Segments in this Video

Tracing One's Roots (05:21)


Eli Adler grew up in Skokie, Illinois; he wondered why he did not have extended family or grandparents. Jack Adler grew up in Pabianice. When the Nazi's occupied Poland in 1939, soldiers moved the Jewish population into a ghetto. (Credits)

Chicago Immigrants (02:45)

Howard Reich describes how Skokie traditionally had a Germanic population. Davey Miller's Pool Hall members would break up Nazi meetings in town. The Third Reich transferred Adler's family to Lódz.

Auschwitz-Birkenau (03:19)

Jewish men confiscated the new arrivals' belongings and advised them to look healthy at all costs. After ten days, Adler and his father were shipped to Kaufering. In 1945, rumors spread that Allied Forces were winning World War II; Adler participated in the Dachau death march.

War Ends (02:37)

The U.S. Army placed Adler in the Foehrenwald Displaced Person's Camp hospital for three months. Adler remained and helped other Jewish individuals find their families.

American Immigration (02:56)

Adler boarded the Marine Marlin to travel to America. After remaining in New York for a year, he found a foster home in Chicago. Experts describe why immigrants were attracted to living in Skokie.

Reliving Old Memories (03:22)

Eli and Adler visit their old home on Harding Street. Holocaust survivors reveal why they did not speak of their past.

Civil Rights Movement (02:43)

Chicago became a hotbed of political protest culminating in the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s march in Marquette Park. Eli describes his father's reaction to news about the American Nazi Party.

National Socialist Party of America (05:16)

Frank Collins protested African Americans and Jews moving into white neighborhoods. The Jewish Defense League fought the Neo-Nazis. The NSP decided to hold a parade in Skokie.

Fighting Prejudice (04:27)

Neo-Nazi's put leaflets on cars in Niles Township Jewish Congregation's parking lot, announcing their parade. Holocaust survivors began to feel terrorized and decided to take action. Max Cohen was imprisoned at Dachau.

Counter-demonstration Occurs (03:47)

Holocaust survivors protested the Neo-Nazi march. Mayor Smith ordered state police to have Collins and the National Socialist Party of America leave. Harvey Schwartz obtained injunctions against the parade; Collins agreed to move the protest to a rally in Chicago.

Rally in Chicago (02:40)

Experts describe why Collins would be willing to abandon plans for the Skokie parade when he had won the court case. Survivors created the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center. Adler speaks about his experiences on television.

Returning to Pabianice (07:32)

Adler and Eli travel to Poland to find family heritage. The father and son tour the apartment Adler grew up in and lived during the German occupation.

Act of Bravery (04:23)

Approximately 6,000 men, women and children were marched into a soccer field, beaten, and abused. Nazi soldiers divided the Jewish population into those going to Chelmno and Lódz. Adler helped his younger sister escape going to the death camp.

Visiting the Cemetery (03:11)

Adler tried to find the graves of his departed family, but his relatives were buried in a mass grave. Chaim Rumkowski ran the Jewish ghetto in Lódz. Adler narrowly escaped being sent to Chelmno extermination camp.

Family Separation (03:16)

Adler shares how he felt about being transported via railroad to Auschwitz. Ester and Peska were killed.

Visiting Auschwitz (04:29)

The March of the Living transports children to concentration camp sites to learn about atrocities. Adler walks to Birkenau and recalls the last time he saw his sister.

Credits: Surviving Skokie (01:22)

Credits: Surviving Skokie

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Surviving Skokie

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



They survived the horrors of the Holocaust and came to America to put the past behind. For decades they kept their awful memories secret, even from their children.  But their silence ended when an uprising of Neo-Nazis threatened to march in their quiet village of Skokie, Illinois, “because that is where the Jews are.” Surviving Skokie is an intensely personal documentary by former Skokie resident Eli Adler about the provocative events of the 1970s, their aftermath, his family's horrific experience of the Shoah, and a journey with his father to confront long-suppressed memories. Winner, Audience Award - Mill Valley Film Festival. Winner Best Documentary - Warsaw Jewish Film Festival, 206. Winner, Best Documentary - Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival, 2016.

Length: 64 minutes

Item#: BVL145593

ISBN: 978-1-64347-013-9

Copyright date: ©2015

Closed Captioned

Reviews & Awards

“It’s a complicated story, well told.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“…an uplifting tale of survivors finally ending their silence about what they endured in the Holocaust. The 66-minute film made me weep.” —Marinscope

“A heartbreaking, poignant and remarkable story” — KQED Forum with Michael Krasny

“Most fabulous and inspirational.” —Miriam Goldberger, Illinois Holocaust Museum Board of Directors

“It was a beautiful film, well done.” — Dr. Irving Cutler, Chicago historian, author and Professor emeritus at Chicago State University

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.