“Ash and Smoke: The Holocaust in Salonika,” a documentary by retired Youngstown State University history professor Saul S. Friedman, airs on PBS Channel 45.1 on Thursday, April 12 at 9 p.m. and again on April 23 at 1 a.m. The program also airs on Fusion Channel 45.2 on Thursday, April 19 at 8 p.m.
The documentary is produced and written by Friedman and Robert D. Ault, Microforms/Information Services Librarian at Maag Library and the liaison for the History and Political Science departments. The film is edited by Dan McCormick, network administrator at YSU, and narrated by Brian Bonhomme, YSU history professor.
The documentary examines Salonika, Greece. According to records of the Greek government, 56,500 Jewish citizens lived in the city on the eve of the Holocaust. By the end of December 1944, only three citizens remained. Filmed on location in Thessaloniki (as Salonika is now known) and at the Auschwitz concentration camp, the documentary examines factors contributing to the demise of a Jewish community that had thrived for a thousand years.
Friedman, a Jewish Studies scholar and Holocaust expert, was educated at Kent State and Ohio State universities before becoming a history professor at YSU. During his career, he has authored 11 books and won five regional Emmy Awards. In 1988, he received the Ohio Humanities Council’s Richard Bjornson Lifetime Achievement Award for service to the humanities.