2012 John Hope Franklin Award Winner Returns to Germany to Complete Documentary Film

John Hope Franklin Award recipient David Mayer working on his project "A Trip to Derenburg."

John Hope Franklin Award recipient David Mayer in Germany, at work on his film project .

Following a successful Kickstarter campaign, David Mayer, a recipient of a 2012 John Hope Franklin Student Documentary Award for his documentary film on the life of his grandfather during World War II, will be traveling back to Germany this summer to continue working on the project. David’s film is a personal and intimate retelling of his grandfather’s Holocaust story as a parallel to his own comfortable suburban upbringing, based in part on the journal that Paul Mayer kept beginning January 1, 1945, at the age of twenty.

Mayer will be gathering footage and investigating the plight of the Mischlinge —the so-called “half-Jews”—like his grandfather. “I hope to investigate issues of identity and belonging in a situation like my grandfather’s,” Mayer says. “On one side his family was being taken to Auschwitz, his uncle on the other side of the family was serving as an SS officer. What would it have been like to have had one Jewish parent and one Christian parent, one parent that the Nazis would seek to kill and one parent that is a part of the Nazi’s ‘superior race’?”

David plans to complete the film in spring 2014. For more information on his project, click here.

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