A German Life

Dirs. Christian KrönesFlorian WeigensamerRoland SchrotthoferOlaf S. Müller
(107 min, Austria, 2016)
German with English subtitles
East Coast Premiere

Although Brunhilde Pomsel described herself as a minor figure disinterested in politics, she got closer to one of the worst criminals in history than anyone else. Aged 105 during filming, she worked as secretary for the Nazi-Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels.

Her life mirrors the major historical ruptures of the 20th century. While the dangers of fascism are tempting to consider as a past concern, Pomsel’s story makes it clear that history is never all that far from repeating itself.

Co-presented by Anti-Defamation League Austrian Cultural Forum United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


Sunday, May 21, 12:00 pm
Bethesda Row Cinema
7235 Woodmont Avenue
Bethesda, MD


Screening followed by a conversation with historian Aleisa Fishman and acting Director of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, Dr. Wendy Lower.

Aleisa Fishman is a historian at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C. In her work she encourages audiences to explore the history of the Holocaust and how that history remains relevant today. Dr. Fishman curates the Museum’s podcast interview series Confronting Hatred, part of the Museum’s Initiative Against Holocaust Denial and Antisemitism. She also creates “citizen history” programs that invite students, educators, and the public into the process of historical investigation.

Dr. Wendy Lower is the Acting Director of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. She is the author of several studies on the Holocaust, most notably Hitler’s Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields (Houghton, 2013) which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and has been translated into 23 languages. Lower joined the faculty of Claremont McKenna College in 2012 as the John K. Roth Professor of History.

  • Her story sheds light on human nature, especially under a dictatorship.Haaretz
  • A German Life is a contrapuntal fugue between official images and a personal voice.The Huffington Post

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This event finished on May 22, 2017.