Comments from Sponsors:

“We chose to co-sponsor the documentary Exile and Community: The Life of Carola Domar because it offers a view of a story of struggle in a human way that resonates with struggles today. This documentary does a wonderful job of raising questions of identity and belonging and the human need to be connected. Seeing it would benefit students no matter where they live.”

—Judi Bohn, Special Projects Coordinator, New England, Facing History, May 2019

“I have organized a number of forums here at the Concord Museum and in my two decades at the Kennedy Library—but none have been more satisfying and touching than the screening of Exile and Community and the ensuing discussion. I hope the film gets the wide viewership it deserves, especially among students since the scenes that are so poignant are those of Carola as a young girl in Germany and then the manner in which she was welcomed home by students at the school she once attended.”

—Tom Putman, Edward W. Kane Executive Director, Concord Museum, Concord, MA

Comments from Viewers:

“I am so glad I got the chance to get to know Carola Domar.”

“What a remarkable story!”

“This story of a Holocaust survivor is different than any that I have ever viewed before. The theme of forgiveness is very strong and is a good way to carry on discussion with students.”

“Very informative documentary about the life of one Holocaust survivor. Excellent, found myself wanting more.”

“[What stood out is] how Carola found her own voice at the end of her life.”

“Carola's life and experiences were fascinating and inspiring. As an educator, I can foresee a number of ways to introduce this material into the curriculum. I am eager to integrate the film and any accompanying materials in my classes. I know it will be of great interest to my students. Thank you all so much for working on this project and bringing it to the public arena.”

“Well-done! The film was so moving and well-conceived––loved the music and how the chapters of Carola’s life were organized. What an inspiration she was! I watched with my 97-year-old mom––born and raised in the US––but very much Carola’s contemporary which made the history portrayed through Carola’s individual autobiography all the more meaningful to both of us. My mom said it represented a perspective on the Holocaust that she had not known about before.”

Comments from Educators:

Exile and Community is an important teaching tool for middle- and secondary-school students. Carola tells her life story with warmth, colour, and an eye for detail. Through her description, the viewer can imagine her as a young girl, subject to a bewildering onslaught of humiliation, insult, and persecution. Because Carola was able to leave Germany and make a good life for her and her family in the United States, the viewer is spared a focus on the most horrific and unimaginable aspects of the Holocaust. The result is an engaging film that evokes deep empathy without being emotionally overwhelming.”

—Derek Penslar, William Lee Frost Professor of Jewish History, Harvard University

“Congratulations to all on Susan Rieder’s excellent documentary film, Exile and Community: The Life of Carola Domar and its comprehensive accompanying Teacher's Guide. It has been a pleasure working with Sue on this project and watching this wonderful teaching resource on tolerance, memory, Holocaust, and refugees come to fruition.”

—James E. Young, Teacher’s Guide Advisor, Distinguished University Professor Emeritus, Founding Director, Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

“The Teacher's Guide to Exile and Community: The Life of Carola Domar is a wonderful pedagogic resource. It beautifully accomplishes the difficult feat of making top-notch scholarship completely accessible to teachers and students alike. In addition to meeting its goal of providing context and learning activities that will help students get the most out of the film’s story—the story of the experience of a Jew in Nazi Germany—the Guide also valuably engages with the politics and ethics of representing that experience. Teachers will especially benefit in this regard from the substantive sections on commemorative art and the student as historian.”

—Dorothy J. Hale, Teacher's Guide Editor, Professor of English, University of California, Berkeley

“Many congratulations on the publication! The guide is exceptionally well researched, designed, and written. A thoughtfully prepared and rich resource for teachers and students, it will be of good use in any classroom where historical depth, lived experience, and reflection on our own times are valued. I look forward to using parts of it in my own teaching, and I am deeply honored that I could contribute to its production in some small ways.”

—Sebastian Wogenstein, Teacher's Guide Editor, Associate Professor of German and Comparative Literature, University of Connecticut, Storrs

Exile and Community: The Life of Carola Domar is a moving testament to the harrowing decisions that confronted Jewish families in Nazi Germany and the challenges of rebuilding a life in exile. By presenting the rise of Nazism and the persecution of Germany's Jewish community from the point of view of a teenage girl, the film makes these complex and often confusing events accessible to students. The teacher's guide provides historical context for the film, and will help teachers relate the film's themes of exile, commemoration, forgiveness, and moral responsibility to student's own experiences and the problems of our world today.”

—Brandon Bloch, Teacher's Guide Contributing Author, Assistant Professor of History, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Exile and Community: The Life of Carola Domar film and guide are excellent resources for educators. Carola’s story resonates with students and allows them to consider the challenges and choices that Carola and her family faced in Nazi Germany. The guide provides thought-provoking lesson ideas and discussion questions. It is designed to provide options for teachers depending on the time they have available, the level of their students, and the topics on which they want to focus. The questions in the guide push students to evaluate historical events, make connections to the present day, and to address difficult and important topics such as forgiveness, memory, and memorial. Students will benefit tremendously from the opportunity to hear Carola’s inspiring story in her own words.”

