First Place Is The Story Of Ernst Cahn, An Ice Cream Parlor Owner Who Chose Resistance In Spite Of Certain Death During Nazi Invasion. His Arrest Led To “The February Strike” Of 1941.

NEW YORK, Feb. 23, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference) today announced the winner of the Emerging Filmmaker Contest focused on the Holocaust. Writer/Director Robert Moniot took the first prize with his screenplay, The Ice Cream Man, the true story of a Jewish ice cream parlor owner, Ernst Cahn, who was targeted by the infamous “Butcher of Lyon,” Nazi SS and SD, Klaus Barbie.

Gideon Taylor, President of the Claims Conference said, “The Ice Cream Man is a story of heroism and courage during a period of persecution and death. It’s vital to hear these stories and show them in a format that appeals to the public; film is a vital medium in our global efforts to support Holocaust education. Creating programs like the Emerging Filmmaker Contest creates opportunities to facilitate the telling of Holocaust stories, ensuring testimonies from the Holocaust are collected and shared, and allows the history of the Shoah to live on for future generations to see, experience and understand.”

Robert Moniot, the film’s Writer and Director, said, “We are honored to have been recognized by the Claims Conference in this contest. Given the significant rise in antisemitism, hate speech and fascism across the globe, these are the kinds of stories that people should hear and talk about. It is such a big responsibility and honor to be able to tell the story of Ernst Cahn. We really want to get it right.”

This true story of Ernst Cahn is a tale of how one man’s decision to resist set into motion a ripple effect of events that resulted in the first anti-Nazi protest in World War II – “The February Strike” of 1941. Cahn would become the first executed resistance fighter in The Netherlands, but his actions and heroism would spark an uprising of protest among his fellow Jews and supporters in Amsterdam. More than 300,000 workers in Amsterdam went on strike February 25, 1941, to protest Cahn’s arrest at his shop, Koco Ice Cream Parlor, as well as the ongoing pogroms and forced labor of Jews by the Nazi Regime. Subsequently, Nazis rounded up hundreds of innocent Jewish men in Amsterdam and deported them to Buchenwald and Mauthausen concentration camps. Of the more than 420 men rounded up and deported, only two survived.

Greg Schneider, Executive Vice President of the Claims Conference, said, “There are literally millions of these individual, never-told stories of resistance and heroism from the Holocaust. Each one of them is a crucial moment when one person stands up for what is right and leans into humanity no matter the cost. Without the creative efforts of artists like Robert Moniot, so many of these stories would be lost forever. We are thrilled to provide this award to Robert for his film, The Ice Cream Man.”

To play the role of Ernst Cahn, the team has cast actor Noah Emmerich, best known for his roles in Billions, The Americans, The Good Nurse and The Truman Show.

Noah Emmerich said of the role, “I’ve been a fan of Rob Moniot’s work for many years, and we have been looking for something to work on together for a long time. When Rob sent me this script, I was blown away. Beyond the predictable excellence of his writing, this story hit very close to home for me. My father’s family fled Nazi Germany for Amsterdam, and as a boy my dad lived in the same neighborhood as Ernst Cahn’s ice cream parlor. So to have the opportunity to tell this very personally resonant story and finally have the chance work with Rob, it was a no-brainer. I am thrilled to be a part of this film.”

For more information about this contest, please visit: 

For more information about the Claims Conference, please visit:

About the Claims Conference: The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference), a nonprofit organization with offices in New York, Israel and Germany, secures material compensation for Holocaust survivors around the world. Founded in 1951 by representatives of 23 major international Jewish organizations, the Claims Conference negotiates for and disburses funds to individuals and organizations and seeks the return of Jewish property stolen during the Holocaust. As a result of negotiations with the Claims Conference since 1952, the German government has paid more than $90 billion in indemnification to individuals for suffering and losses resulting from persecution by the Nazis. In 2022, the Claims Conference will distribute over $700 million in compensation to over 210,000 survivors in 83 countries and allocated over $720 million in grants to over 300 social service agencies worldwide that provide vital services for Holocaust survivors, such as homecare, food and medicine.

SOURCE Claims Conference

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