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Directed by Walter Wehmeyer

Austria 2017 94 mins. In German, English

Britta Lion-Franz and her sister Marianne Lion grew up Jewish in Aachen, Germany. In 1937, when the two were 9 and 12, the sisters and their parents were forced to flee to the US. Their father, Curt Lion, owned an elegant fashion store in Aachen, which was acquired by director Walter Wehmeyer’s grandfather before they fled. How did the transaction take place? Did the Lion family ever receive compensation? Were the two businessmen able to avoid the “Nazi-ization” and confiscation of all Jewish property? Wehmeyer tells this fascinating tale using archival records, letters, and photographs. He discovers Britta in American, long residing in Salem, Oregon. The Lion family’s tale would remain untold were it not for an inquisitive filmmaker in search of his own family history. Britta Lion Franz, now 90, will be on hand to talk about the film and her family’s experience.

Genres: Documentary



The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.