The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center has produced a new local documentary that focuses on the attempted neo-Nazi march in Skokie in the late 1970s.
"Skokie: Invaded, but not Conquered" will premiere at 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24, on WTTW Channel 11 and be rebroadcast at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27.
The program examines the personalities and issues connected to the attempted march. Written by Todd Whitman to coincide with the 35th anniversary of the events, the film makes extensive use of archival footage and contemporary interviews to reveal how a debate over First Amendment rights inspired Holocaust survivors to become activists, eventually leading to the creation of the museum. Aaron Freeman hosts.
The movie is the first creation of Skokie Productions, the film division of the Illinois Holocaust Museum. Skokie Productions will focus on the creation of films that align with the museum's mission of fighting hatred, standing up to indifference, and promoting human rights.
"Even for those who consider themselves familiar with the events of Skokie, this film reveals so much more to the story," said Rick Hirschhaut, executive director of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center.
"In 1977, quiet and peaceful Skokie, a haven for Holocaust survivors, was shaken to its core when a small group of neo-Nazis tried to march there," said the film's co-executive producer Todd Whitman, adding the national and international attention it attracted led to landmark legal cases.
Daniel Soles, WTTW's chief television content officer, said, "We hope our audiences will be inspired by this story of a town that banded together to stop a potential firestorm from happening in their community."
A trailer of the documentary is at www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8X8Q0pzwyw.