Laszlo Nussbaum -- Europe without Borders

A remarkable story of changing borders and stubborn optimism. Heinrich Nussbaum lived in the Austo-Hungarian Empire and had four sons who fought in the First World War. The empire collapsed and Europe was divided, but Heinrich didn't believe in borders and sent his sons to universities all over Europe: Sandor studied economics in Prague, Joseph became a doctor in Berlin, Laszlo received his degree in philosophy in Paris and Jeno, Laszlo's father, studied mathematics in Florence.

When war came, Sandor was killed in a Hungarian forced labor brigade, Laszlo was hidden by a familiy in Paris, Jeno was murdered in Buchenwald and Joseph, the doctor, fled to America, joined the US Army and entered Germany as a medic.

Our story belongs to Jeno's son Laszlo, who tells us that he lost his grandfather's optimism in the Buchenwald concentration camp and that it took until the Romanian revolution of 1989 to get it back.

Study Guides


Lazslo’s grandfather, Heinrich Nussbaum, was born in 1864 in the Zsombor community in Transylvania, which lies near the Romanian city of Cluj-Napoca.


Jewish communities have been present in Transylvania for centuries. Read about Jewish history in Transylvania here, and present-day Romania here. The earliest records indicate a Jewish presence during Roman times. Jews began to settle in Torda in the 18th century.


In 1933, Adolf Hitler came to power, further heightening Europe's growing anti-Semitism.


At the end of the war, Transylvania returned to Romania, which was occupied by Soviet forces. Elections held in 1946 established communism as the dominant political force. The People's Republic of Romania was created in 1947. Learn more about the period immediately folowing WWII here.

Lesson plans for this film

7 results
For grades Documents

"20th Century Europe, as seen from Palestine-Israel"


Students will learn about historical events that took place in Europe in the 20th century, and see how those events were covered by newspapers in mandatory Palestine and (after...


Laszlo Nussbaum: Identity of the Jews from Transylvania in the 20. Century

This lesson is an opportunity to make the students understand the situation of the minorities, namely the Jewish minority, who lived in the 20th century South-Eastern Europe, where nationalism soared...

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...

Nussbaum - Kapuk. Egy zsidó család a történelem tükrében

Feladatbank, Óraterv
History, etika, hit- és erkölcstan

A Nussbaum család tagjainak sorsán keresztül bepillantást nyerhetünk a 20. század nagy történelmi eseményeibe, azok mozgatórugóiba, és emberi sorsaiba is. Az óraterv központi kérdéséhez kapcsolódva, a család történetén keresztül mutatja...

7, 8, 9, 10, 11

Egyediség és hasonlóság - a magyar zsidóság története a 20. században


Az órák célja a 20. századi magyar zsidóság történetének áttekintése családtörténeteken keresztül. Fő célom az volt, hogy a tanulók megismerjék a magyarországi zsidóság mindennapjait, lássák, hogy teljesen különböző családi, társadalmi...


Keresztül-kasul Európában


Az óra terv pedagógiai célja a történelmi tények azonosítása egy családtörténeten keresztül. A XIX-XX. század történelméhez kapcsolódó tantervi követelménnyel (Dualizmus, asszimiláció, I.világháború és hatásai, Horthy-korszak oktatáspolitikája)

A diákok tájékozódását térben-időben...

8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Laszlo Nussbaum: Europe without borders


This lesson about "Europe without borders, or what color is your flag?" uses a personal narrative, a Centropa film set in today’s Romania, and an oral history interview...