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Introducing Family Treasures Lost and Found

I recently finished a documentary, Family Treasures Lost and Found, about my six-year quest to tell the story of my parents' flights from fascism during World War II. I collaborated with Emmy-winning director Marcia Rock, Director of News and Documentary at NYU's Journalism Institute. Our film premiered at the Miami Jewish Film Festival in January 2024. I have also written a companion memoir which elaborates on material in the documentary.

 

Our film chronicles how far my father--a newly-minted Jewish doctor––and mother––a beautiful young Jewish woman enslaved in Germany––went physically, emotionally, and morally to save themselves. But the emphasis is on how I used my investigative skills as a reporter and genealogical techniques to fill gaps in what my parents told me and my sisters about their survival. My father never discussed his past so we knew only the barest outline. My mother, in contrast, did speak to us about her survival, but only in snippets. In 1987, she contrbuted her story to the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies. The film honors my parents, sole surviving grandfather, and those lost during the war.

 

In addition to scouring the Internet and probing online archives, I delved into domestic, European, and Israeli archives, had family documents translated and traveled to Vienna, Kraków, Tarnów, and Lwów (now Lviv, Ukraine). Other places I researched include Southern Germany's Bavaria, as well as to Havana, Veracruz, Mexico City, Palestine, and New York. Because of the language barrier in Lviv, where my father was born, I hired a genealogist and guide to find family birth and marriage entries in the State Archives of the Ukraine. I also hired a researcher to retrieve documents from the Warsaw AGAD Archive pertaining to my mother's family, which was from Kraków.

 

Here is our Treasures Website where you can see our two-minute trailer.

Here is the link to our WMM Webpage where you can make a donation, if you wish.

 

 

"Family Treasures Lost and Found" is a Women Make Movies Production Assistance Program Project. Established in 1972, Women Make Movies is a 501(c)3 nonprofit media arts organization registered with the New York Charities Bureau of New York State. As the fiscal sponsor, WMM accepts donations or grants on behalf of the filmmaker and the takes the responsibility of administering the funds received in support of the development and completion of the film.