Deutsches Haus at New York University (located at 42 Washington Mews, New York, N.Y., off University Place) will present Margot Friedlander, author of “Try to Make your Life”: A Jewish Girl Hiding in Nazi Berlin (A Memoir) on Monday, April 7, at 6:30 p.m.


Please note: Space at Deutsches Haus is limited, so it is advisable to arrive 10 minutes prior to the event. Indicate you would like to attend this event by sending an email to as well. For more information, please call 212.998.8660.

More than 65 years ago, in 1947, Margot Friedlander and her husband immigrated to New York, swearing they would never set foot on German soil again. Both had survived the Holocaust, Friedlander hidden by Germans in Berlin for 13 months before she was discovered and sent to Theresienstadt. When her husband passed away in the late ‘90s, Friedlander enrolled in a memoir writing class at the 92nd Street Y and embarked on an exploration of her personal history, identity, and sense of belonging.

It was there that she met the filmmaker Thomas Halaczinsky, who was inspired by her story and began working on the documentary Don’t Call It Heimweh. The production of this film brought Friedlander back to Germany. Following a screening of the film in Berlin the German publishing house, Rowolth reached out to Friedlander and published her memoir Versuche, dein Leben zu machen (“Try To Make Your Life”), which she co-authored with Malin Schwerdtfeger in 2008. Versuche, dein Leben zu machen was awarded the prestigious Einhard Prize in 2009. In March, 2014, an English version of “Try to Make your Life” will be published by BEA Press as both a paperback and an e-book, translated by William Gilcher.

In 2010, at the age of 88, Friedlander decided to move back to Germany for good. Thomas Halaczinsky decided to document her return to Berlin, resulting in the film A Long Way Home.

Friedlander will read from her memoir and discuss it with the journalist Petrina Engelke.

Deutsches Haus will also screen the Thomas Halaczinsky documentaries Don’t Call It Heimweh (Germany. 2004. 25 minutes. Dubbed) and A Long Way Home, (Germany. 2010. 25 minutes. Dubbed), with the filmmaker on hand to discuss his work. An award-winning documentary film director and feature producer, his films have aired on HBO, Cinemax, Arte, the German public television networks ARD, ZDF, DW and screened at international film festival such as the Woodstock and Toronto Jewish Film Festival.

Press Contact

Robert Polner
Robert Polner
(212) 998-2337