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Life in Reverse

Prominent Jewish scholar Ismar Schorsch fled Germany in 1938. Decades later, residents from his family’s hometown of Esslingen invite him back, restoring relations brutally severed by the Holocaust. In 2019 Germany awards Ismar its highest civilian honor. What made Ismar’s reconciliation possible? 

Through Ismar’s story, Life in Reverse reveals the courageous efforts of non-Jewish Germans to face the violent legacy they inherited. Their difficult memory work has broad implications beyond Germany. The struggle with their brutal past will serve as a model, particularly for America, as we have barely begun to memorialize the victims of our cruel history. 

Ismar’s humane spirit and devotion to historical knowledge as a path to redemption inspires as we consider the role of memory and truth-telling in building a just society.

Life in Reverse is a film about honest confrontation with a painful history and the uncertain journey from destruction to reconciliation.

Associated Members

Rebecca Schorsch, Independent Filmmaker

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Naomi Schorsch Stein , Independent Filmmaker

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