Gabe Carimi has always been proud of his Jewish faith, so the former University of Wisconsin All-America football player was a natural choice to welcome four Auschwitz survivors to his hometown of Cottage Grove for a June 4 screening of a film about their experiences in the Nazi concentration camp.
Fellow Cottage Grove native and UW graduate Jeff McAllister wrote, directed and produced "The Selection," which chronicles the plight of seven Hungarians who were loaded onto cattle cars and sent to Auschwitz during the summer of 1944.
They share their stories of interaction with the "Angel of Death" — Dr. Josef Mengele — and how they were able to survive.
The film is the pilot episode of a 12-part documentary series, Wartime Witness, that focuses on the untold stories of European civilians during World War II. McAllister has lived in Budapest, Hungary, while producing the project.
Carimi — an offensive tackle who recently was selected by the Chicago Bears in the first round of the NFL draft — will offer opening remarks at the event, which is part of a four-city "Meet History" American tour that begins May 26 at the Hungarian Embassy in Washington, D.C.
Following the film, there will be a question-and-answer session with the four Auschwitz survivors: Erzsebet Szemes, Magda Deak, Eva Fahidi and Magda Brown.
The event will be held at Glacial Drumlin Middle School in Cottage Grove, starting at 4 p.m. Tickets are $35 for adults and $25 for children.