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April 07, 2013, 12:00 AM | posted by in Filmmakers
Director of “Lost Town,” Jeremy Goldscheider remembers his grandmother talking about the town of Trochenbrod when he was growing up. She was born in Baltimore, but her siblings were all born in the town in Western Ukraine. She told stories of immigrants from Trochenbrod staying at her family’s home upon their arrival in the United States.
Years later, when a relative invited him to a Trochenbrod reunion, memories of his grandmother’s stories came back to him. He did a bit of research and connected with Avrom Bendavid-Val, who was organizing descendants and survivors of Trochenbrod from all over the world.
“After the first phone call that I had with him I knew that I wanted to tell the story of this town,” recalls Goldscheider. “It brought back a lot—it became very personal for me immediately, as it is part of my heritage and my ancestry.”
Once a thriving community of 5,000 prior to World War II, the town was decimated by the Nazis. Only 33 people survived the massacre.
One of those survivors was Betty Gold, a Cleveland resident, who is one of the main subjects in “Lost Town.” Gold is known in Cleveland as a holocaust educator. She works with the Maltz museum and speaks to high school and college students about her survival.
“She is a great a holocaust educator, not in any kind of academic way,” says Goldscheider, “but in a very emotional and real way. She has dedicated her life to Trochenbrod and to holocaust education.
“I hope that the audience will applaud the life of Betty Gold,” he continues. “There is a lot more to the story of “Lost Town,” but Betty Gold is the most important aspect of it. This is a woman who survived. As a child, she hid in the cold, in the forest, without any food, being hunted by the Nazis. And she survived.”
Goldscheider, who also produced “Pablo,” which he describes as “the study of a life of a freelance artist in Hollywood, both the personal and professional aspects of it.” He collaborates with “Lost Town” co-director Richard Goldgewicht on “Pablo,” which Goldgewicht directs.
After working so extensively on films that tell personal stories, Goldscheider has been working to tell more family stories. He has been making short documentary films for families who are interested in preserving their stories for future generations.
Photo: Jeremy Goldscheider and Betty Gold. Photo by George F. Gund.
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