Ein Kerzenständer, der einst Frieda Szkolny gehörte, wird von Dr. Weniger persönlich überreicht.
© Yair Zimmermann / argon film

Dr Weniger's mission

A film by Liv Thamsen, shown by 3sat on the occasion of Holocaust Remembrance Day on 27 January 2024.

Anti-Semitic persecution forced the Jewish population in Germany to give up their personal possessions in 1939. Cups, candlesticks and ladles: In Munich alone, several tonnes of silver objects were confiscated and subsequently melted down or sold. The documentary "Dr Weniger's Mission - The Belated Legacy of Jewish Families" accompanies the Bavarian National Museum's provenance researcher Dr Weniger on an emotional journey from Munich to Israel. In order to make the restitution possible, he searches for the descendants of Munich Holocaust victims - possible heirs to the objects that were kept in an exhibit cabinet at the museum for 84 years after their expropriation.

Despite slow-moving authorities, denied funding and difficult import permits, he initiates the first cautious contact, plans the trip and organises the handover. In Israel, he finally meets the families in person, in the intimate setting of their own home, and experiences both openness and reticence. By looking at contemporary documents and taking up stories of flight, the documentary delves deep into the family history and individual fates behind the objects.

The proactive return of the silver objects by Dr Weniger is so far an isolated case. Many objects are still awaiting restitution in German museums.

  • A film by: Liv Runa Thamsen
  • Sound: Gil Freedman, Vitaly Grinshpun, Andreas Klatt, Dennis Groß
  • Camera: Yair Zimmermann, Philipp Baben der Erde, Snir Kazir, Johannes Straub
  • Editing: Susanne Erler
  • Graphics: Konstantin Gramalla
  • Producer: Isis Struiksma
  • Executive Producer: Johanna Behre
  • Production manager: Michael Meisel
  • Production management: Carsten Bartelt
  • Production management ZDF/3sat: Jörg Schmidt
  • Editor ZDF/3sat: Bettina von Pfeil

This film is available for streaming in the 3sat media library

To the 3sat media library