In the decades that followed more than 40 million people would die...roughly the same population as the state of California. Six million of them were Jews. An entire culture would be destroyed. It was our culture and the culture of our parents...our grandparents, and our families, for untold generations.
David Labkovski recorded that culture and its destruction. He was just one of a million people in Russia who were killed or imprisoned in the 1930's as Josef Stalin consolidated his power. David's brother was a dissident and that relationship was enough to condemn them both. David survived the harsh, frigid conditions of Siberia only to discover that nothing remained of the life he had known. A life that he had shared with six million deceased holocaust victims and was now gone. But David remembered and he devoted the remainder of his life to painting his memories of the people he had known and those villages that no longer existed.
The CEK Foundation thought it was worthwhile to work toward the preservation of what had befallen this culture. It funded the production of a short documentary film, The Life & Art of David Labkovski. The film was well-received and received multiple film festival nominations. It won the Los Angeles film festival award for short documentary in 2016.
Eighty years ago two megalomaniacs came to
power at the same time. Each sought to blame
their country's woes on 'those people.' In Germany it was the Jews, the gypsies, the degenerates. In
the Soviet Union it was dissidents, and anyone thought to stray from pure Stalinist thoughts was
to be eliminated.
The film has already been seen by several thousand people at showings that include lectures on the holocaust by Mrs. Leora Raikin, grandniece of David Labkovski.
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