March 3, 2023
On behalf of Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center, we wish to commend your thoughtful pursuit of addressing the enduring legacy of the Holocaust, and its meaningful accessibility to future generations through the story and film The Ice Cream Man. Through your efforts, this film will provide students, educators, and the general public with a powerful and important tool for exploring a world in which multiple generations are able to access the narrative of the Holocaust.
During the Holocaust, 75% of Dutch Jews were murdered, the highest percentage of Jewish victims in Western Europe. Yet, the focus of much of the Holocaust in the West has been overshadowed by the atrocities in the East. Additionally, stories of resistance – courage and strength – the idea that however rare there were those who fought back against the Nazis and their collaborators must be told. The Ice Cream Man sheds light on both of these lesser-known histories, sharing the remarkable story of Ernst Cahn. It is a film that will no doubt serve as a poignant testament to the imperative of accepting the responsibility for helping the world remember, understand, and acknowledge both the horror and lessons of the Holocaust.
We look forward to sharing this valuable resource with our educators as well as partnering to screen the film for the broader community as part of the high-level public programming we provide the Chicagoland area.
Again, we appreciate your commitment to this important aspect of Holocaust history. Today’s events tell us that the lessons of the Holocaust remain all too relevant in our day. We often wonder about the human capacity to resist evil. By sharing the story of The Ice Cream Man, we are able to promote lessons that affirm our human dignity, recognize the courage and resilience of our survivors, and inspire each of us to make “never again” a mandate for today.
Kelley H. Szany
Senior Vice President, Education & Exhibitions