Have you ever had the responsibility of cleaning out the home of a loved one? When sorting through years of life and memories that pile up in a home, sometimes the most interesting stories are stumbled on when nobody is looking for them. The Weiss-Livnat International MA Program in Holocaust Studies was proud to host film maker Arnon Goldfinger who shared his story of how he and his family uncovered the most unusual and perplexing story while cleaning out the home of his maternal grandmother after her passing. In his documentary, “The Flat,” Mr. Goldfinger depicts the complicated unraveling of his grandmother’s unique story, while simultaneously depicting the impact that this story had on himself, his mother, and others who did not even realize they were connected.
After the death of his maternal grandmother, Arnon Goldfinger and his family gathered in her Tel Aviv apartment to sort through and dispose of her possessions. In the process of cleaning out countless scarves, hats, and gloves, Arnon and his family made a shocking discovery. They uncovered evidence of a lifelong friendship that existed between his German-Jewish grandparents, and Senior Nazi SS Officer Leopold von Mildenstein. The discovery began a spiral of confusion and a quest for understanding that would take Arnon and his Mother through a journey of familial history that was found in the most unlikely of places. The documentary brilliantly depicts the multiple narratives that created this unsuspected story.
After watching the film, our students had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Goldfinger about the complicated post-war narrative of his family. Through a discussion of the various necessities of subjective truth, the students were exposed to the various possibilities and reasons for this unlikely friendship between Arnon’s grandparents and Nazi SS Officer Leopold von Mildenstein. Arnon also discussed the impact that this familial discovery had on himself, his mother, and their relationship.
The Holocaust was an event of such magnitude and complexity, that its affects are felt until present day. The Weiss-Livnat International MA Program in Holocaust Studies was proud to host Arnon Goldfinger, who introduced our students to a different perspective and approach to a complicated past that unraveled in the aftermath of the Holocaust.
Interested in applying for our MA in Holocaust Studies Program? You can find the application and more information at our website: http://holocaust-studies.haifa.ac.il/