Never a Bystander (30 min, 2014) tells the story of Holocaust survivor Irene Butter’s extraordinary work with school children. Ms. Butter has spent nearly 30 years inspiring countless children to find the courage to take compassionate action and transcend obstacles. The film depicts Ms. Butter’s poignant connection to Anne Frank, her own childhood experiences in two concentration camps, and her choice to adopt an empowered view of her history, leading to a life of openheartedness, joy, and activism.
The screening will be followed by a talk back with film director, Evelyn Neuhaus, and Irene Butter.
Irene Butter was born in Berlin, Germany and grew up Jewish in Nazi-occupied Europe. A survivor of two concentration camps, she came to the U.S. in 1945. After graduating from Queens College in New York, she earned a PhD in economics from Duke University and taught at the University of Michigan for over 35 years. Since 1987, she has been visiting schools to teach students about the Holocaust and the lessons she learned during those traumatic years. She co-founded the Wallenberg lecture series honoring global change-makers and the Arab-Jewish women’s dialog group, Zeitouna. Butter resides with her husband in Ann Arbor.
Evelyn Neuhaus is a first-time filmmaker. She knew Irene Butter, the subject of Never a Bystander, for decades before learning that Butter was a Holocaust survivor and hearing her story. In 2007, Neuhaus was an assistant producer for Refusing to Be Enemies: The Zeitouna Story, about an Arab-Jewish women’s dialogue group Butter co-founded. She holds an MPH and an MBA from the University of Michigan and resides in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She is currently exploring topics for her next film.
For more information about Never a Bystander and this extraordinary story of compassion, forgiveness, and empowered action, visit www.neverabystander.com