Videos

Through hours of videotape, Aaron Herskowitz’s son Howard captured the horror and triumph of his father’s extraordinary life during and after World War II. A gifted storyteller who frequently impersonated his captors and comrades, Aaron Herskowitz’s genuine and captivating narration, buoyant personality and the telling of both heroic and horrific acts enraptures his audience. Some of the filming was done during a family trip, when Aaron was 75 years old, to Eastern Europe and Bilke, the site of Aaron’s family farm. Other filming was taken when Aaron was in his eighties, still vibrant and expressive. In these clips, Aaron describes his survival and the deep questioning of his faith; he denounces the rabbis who failed their people. He recounts how he killed a Nazi SS officer who’d planned to murder him during his enslavement; then he illustrates his survival during the Russian bombings and anti-Semitic murders that wiped out his comrades.

In a pivotal scene, Aaron wonders how his friend Sax became a monster of revenge. From all the videos, plus interviews and historical research, Howard Herskowitz wrote his father’s story.

The video, "We Had Too Much Power!" tells the story of Aaron as the master of Geryen, a conquered Nazi town, in 1944. He had virtually unlimited power as the Russian-sponsored ruler, and in his incredible reversal of fortune from slave to master, he, along with his 2nd in command, his friend Ignatz Sax, took their revenge, executing the most criminal of their captives. But when Sax learns that his wife and children have likely been deported to death camps, he loses all self-control and goes too far, brutally torturing German and Hungarian soldiers and spies they capture. Aaron recedes from his own violence, and tries to rein in his friend, but Sax refuses to end his brutality, leading to conflict between the two men.



"Why did God abandon the Jews?" Aaron endures the murders of fellow Jewish slaves by the Nazis and Hungarians on the Russian front. In one of the most emotional passages of the story, after a Russian bombing of the Axis columns massacred nearly all remaining Jews, Aaron gives up on God, just as he believed God gave up on the Jewish people.






“Escape from the Nazis and Hungarians.” In a classic exciting adventure, Aaron realizes he has no choice but to escape from his Nazi captors and join the Russian Army—but the Russians believe that Aaron is a German spy. They give him an impossible task to prove himself otherwise—he must cross back over enemy lines and bring back a German or Hungarian soldier for interrogation. Can Aaron succeed?
















In "It's Time For a Kill!" Aaron knows he must take action after overhearing a Nazi SS officer confide to a comrade about Aaron: "That Jew has been getting fat enough…it’s time for a kill!" The Nazi officers didn't realize that Aaron understood German.







“Escape from the Russians.” Aaron is taken from his headquarters by a squad of Soviet secret police. Aaron turns down the Soviet offer to be “promoted” to spy for Russia. As a result, Aaron is immediately arrested and falsely accused of being a Nazi spy. How does Aaron overcome this impossible new predicament?