If I Were to Forget You 

2014 | HD video | 46’00’’

If I Were to Forget You is part of The German Projects. More information here

How is memory carried over a lifetime? Lifschitz speaks with one man and three women who were born in Munich and became refugees from Nazi Germany. The conversations reveal what is remembered and what is forgotten about the Munich of their childhood and youth. The camera captures the subjects in their contemporary surroundings, at home in New York, London, Jerusalem, and Kedumim. These scenes are interspersed with footage of places from their respective pasts in Munich and Bavaria.

With eternal thanks to

Helene Weinstein, London

Berthold Bilski, New York

Bertha Leverton, Kedumim

Inge Sadan, Jerusalem

For sharing their stories and making this film possible.


If I Were to Forget You was created as a ‘film as memorial’ specifically for the Jewish Museum Munich with the intention of showing it in Munich to the people of Munich, for whom the places shown were familiar. In this way, the film emulated the way a built memorial might have addressed the context and memories of a particular location.


The film started with a visual element. I wanted to negotiate the tactility of the fabric of the city against the failing memory of its ageing former residents. Munich is fascinating precisely because it was mostly rebuilt faithfully after its wartime destruction. The point in time at which the project was created is a point at which most of those who experienced the events of National Socialism first-hand were either very old or had perished. Consequently, I wanted to meet with some of those who lived in Munich before the war and create a reading of the city through their memories.

Commissioned by the City of Munich Department of Culture and The Jewish Museum Munich