Online Holocaust project wins YouTube contest

Four-minute video detailing how Holocaust survivor learns of father wins YouTube’s non-profit video award.

April 15, 2012 02:46
2 minute read.
Sol, Joseph Finkelstein

Sol, Joseph Finkelstein. (photo credit: Youtube)


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A four-minute video detailing how a Holocaust survivor discovered what became of his father after World War II was awarded earlier this month the DoGooder Nonprofit Video Awards.

Presented by non-profit video makers See3 Communications and YouTube, the world’s largest online video community, Yes, That’s My Father, created by the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, was cited for the “best use of video to tell a compelling story” and won in the annual competition’s Best Video Storytelling category.

Yes, That’s My Father features the personal testimony of Sol Finkelstein, who was separated from his father just days before liberation at Mauthausen.

Finkelstein never knew what happened to his father and throughout his life wrestled with the guilt that he might have been able to save him.

After contacting the US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s World Memory Project, a nonprofit organization that is currently building the largest free online resource of information about victims and survivors of Nazi persecution, Finkelstein managed to find out what became of his father. The project even tracked down a photograph for the aging survivor, who appears in the video together with his son, Joseph.

“People always call us the ‘second generation’ because our parents are considered the first generation and that means that nothing existed before them, but there was life before them,” comments Joseph Finkelstein in the video.

Established six years ago, the DoGooder Nonprofit Video Awards recognizes the creative and effective use of video to promote the work of the nonprofit sector in catalyzing social good.

“With this contest, we get to highlight important nonprofit stories and help organizations engage with the YouTube audience,” explained Michael Hoffman, CEO of See3 Communications.

As well as See3 and YouTube, the awards are also supported by Cisco, a global leader in technology, the Case Foundation and the Nonprofit Technology Network.

Cisco’s Senior Vice President Carlos Dominguez pointed out that it was important for nonprofits to leverage technology and social media.

“They are learning what many businesses already know – which is that video is quickly moving to the Internet and becoming an everyday way of communicating,” he said.

This is the sixth year that non-profits have been recognized for their video making skills and a $14,000 cash prize and a similar amount worth of products will be divided up between four winners, including Yes, That’s My Father.

The other three winners include an account of sexual assault in the US military depicted in Protect Our Defenders, which won in the Best Small Organization category; Solid Women, a story of five women rebuilding their community after the 2010 Haiti earthquake won for the Best Medium Organization video; and Adding Tomorrows, by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, which won Best Large Organization Video.

The four winners, all of which are members of YouTube’s Non-profit Program, already spent a day with their videos featured on the website’s homepage and representatives of the organization will also attend the Nonprofit Technology Network’s (NTEN) annual conference.

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