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White House to screen HBO’s ‘Survivor’ to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day

Film tells story of boxer Harry Haft and his experience as a prisoner in Auschwitz, where he was forced to put on exhibition fights for Nazi commandants

Actor Ben Foster as boxer Harry Haft in 'The Survivor,' the real-life story of an Auschwitz survivor whose boxing skills saved his life (Leo Pinter/HBO)
Actor Ben Foster as boxer Harry Haft in 'The Survivor,' the real-life story of an Auschwitz survivor whose boxing skills saved his life (Leo Pinter/HBO)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden were set to host their first official film screening at the White House on Thursday.

The Bidens will show HBO’s “The Survivor,” in honor of Yom HaShoah and Holocaust Remembrance Week, in the White House movie theater on the ground floor of the East Wing.

The film tells the story of boxer Harry Haft, who put the lives of fellow concentration camp prisoners at risk to save his own. The movie dramatizes Haft’s experience in Auschwitz, a central part of the Nazi death camp system.

An estimated 1.3 million people were deported to Auschwitz in German-occupied Poland and at least 1.1 million died, according to its museum and memorial website.

Director Barry Levinson, actor Ben Foster, who plays Haft, the film’s producers and representatives of the American Jewish Community were expected to attend, the White House said.

HBO debuted “The Survivor” on Wednesday to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day. The film honors the 6 million Jews who died as part of Nazi Germany’s mass murder of European Jews.

The White House movie theater dates to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had a cloakroom in the East Wing converted into a theater, where he watched newsreels, including of World War II battles being fought in Europe and Asia.

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