January 17, 2019

‘One of Us’ co-director apologizes for Holocaust comment

Heidi Ewing, a co-director of the “One of Us” Netflix documentary, has apologized for her comments about Hasidic Jews being targeted during the Holocaust for not blending into society.

Ewing appeared on The Charlie Rose Show on Thursday and said, “The vast majority of Hasidic Jews were exterminated in the Holocaust, partly because they refused to blend in.

“They kept wearing the clothing,” said Ewing. “They sort of were loud and proud about their identity, and the vast majority died in the Holocaust.”

Ewing received some serious backlash on social media for her comment:

Others weren’t quite as taken aback by it:

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Ewing eventually apologized for her Holocaust remark.

“I am sorry if my words on Charlie Rose caused any pain and would like to clarify their meaning,” Ewing said in a statement. “The devastating losses that the Jewish community suffered at the hands of the Nazis is unspeakable. Almost half the population of world Jewry was destroyed by the Nazis and their collaborators, whole communities destroyed.”

She added that “Hasidic Jews suffered disproportionate losses” since “they were more easily identified and therefore had more difficulty hiding.”

“It took great courage for Hasidic Jews at that time to refuse to change their appearance to look more like the general European public,” said Ewing. “I am only filled with respect and admiration for any person who chooses to live their own truth.”

Some weren’t satisfied with her apology:

Others felt that her comments shouldn’t take away from the substance of the movie:

“One of Us” is a documentary that follows three former Hasidic Jews who have been ostracized by the community since they left. The documentary was released on Friday. Gerri Miller wrote about it for the Journal here.