the premiere of No. 4 Street of Our Lady, a documentary made by three filmmakers from Penn State and chronicled in the November/December Penn Stater. What a powerful movie. Barely a dry eye at the end.
It told the story of Francisca Halamajowa, a Polish Catholic who risked her life by hiding 16 of her Jewish neighbors in her home during World War II—one family in a hole under her kitchen floor, and two families in a hayloft in her pigsty.
All this happened while there were Nazi troops camped out by the pigsty. The very shrewd Francisca warned the troops that if they stayed there and the pigsty were hit, well, you can imagine what would happen—so the troops moved a few hundred feet from there, although they remained on her property. Of the Jews harbored by Francisca, 15 survived. They have 100 descendants living today. Herb Maltz, one of the survivors and the father of Penn State filmmaker Judy Maltz, was among the people at the screening. (Today’s Centre Daily Times also has a good article about the screening.)
During a brief Q & A after the show, the question was asked, “Would you do the same?” I believe that without a doubt, I would. If I could help save one or more lives and it cost me my own, it would be well worth it.
Judy Maltz and the other Penn State filmmakers—Barbara Bird and Richie Sherman—plan to release the movie in several languages, including Hebrew, German, French, Spanish, and Ukrainian. Another screening, for middle and high school students, is scheduled for April 22 at Drew University in Madison, N.J.
Barb Marshall, editorial assistant
Entry filed under: Communications, Faculty research, The Penn Stater magazine, University Park. Tags: Barbara Bird, Francisca Halamajowa, Holocaust, Judy Maltz, No. 4 Street of Our Lady, Penn State filmmakers, Richie Sherman, Righteous Gentiles, World War II.