A very special project

In 2014 I got to know Miriam Friedmann. After a public event she approached me and was able to convince me for her idea to shoot a film about her Jewish Augsburg family. Miriam and her husband Friedhelm had already gathered a lot of information. But there was still a lot of new material to explore.

In the archives, the employees are valuable helpers and support us with their competence and great specialist knowledge. I have experienced this differently. Many years ago, one still had the feeling of being a nuisance with one's questions.


I often met with Miriam and Friedhelm. We rarely spent our time together privately and "comfortably", mostly we sat in archives. In the process, a friendship developed that I no longer want to miss.

The married couple Dr. Friedhelm Katzenmeier and Miriam Friedmann M.A. (front) and Josef Pröll
The married couple Dr. Friedhelm Katzenmeier and Miriam Friedmann M.A. (front) and Josef Pröll

At the same time we had to look for financial means. We could not implement the project alone. Many organizations, individuals and public figures were contacted. Miriam had predominantly taken on this task. In 2017, Dr. Bernhard Lehmann joined our small team. His many years of expertise as a historian proved particularly helpful when it came to obtaining and evaluating documents.


While I was able to take care of the film work, Bernhard obtained the documents that were still missing or put existing documents into the right context. We conducted interviews together and visited archives. The files became more and more extensive. Now we were also researching the names of the perpetrators related to our research. In the meantime, the challenging and exciting work of reducing the complex to the essential began for me. Then I wrote the commentary texts.


It took six months until everything was ready in draft form and could be submitted to our editorial team for the first correction. After three more proofs, the time had come for the first viewing of the film. Had I made the right selection? Had the objective been realized?
The work on this film cost, probably not only me, many sleepless nights and energy. Every piece of information seemed important. After all, it's about people and their fate. And above all, there was the question: What is important in order to pass on this history to the present? Remembrance and commemoration alone were not enough for us.
After more than four years, "now only" our viewers have to decide whether our project is really important and worth seeing.


Many thanks to all who helped, special thanks to Miriam, Friedhelm and Bernhard, but also to Doris, my wife and my grown children, who helped again and again and put up with me during the whole time.
Josef Pröll