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QFest: Dear Fredy 

When: Sun., April 28, 3:30 p.m. 2019
Price: $10-$13
Fredy Hirsch was one of many young German Jews who were just finding their place in the world when the Nazis rose to power. A keen athlete and strong believer in the benefits of physical health and education, Hirsch was a respected sports instructor in the Jewish youth club system. He was also gay, which led to some murmuring, but his charisma and personal integrity carried him through most of it. When the Jews were deported to the camps, Hirsch looked after and trained more than 4,000 children and teens. Leading by example, he stressed hygiene, posture and exercise, all of which kept morale high and child mortality exceptionally low. In Auschwitz, Hirsch continued caring for the children; he also had a lover and lived as an out gay man in the dwindling days of his life. Rubi Gat's documentary Dear Fredy tells the story of Hirsch — one of the few LGBTQ people whose history survived the Holocaust — through animation, archival photos and eyewitness testimony of his legacy from the children who survived the camps and honored his memory. This year's QFest film festival, which celebrates and illuminates the lives of LGBTQ people, runs Saturday through Thursday (April 28 to May 2), with all films at the Landmark Tivoli Theatre (6350 Delmar Boulevard, University City; www.cinemastlouis.org). Dear Fredy is shown at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, April 28, as part of QFest. Tickets are $10 to $13.
— Paul Friswold

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