Holocaust – Palm Springs/Berlin


In the fall of 2022, the Jewish Museum Berlin’s Head of the Archives, Aubrey Pomerance (PhD), introduced Holocaust survivor Klaus Zwilsky to our project team. Aubrey has worked with Klaus for many years, as the Zwilsky family’s unique story of surviving at the Jewish Hospital in Berlin is featured and archived at the museum. They met with our graphic artist Gilad Seliktar and Research Cluster Lead Charlotte Schallié (PhD) over Zoom, allowing Gilad and Klaus to connect and introduce Klaus to the project.

After months of planning, Gilad visited Klaus in Palm Springs, California in May of 2023 to interview with him at his home residence. Gilad also travelled to Berlin in July of 2023 to meet with Aubrey and Charlotte at the Jewish Hospital Berlin and the Jewish Museum Berlin. Although Klaus and Gilad’s collaboration began in the present, connecting online and in-person, their journey to explore Klaus’s past in Berlin during WWII is in sharp contrast to the sunny California skies he resides in today.


Klaus Zwilsky


Gilad Seliktar


Research Cluster Lead: Charlotte Schallié (PhD)
Research Assistant: Janine Wulz
Community Liaisons:
Aubrey Pomerance (Jewish Museum Berlin)
Gilad Ben-Nachum (Jewish Hospital Berlin)
Film Director:
Chorong Kim
Assistant Filmmakers:
Gouchen Wang (Palm Springs)
Peter Wollring (Berlin)
Charlotte Schallié (PhD)


Conversations with Klaus

May 4 - 11, 2023

Gilad flew from Tel Aviv, Isreal, to join Klaus at his home residence for interviews and filming the documentary. Gilad and Charlotte both arrived on Thursday, May 4, allowing them to spend a few days with Klaus before the filmmaker arrived on Sunday, May 7. Guochen Wang (Chen) filmed interviews with Gilad and Klaus for 2 full days, including time for Charlotte to conduct the testimony collection interview for the archives.

When planning travel to interview with Klaus, we were very fortunate Klaus welcomed Gilad to stay with him at his home residence in Palm Springs. This allowed them to spend more time together, outside of the planned interview sessions, to get to know each other and establish a closer relationship.

Top left: Aubrey Pomerance at the Jewish Museum Berlin.

Top right: Gilad Seliktar sketching with Peter Wollring filming at the Jewish Museum Berlin.

Right: Aubrey Pomerance and Gilad Seliktar in the archives, examining items from Klaus’s childhood as part of the Zwilsky collection at the Jewish Museum Berlin.

The Apothecarian's Boy

The documentary film about Klaus’s experiences as a child survivor of the Holocaust was created by Edmonton-based director and editor, Chorong Kim. She delicately weaves together footage from Palm Springs by Guochen Wang and Berlin by Peter Wollring, featuring interviews, archival material and behind the scenes to explore the past and present of Klaus’s life, and process of creating a graphic novel.

The trailer below is the first look at Klaus’ story.


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