Near Normal Man
Available on iTunes
"Near Normal Man" is a half-hour documentary film aimed at the next generation everywhere. The documentary is told first-hand by Ben Stern, a Polish Jew, who at the age of 17, experiences the invasion of Mogielnice, Poland, his hometown. We witness the impact of the rapid rise of Nazi power; anger, hate and rage aimed at all Jews. Ben is forced to become a slave under the Nazis regime for 68 months, enduring humiliation, beatings, whipping, being shot at, starvation, disease and being marched close to death. His only weapons to survive were the courage, kindness and hope his parents instilled in him. From the ages, 17-24, Ben survived 2 ghettos, 9 concentration camps and 2 death marches. Ben describes his experiences in the Warsaw Ghetto, the concentration Camps, Majdanek, Auschwitz-Birkenau, a 33-day Death March, his liberation by the American army and painful aftermath in a Displaced Persons camp. Emigrating to America, with his new wife, Helen, they slowly rebuild their lives. Ben in time, let go of hatred to free himself to live his new life. He becomes a father and a proud U. S. citizen. He emerged the Holocaust alive, only to face the Nazis again - 30 years later, this time in Skokie, Illinois, when Nazis petition to rally in where the largest population of survivors have made them homes. Ben sparks defiance, yelling “Not Here! Not Now!” in response to near-universal admonitions of public leaders to stay home and let it pass. He leads a fierce, public battle against the Nazis, ACLU and Chicago Jewish leadership. He gathers 3/4 of a million signatures of support through the mail, from cities everywhere in America. When 60, 000 Christians and Jews announce plans to show up to counter-demonstrate, the Nazis cancel their rally and never return to Skokie.
Starring Ben Stern
Director Charlene Y. Stern