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August 20 , 2008

Chosen for Reasons Unknown: A Holocaust Survivor’s Journey.


Moniek Ebner was only eleven when the Nazi’s invaded Poland. He and his family were among the tens of thousands of Jews captured and sent to live in the ghetto of Bochnia. They struggled to survive the freezing temperatures and were forced to beg, borrow and steal for food. At thirteen he wanted to help provide food for his family, so he set out to find work. The Nazi soldiers took him and other jews they found on the streets and herded them into trucks headed for the concentration camps. He never saw his family again. By a series of miracles he survived concentration camps whose names strike a chill in our hearts more than 60 years after they were closed: Auschwitz… Birkenau… Plaszow. When the Russian’s began advancing, the Nazi soldiers fled the concentration camps marching their prisoners back towards Germany. Miraculously Moniek was able to escape. He made it back to the little Polish town where he grew up. There, everyone was either missing or dead. He felt alone in the world. After living in a displaced persons camp and moving from orphanage to orphanage he made his way to America and found cousins in the Midwest. He changed his name to Murray Ebner, married, started a family and became a successful business man in Columbus, Ohio. He never forgot his mother, father and brothers, and never completely gave up hope that they may have survived. In the year 2000, he broke a decades old promise to himself to never return to his native land of Poland. Surrounded by his wife and children, he returned and confronted his memories, and found tearful closure. The documentary about Murray Ebner’s return to Poland was produced in 2002. It received an Emmy Award and an Orion Award.
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