Herbert Lewin -- Stories of my Life

Herbert Lewin tells us about the best stories of his life: From his childhood in East Prussia, his life in Israel and his return to Europe after the war

Study Guides


Herbert Lewin was born in 1917 in Osterode, Germany (today Poland). Osterode was part of Prussia, a German kingdom that was ruled by the Hohenzollerns. Over the course of centuries, Prussia, with its well-disciplined and highly skilled army, continued to amass power and territory.


Herbert recalls experiencing very little anti-Semitism in Osterode before 1933.

Then in January 1933, Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany. His ascension to power marked the beginning of Nazi terror, and the beginning of the end for many European Jews. Life became increasingly more unbearable as anti-Semitic policies and violence were legally sanctioned and politically justified.


Like many Jews in Germany, Herbert knew that he needed to leave the country. He began training for a new life in Palestine.


During the time of Pesach in 1939, Herbert had the possibility to travel illegally to Palestine. Poland would be invaded on 1 September of that year, signaling the start of the Second World War


After successfully reaching Palestine, Herbert lived on a kibbutz. “Kibbutz” means “communal settlement” in Hebrew. Kibbutzim are generally rural communities that are built around the notion of cooperative living.


In Israel Herbert fell in love with and married Gertrude, a Viennese Jew. Vienna, the capital of Austria, has been the long-time home for many Jews, including many well known Jewish figures such as Sigmund Freud and Stefan Zweig. 

Lesson plans for this film

6 results
For grades Documents

Friendship Among Jews and Gentiles - Herbert Lewin


During these 7 lessons, students learn about the relationship between Jews and Gentiles in the 20th century through the Centropa film about Hervert Lewin and the book "Address Unknown" by...


Herbert Lewin: Discussion points for the film


Herbert Lewin - Rosinen meines Lebens. Interaktives Filmskript


Die Rosinen meines Lebens - Herbert Lewin


Für diesen Arbeitsauftrag sollten Sie sich bereits mit dem Entstehen und der Geschichte Mitteleuropas in der Klasse ein wenig auseinandergesetzt haben. Dabei werden Sie schnell feststellen, wie unterschiedlich diese Zeit...


Using the Lewin film in ESL class


Herbert Lewin - stories of my life compared with "Address Unknown"

The story of Herbert Lewin reflects the life of a secular Jewish family with its gentile neighbors  in Vienna...


Jüdische Lebensgeschichten filmisch aufbereitet – Unterrichtsmaterial für Berufsschulen


Die hier präsentierten zwölf Unterrichtsentwürfe richten sich speziell an Berufsschulen. Sie basieren auf den Kurzfilmen von Centropa, sowie der DVD „Das Vermächtnis“ von _erinnern.at_ und kreisen um österreichisch-jüdische Lebensgeschichten des...