Es war einmal in Deutschland ...

Bye Bye Germany
Frankfurt, 1946. Jewish merchant David is trying to set up a business with friends who, like himself, narrowly escaped death. He wants to resume the traditional linen trade of his family who were all murdered in the Holocaust. He and his other self-appointed salesmen are making their way from door to door, using the most absurd of ploys to gain entrance and offer German housewives their finest bed linen. Their experiences provide a picture of the immediate post-war period from a Jewish perspective.
Sam Gabarski adopts the same dryly humorous tone that is to be found in Michel Bergmann’s ‘Teilacher’ trilogy on which this film is based. Major questions are dealt with in an ostensibly casual manner: should the survivors remain in the country of their persecutors that was once their home? Or should they use the cash they have made to emigrate as quickly as possible? David – who, thanks to his talent for comedy, survived the Holocaust by entertaining the Nazis with revues – is faced with an entirely different set of questions as special agent Sarah Simon investigates his past. She wants to know why he has two passports, and what he was doing visiting Adolf Hitler at Obersalzberg.
by Sam Garbarski
with Moritz Bleibtreu, Antje Traue, Mark Ivanir, Hans Löw, Tim Seyfi, Anatole Taubman, Pal Macsai, Vaclav Jakoubek
Germany / Luxembourg / Belgium 2017 German 101’ Colour


  • Moritz Bleibtreu (David)
  • Antje Traue (Sara)
  • Mark Ivanir (Holzmann)
  • Hans Löw (Verständig)
  • Tim Seyfi (Fajnbrot)
  • Anatole Taubman (Fränkel)
  • Pal Macsai (Szoros)
  • Vaclav Jakoubek (Krautberg)


Director Sam Garbarski
Screenplay Michel Bergmann
Cinematography Virginie Saint-Martin
Editing Peter R. Adam
Music Renaud Garcia-Fons
Sound Design François Dumont
Sound Carlo Thoss
Production Design Véronique Sacrez
Costumes Nathalie Leborgne
Make-Up Claudine Moureaud
Assistant Director Jim Probyn
Casting Heta Mantscheff
Production Manager Brigitte Kerger-Santos
Producers Jani Thiltges, Roshanak Behesht Nedjad
Co-Producer Sébastien Delloye
Co-Production Entre Chien et Loup Brüssel

Sam Garbarski

Born in Munich, Germany in 1948, he currently lives in Belgium. He founded the advertising agency Garbarski Euro RSCG, for which he has directed over 50 commercials. In 1997 he began making short films which were followed, in 2003, by his debut feature Le Tango des Raschevski. His second feature film Irina Palm screened in Competition at the Berlinale, became a favourite with the public and won the Italian David di Donatello award for Best European Film.


1998 La Dinde; short film 2000 La vie, la mort, le foot; short film 2001 Joyeux Noël Rachid; short film 2003 Le Tango des Rashevski (Der Tango der Rashevskis) 2007 Irina Palm 2010 Quartier Lointain (Vertraute Fremde) 2013 Vijay and I (Vijay und ich – Meine Frau geht fremd mit mir) 2017 Es war einmal in Deutschland ...

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2017