skip navigation  The Library of Congress >> Research Centers
AFC Logo
The American Folklife Center
Connect with us:   Blog Blog  |  Facebook Facebook  |  Podcasts Podcasts   RSS RSS  | Video Webcasts
 home >> Civil Rights History Project >> Survey of Collections and Repositories >> Collections >> Collection Record

The Civil Rights History Project: Survey of Collections and Repositories

Tak for alt: survival of a human spirit

Repository: Sirena Films

Collection Description (Extant): TAK FOR ALT tells the story of educator Judy Meisel, a Holocaust survivor whose experiences during World War II inspired a life-long campaign against racism.

Connecting Europe's Holocaust and America's civil rights movement, TAK FOR ALT opens with Meisel recalling news coverage of a 1963 race riot in Philadelphia, sparked by a black family, the Bakers, moving into an all-white neighborhood. For Meisel, the scene was chillingly familiar: "Here I was in the City of Brotherly Love, and it was like Kristallnacht, November 9, 1938. . .and nobody was doing anything about it. So I baked some cookies and went to see the Bakers. . ."

The ensuing film weaves archival material and location footage of Meisel retracing her wartime experiences through Eastern Europe-working slave labor in a Kovno Ghetto boot factory, watching her mother disappear into the Stutthof Concentration Camp gas chamber, crawling across a frozen river after fleeing a death march, passing as a Catholic while working for the Wermacht, and finally escaping to Denmark, 16 years old and weighing forty-seven pounds.

Unlike many Holocaust films that end with Liberation in 1945, TAK FOR ALT contextualizes these wartime events within Judy's continuing work as a civil rights advocate and educator, utilizing her experiences as a means to combat bigotry and racism here in the United States. The film underscores that the Holocaust is not just an historical event or a Jewish issue. Acts of intolerance continue across the world today, impacting people of varying color, religion, political affiliation, and sexual orientation. Through the film, Judy Meisel offers an example that one person can make a difference.

Access Copy Note: A clip is available online at

Collection URL: External Link

Date(s): 1999

Digital Status: Partial

Language: English

Interviewees: Judy Meisel

Rights (CRHP): Contact the repository for more information on rights.


Civil rights movements--Pennsylvania
Civil rights--Religious aspects--Judaism
Discrimination in housing
Jewish women
Women civil rights workers




  Back to Top


 home >> Civil Rights History Project >> Survey of Collections and Repositories >> Collections >> Collection Record

  The Library of Congress >> Research Centers
   May 15, 2015
Legal | External Link Disclaimer

Contact Us:
Ask a Librarian