Leo Baeck Institute works to preserve and promote the history and culture of German-speaking Jews.
The Schweitzer Fürstenheim Family
Summons to Berlin: Nazi Theft and a Daughter’s Quest for Justice
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A Documentary Film About a German-Jewish Family
Please note that this event will be held in person at the Center for Jewish History. As of this time, vaccination is required to enter the CJH. More information on the CJH's COVID-19 policies are available here.
In this documentary (Germany, 2018, 103 min.), director Annekatrin Hendel delivers a portrait of three generations of Brasches as a microcosm of societal tensions — between East and West, art and politics, Communism and religion, love and betrayal, utopia and self-destruction.
Born in England to Kindertransport refugees who were active Communists – Thomas Brasch came to embody the fault lines of German history like few other artists. As his father Horst Brasch rose in the ranks of East Germany’s ruling Socialist Unity Party, Thomas became an uncompromisingly radical writer whose activism led to censorship and three months in prison. After his move to West Germany, he refused to play the role of GDR-dissident and focused his critique on West German society and German history in plays, poetry, and a series of brilliant but challenging films. Although he is highly regarded as a translator of Chekhov’s and Shakespeare’s works into German, none of Thomas Brasch’s major works have ever been published in English. His major films, jarring meditations on German history such as Der Passagier – Welcome to Germany (1988, starring Tony Curtis as a choleric Hollywood director who returns to Germany to make a film about his experience in a concentration camp), are rarely shown in the United States. This spring, LBI, the Goethe-Institut New York, The German Film Office, The German Consulate General in New York, Deutsches Haus at NYU, and the Friends of Freiburg Alumni of North America will re-introduce audiences to this remarkable artist and story.