April ushers in major religious holidays for Jewish and Christian celebrants. In Judaism, Passover is observed from the evening of Monday, April 10 through Monday, April 17. Christianity observes Good Friday on April 14 and the celebration of Easter on Sunday, April 16.
THIRTEEN offers a diverse schedule of broadcasts to share stories of community and faith and legacy, and also, to remember the horrific genocide against Jews in the Holocaust of World War II.
Monday, April 3
10:30pm ET: They Played for Their Lives
Through intimate interviews and live performances, They Played for Their Lives artfully portrays how music saved the lives of young musicians. Playing music in the ghettos and concentration camps not only fostered spiritual strength within themselves and others, but often proved a bargaining tool that spared their lives. The documentary follows the personal narratives of eight survivors. Learn more in our blog post, Surviving the Holocaust through Music. Repeats Tuesday, April 4 at 3:30am.
Tuesday, April 4
8pm ET: The Last Days of Jesus
The story of Jesus’ final days has been celebrated by Christians the world over. From Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem, through to his eventual crucifixion six days later, the key moments have been immortalized in countless films, pieces of music, and works of art. But in recent years, some historians have begun to question inconsistencies in the Gospels’ version of events. They believe that the Gospels could hide a very different story; one that casts the historical Jesus in an entirely new light. Based on a new interpretation of contemporary historical events in Rome, this documentary explores a new political context to the events in Jerusalem.
Learn more about the film on PBS.org.
Sunday, April 9
1:30pm ET: The Four Sons And All Their Sons: A Passover Tale
The Four Sons are the focus of one of the most beloved and intriguing stories in the Haggadah, the book read and sung at the Passover Seder. It’s a short fable about four boys at the Seder table and how they’re treated by their father. One is wise, one is wicket, one is simple, and one doesn’t know how to ask questions. What’s intriguing is that the fable has been revised relentlessly over the centuries —- in words, in art, in music. The documentary shows the variety of those versions as the film moves constantly from an actual Seder to Four Sons stories in art, words, and music, and features interviewees from ages 17 to 70.
7pm ET: Treasures of New York: Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center
Long Island’s own Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center in Nassau County presents a unique cultural institution acting as a voice of tolerance. Established on the grounds of a former Pratt Estate, this state-of-the-art museum captures the lives of Long Island’s Holocaust survivors and transports visitors to a critical time in history, empowering students and adults alike with vital lessons of understanding.
The full episode is available to watch online now.
7:30pm ET: It Happened in Havana: A Yiddish Love Story
He didn’t speak Spanish. She didn’t speak English. After 61 years of marriage he was still on his honeymoon. In Forest Hills, Queens, a couple sits on their living room couch as the husband and wife each recount how they met in Cuba during the start of WWII. In her cinematic debut, filmmaker Judy Schiller takes the viewer on two journeys: her mother’s, from Poland to Cuba, where she and her family were the only Jews in their town; and her father’s beginning on New York’s Lower East Side, where the street was the playground. Equal parts romantic tale and history lesson, the film features poignant period footage and priceless home movies.A Jewish couple married for 61 years looks back on their past, their courtship in Cuba, and their live in New York.
This program is no longer streaming, so be sure to cuddle up and watch together with your gelibter (sweetheart)!
Thursday, April 13
9pm ET: Friar Allesandro: The Voice of Assisi
Travel to the magnificent hilltop Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in Italy for heavenly music from the friar with the big tenor voice. Featuring sacred standards as well as songs that reflect the friar’s message of hope, peace and brotherly love. Learn more on the official site.
Repeats Sunday the 16th at 1:30pm.
Saturday, April 15
9pm ET: Reel 13 Classics: Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)
Stanley Kramer’s Oscar winner about the post-war courtroom proceedings against Nazi war criminals in 1948 Germany. With Spencer Tracy, Marlene Dietrich, and Judy Garland.
Sunday, April 16
7pm ET: Treasures of New York: St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Treasures of New York, St. Patrick’s Cathedral delves into the cathedral’s history as the center of Catholic life in New York City, showcases the $175 million restoration, and examines the breathtaking architectural features that have made it a celebrated building and National Historic Landmark.
Wednesday, April 19
9pm ET: NOVA: Holocaust Escape Tunnel
At ground zero for the final solution, scientists uncover a story of hope and bravery. Archaeologists probe the ruins of a Nazi execution site in Lithuania.
10pm ET: Escape from a Nazi Death Camp
October 14, 2013 was the 70th anniversary of an event that shook the Nazi party to its core. In east Poland, at Sobibor, the remote Nazi death camp, 300 Jewish prisoners staged a bloody break out. This film travels back to Sobibor with the last remaining survivors to reveal their extraordinary story of courage, desperation and determination.
Monday, April 24
10pm ET: Independent Lens: The Last Laugh
Mel Brooks, Sarah Silverman, Carl Reiner and other Jewish comics and thinkers discuss whether any topic—including the Holocaust—should be off-limits in comedy.
Repeat Wednesday the 26th at 3:30am.
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