14 2015

Film: In Vienna They Put You in Jail: The Max Birnbach Story

7:00PM - 9:00PM  

Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education 725 NW Davis
Portland, OR

Contact Sandra Oberdorfer

$ Cost $ 10.00

This program is a special fundraiser for community-wide projects of the Next Generations Group. To make a donation to the Next Generations Group, please click here and choose the 'Public Programs' donation category. Check the 'Tribute' box and mark your donation 'in honor of the Next Generations Group.'


Gerry Birnbach will share the film about his father, Max Birnbach. Many Portlanders may fondly recall that Max Birnbach owned Rose’s restaurant on NW 23rd Ave. from the mid 1960s to the early 90s. 

The film's Director, Cheryl Blaylock, will be in attendance at the film.  

Light refreshments will be available beforehand. 

A portion of the proceeds from this program benefit the Next Generations Group and their work providing programs to descendants of Holocaust survivors and refugees, war heroes, supporters, and the public. The Next Generations Group meets monthly at OJMCHE and around the Portland area for social and educational programs, for community service, community outreach projects, and more. Please see nextgenerationsgroup.wordpress.com for more information about the group.

About the film – In Vienna, They Put You In Jail: The Max Birnbach Story

In 1938 Vienna, antisemitism was at its peak. Hitler’s army was threatening Austria’s border. One day Max Birnbach, as a young man working in his father's store in Vienna, heard the words, "You a Jew?... In the car with you." And Hitler’s dreaded SS hauled him off to a concentration camp.

Many years later Max gave Gerry a box of postcards Max had received while living in Switzerland written by his parents who were trapped in Poland. From these postcards a documentary was born that traces Max’s remarkable story — including his imprisonment by the Nazis, a dramatic escape to the Swiss border, life in a refugee camp, the futile efforts to save his parents from deportation to the concentration camps, and the remarkable meeting that made possible Max’s emigration to America.

At the end of the film, a visit by Max and Gerry to Ellis Island – on September 9, 2001 – juxtaposes this tale of hope with the sadness that would engulf the nation only two days later, ending the film on a graceful emotional note. According to the Oregonian, Birnbach’s epic odyssey “embodies the resilience and determination that have characterized Jewish life for millennia.” 

The film reveals the sharp instincts Max used to survive, the tragedy he had to leave behind, and the life-affirming courage and tenacity he demonstrated throughout his life. 

Directed by Cheryl Blaylock. 2003, 52 minutes.

About Cheryl Blaylock

Cheryl Blaylock's company, Kalamazoo Gal Pictures, produces documentaries, tributes and wedding videos. The award-winning documentary feature, IN VIENNA THEY PUT YOU IN JAIL: THE MAX BIRNBACH STORY is distributed by Cinema Guild. Cheryl has worked extensively in film and television as a puppeteer. Her favorite characters include Frederica in Blue's Room (spinoff of Blue's Clues), Eureeka in Eureeka's Castle and many characters on Sesame Street. She co-directed the musical Avenue Q at the Civic Theatre in Kalamazoo Michigan. With the Jim Henson Company, she designed, built and performed the Muppets, winning an Emmy for her work on Sesame Street. She has acted on stage, television and film in various projects from drama to commercials to cartoon voices, and recently directed herself in Shakespeare's Sonnet #2 for the Sonnet Projects. She is currently creating programs for the non-profit Trees New York with her puppet Mrs Crabapple, the cantankerous old lady who hates trees. She is represented by Abrams Artists Agency.


Ticket Info: General Public: $10; OJMCHE Members: $8; Students: $5