Mündliche Geschichtsreihe / Oral History Series

We are inviting individuals from our community to share their life’s stories and dialogue with participants. Meetings are facilitated by Dr. Marion Gerlind. Order and pre-pay for tickets below. (for more information and reservations, email Marion or call (510) 430-2673.

To review our Archive of previous speakers and topics, click here.

RSVP required. Suggested donations: GICS Members: $10 • General Public: $15-20 (no one turned away for lack of funds)

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The Oral History Series is a project of the Gerlind Institute for Cultural Studies, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the teaching and promotion of German Cultural Studies. We invite members from our community to share their life’s stories and dialogue with the audience, promoting cross-cultural understanding. All donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law. Visit our donations page, at www.gerlindinstitute.org for more information on donations.
Friday May 21, 2021 •  7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. PDT •  Gerlind Institute for Cultural Studies • via ZOOM

Fred Finkelstein: Leaving Memel – Refugees from the Reich
Friday, May 21, 2021 • 7 p.m. PT via ZOOM •  RSVP by May 14 • Photos provided by Fred Finkelstein

Still from Living Memel - Refugees from the Reich

Oakland-based filmmaker, Fred Finkelstein, will introduce and discuss his documentary, Leaving Memel - Refugees from the Reich.

It is a small, personal memoir tucked inside a much larger, darker tale and has strong resonance today as anti-immigration fervor reaches new highs under our present leadership. It is also a story of survival, great timing and strong family bonds that make the difference between life and death.

Judith Golden owned and ran a small hotel and her husband, Leo Fleischmann had a successful textile business in Memel, Lithuania. Being Jewish was not a liability in this port City on the Baltic Sea, yet Adolf Hitler had ambitions beyond what anyone could know when he ascended power in 1933.

Filmmaker Fred FinkelsteinLeaving Memel - Refugees from the Reich tells the story of Judith Golden’s family and what they experienced when the times changed and Hitler began demonizing Jews, homosexuals and Romani in Europe.

“A marvelous, absorbing, meticulously conceived piece of work...truly amazing, riveting!”
~ Cantor Marshall Portnoy, Mainline Synagogue, Philadelphia

Fred Finkelstein started working in video production in 1972 in New York, taught video in various schools in New York, South Carolina and in California. He also taught English as a Second Language in Richmond, CA for nearly twenty years, was a DJ and Arts Producer with KALX Radio in Berkeley for many years.

Fred won 1st Prize at the Möbius Video Show as part of the San Francisco Art Festival for Princess White - Portrait of a Blues Singer (1974). After developing psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis he created the first film about these diseases, My Skin’s on Fire - Living with Psoriasis (2005) and I’m Just Like You - Children with Psoriasis (2012).

Living Memel - Refugees from the Reich (2014) incorporated material from the short video portrait of Fred’s grandmother, Nanny: A Portrait of Judith Fleischmann (1983)

Registered guests will be able to view the documentary, at their convenience, one week before the Q&A and discussion with the filmmaker on May 21.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 shelter-in-place order in California, as of March 21, 2020, we have moved our in-person Oral History events to ZOOM. If you have any questions, or concerns, please contact JB at info@gerlindinstitute.org




Support Our Oral History Series!

Annegret Ogden
Annegret Ogden
Monica Clyde at EGC
audience at Dr. Monica Clyde's presentation

2021 marks the fourteenth anniversary of the GICS Oral History Series, which has become the touchstone of our community programs. It grew from Dr. Gerlind’s passion for interviewing Holocaust survivors whose stories were at risk of being lost. Inspired by their lives, the Gerlind Institute continues to bring unforgettable speakers from in and outside our Bay Area community. We have witnessed their voices and stories, and have been transformed. We are incredibly grateful to every speaker, co-sponsor, and audience participant from the past ten years!

Through the dedicated volunteer work of the Gerlind Institute team, especially JB, Loren Norman, and many others, GICS has hosted 51 Oral Histories since 2007—no small feat for a grassroots organization such as ours, which relies completely on community support!

Despite all the work that goes into organizing each event, admission remains accessible, as we want everyone to participate. No one is turned away for lack of funds. The Series is primarily funded through income from the GICS teaching program, memberships, and donations. With the generosity of volunteers, participants and speakers—many of whom have donated their honoraria—we have been able to sustain our Series.

We are calling on you, our community, to support your Series through your generosity, as we hope you benefit directly, or indirectly, through Gerlind Institute’s educational services.  Please help secure our Oral History Series' sustainability by becoming a GICS member in 2021. Visit www.gerlindinstitute.org/membership.html, or click here. You can also make a tax-deductible donation. Visit www.gerlindinstitute.org/donate.html, or click here.

Your act of generosity, whether large or small, will build fiscal stability and enable us to create more unique programming.

We will apply your donation to the costs of upcoming events.

We are grateful for any amount you are kindly willing to give and your continued support as a GICS community member! We look forward to welcoming you to an upcoming event!

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