THIS YEAR IN CZERNOWITZCzernowitz, an out-of-the-way city in the middle of Europe. It was once part of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy as the capital of the crown province of Bukowina. People of many different nationalities, languages and cultures lived here together: Ukrainians, Romanians, Germans, Poles, Huzulians. Almost half of the population of Czernowitz, once amounting to 150,000 inhabitants, were Jews.
The southern part of Bukowina is now part of Romania, the north, with Czernowitz/Chernivtsi, belongs to the Ukraine. Six years ago Volker Koepp made the film HERR ZWILLING AND FRAU ZUCKERMANN there. Rosa Roth-Zuckermann and Mathias Zwilling were two of the last Jews who were born in the old Czernowitz and had survived the war and the camps in Transnistria and remained in their city.
Jews who fled from Bukowina in the previous century found a place of exile in many parts of the world. Their families keep the memory of people, living quarters and landscapes alive. The film THIS YEAR IN CZERNOWITZ returns there with emigrants and their descendants. The cellist Eduard Weissmann makes his way there from Berlin, the sisters Evelyne Mayer and Katja Rainer come from Vienna, while the actor Harvey Keitel and the writer Norman Manea fly over from New York. The journey to the mythical places of their origins takes them not only back into the past, but also into the present, to people who live in Czernowitz today, to the Ukrainian student Tanja and the nearly 90-year-old German Johann Schlamp.