—Johanna Glazer, Teacher's Guide Editor, Social Studies Teacher, Concord-Carlisle High School, Concord, MA

“Learning about the great injustices of history, like the Holocaust, can often seem daunting or so far removed from today's middle school student's experience as to be dismissed. However, now more than ever it's imperative to teach young people how to think critically about the Holocaust and its lessons regarding our shared humanity. The Domar film and Teacher's Guide helps accomplish these goals in a way especially suited to middle school students by humanizing the Holocaust; by sharing Carola's experiences, her joys and pain, students can relate to her and better understand not just the tragedy of the Holocaust but also the resilience of the human spirit.”

—Sarah Bullwinkel, Teacher's Guide Editor, English Teacher and Dept. Chair, Concord Middle School, Concord, MA

“Looking through the teaching guide I was really impressed. In my opinion the documentary and the corresponding teaching guide are of much value, precisely because the story of Carola is not the more typical and tragic one of a German-Jewish family excluded, persecuted and annihilated in the Shoah by fellow human beings – but her history is the much rarer tale of an extraordinary young woman surviving exclusion and persecution by her own strength, finding a second start and a new life after being cast out from her former homeland and community. Because of that it deserves telling to a younger generation. Susan Rieder did a wonderful thing in making this possible.”

—Lieven Wölk, Teacher's Guide Editor, PhD candidate, Ernst Ludwig Ehrlich Scholarship Fund, German History and the History of National Socialism in the 20th Century, Humboldt University, Berlin

“I was really excited to be involved in the Domar Project, and I truly believe that it offers educators a new, complex and differentiated approach to the Holocaust that emphasizes the humanity of its victims while simultaneously challenging all of us to confront the ongoing crimes against humanity. The project and its lesson plans are accessible to all teachers regardless of content familiarity, and the teacher’s guide clearly lays out the lessons in such a way that they are easily modifiable for different ages, environments, and length of study. By focusing on one individual’s story and how she experienced larger historical events, the project enables students to better comprehend and make sense of events that might otherwise seem too “big” and difficult to truly understand. Its multidisciplinary approach also enables different types of learners to engage with the material equally, which ultimately will increase student interest and depth of comprehension.”

—Adam Kolman Marshak, Teacher's Guide Editor, History Teacher and Dean of the Class of 2024, Gann Academy, Waltham, MA

Comments from Students:

“For many years, the Holocaust was something unimaginable to me. In middle school, I learned about it in history books, and could hardly comprehend that such devastation could have come out of real life. Visiting the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. changed that for me. Suddenly, the history was embedded in the lives of real people, and I felt like I was going through the confusion, pain, and suffering with them. Watching the documentary about the life of Carola Domar had the same energy for me.”

“Watching this film, I just had a pit in my stomach.”

“This documentary was very different than any other Holocaust or Nazi Germany film I ever watched in middle or high school.”

“I was happy to know that Carola Domar's experience going back to Frankfurt, Germany was a positive one. There seemed to be a sense of inclusivity within Germany when she went back. I hope that this is how Germany is for many of its Holocaust survivors, and if so then I am glad to see that they have embraced their past mistakes and try to be as inclusive as possible.”

“The documentary Exile and Community: The Life of Carola Domar is obviously very powerful.”

“I found this film to be rewarding and useful, not just when discussing the experiences of those who endured the Holocaust, but also for human rights.”

“My experience watching the film was really a rollercoaster of emotions. This documentary was a story of Mrs. Carola Domar's experience and what surprised me at the end was that it was almost like a resolution because of her idea of wanting to forgive despite what has happened to her when she was young, going through the beginnings of Nazi Germany. The idea that stood out to me was forgiveness.”

“While watching this documentary, I couldn’t help but feel an overwhelming amount of empathy for Carola Domar.”

“I thought it was an excellent choice by the filmmaker to emphasize the personal elements of Carola’s life and her story and set up her childhood strongly. It really added context and provoked me to think more deeply about certain situations, like how she often emphasized that she didn't know if she would return home again when she left the house, or when she left her parents if she would ever see them again. Those parts of the film were, for obvious reasons, the most upsetting to me.

I liked that the film emphasized Carola's involvement in community throughout her life and how that was a huge part of her happiness. It was also most impactful and traumatizing when that community seemed to turn its back on her and she was not wanted at the school where she had been a leader. I hope that soon we start showing some more remorse and willingness to change from our own dark history. Carola even alluded to American racism in the film, showing the coexistence of the evils of antisemitism and racism.”