Empty boxcars

“He Who Saves A Single Person, It Is As Though He Saved The Entire Universe” – Talmud Sanhedrin"

  • Genre: Documentary, Biography, History

  • Release Year: 2011

  • Duration: 83 minutes

Empty boxcars

EMPTY BOXCARS is a story of mass murder and rescue. In 1943 Bulgarian police and soldiers rounded up 11,393 Jews in Macedonia and Greece, and deported them to the death camp in Treblinka. As the dirty secret became public, church leaders and labor leaders, lawyers and doctors, writers and politicians rose up in protest. Over 50,000 Bulgarian Jews survived the war. The film narrates a story of ordinary people acting courageously in extraordinary times to save the lives of strangers.

Director Information:

Ed Gaffney


Ed Gaffney teaches genocide studies and international humanitarian law at Valparaiso University. He is the producer-director-writer of Empty Boxcars (on mass murder and mass rescue during the Shoah in Bulgaria, Macedonia, and Greece), and Holy Land: Common Ground (on Israeli and Palestinian peace-builders). He has written many legal briefs about restitution of Nazi-looted art. His current projects are From Teaching Contempt to Honoring Elder Brothers and Sisters: Jews and Christians Before and After Vatican II; and War and Peace: Materials on History, Moral Reasoning and International Law on Misuse of Armed Force.