Monday, August 29, 2005
My Man Mitch?
On Jan. 24 — six months after graduating from IU — reporter Mitch Blacher, BAJ'04, boarded an LOT /Polish Airline jet bound for Krakow, Poland. His assignment: an in-depth story on the journey of Holocaust survivor Eva Mozes Kor and a group from Terre Haute, Ind., as they take part in an international commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the notorious Nazi death camp.
Prior to this trip, Blacher's assignments at WTWO, the NBC/Fox affiliate in Terre Haute, had been strictly local news stories — everything from murder investigations to 4-H Club stolen rabbits. But even if the Auschwitz story took Blacher much further afield than his typical stories, the project nonetheless shared a great deal with Blacher's other work.
"In this market, much of the news has to do with personal stories and what is happening in people's lives," he says. "That's exactly what the Auschwitz experience was, only to an extreme."
Blacher's journey to Auschwitz actually began several months earlier, when Kor contacted WTWO to see if it could send a reporter with the group she was taking to Poland. Kor, an internationally known Holocaust educator, had been a prisoner at Auschwitz when the camp was liberated by Soviet troops on Jan. 27, 1945. With her identical twin sister, Miriam, Kor was subjected to experiments conducted by the infamous Nazi doctor Josef Mengele. The rest of their family perished in the gas chambers.
Here's a link to the full article.
(NOTE: Photo of Mitch Blacher in Auschwitz during production of the documentary "Return to Auschwitz" from the Indiana Alumni Magazine, courtesy of Lee Ann Sandweiss)