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90 years later, the soldiers sing October 2, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Movies Life Greek.

Greek-German film director develops World War I concentration camp recordings into a documentary

‘The Miracle of Gorlitz’ by Toubekis is based on recordings of soldiers at a WWI concentration camp.

Ninety years ago, a considerable Greek community was established in the German city of Gorlitz. They were prisoners of war during World War I, at the regional concentration camp. The Greek captives were not abused but were nevertheless kept at the camp until the war ended. This very touching story, unknown to most and developed within the concentration camp’s confines, is now out for all to see and hear.

A phonographic committee, commissioned by the Prussian Kingdom, had visited the camp, looking to record imprisoned foreign musicians. They included Greeks of both urban and rural backgrounds, stretching from the country’s northern region of Macedonia to Crete in the south. All were recorded as part of an envisaged Prussian project for a Museum housing cultural documentations from other lands.

The Museum never came to be because of the ensuing political circumstances following the war, but the recordings were saved at an archive in Berlin. Forgotten and abandoned for decades, they were discovered by Constantinos Toubekis, a 32-year-old German-born, Greek film director. He put the material into order, studied it, tracked down relatives of the captives and made a documentary based on this extraordinary subject.

Titled “The Miracle of Gorlitz” the documentary, a 45-minute film produced by ERT, the Greek State Radio and Television, with support from Fotos Lambrinos, formerly of the broadcaster’s historical documentaries division, will be screened tonight at the Goethe Institute in Athens, at 8 p.m.

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