Silence of The Old Ones (working title) A parable on forgetting a mass murder Persenbeug, a small town on the danube in eastern Austria. I grew up here, in a country idyl typical for the region. Just as a young man I got to know that more than 220 Hungarian jews have been killed here in the last days of the war, by an SS-commando and local helpers. The murderers were never found, there never was a trial. Until this day, there is just a small stone on the place of the massacre, there is no official commemoration. The massacre of Persenbeug stands as one of the largest end-phase-massacres that happened during the war, and it is the last one we know so little about. About one year ago, me, a photographer, and my brother, a political scientist, started to dig deeper, to do our research and find out what is to find out about that fateful night. We found the last whitnesses, the last survivors, a trace of the murderers. We found out about a clique of people in our hometown that dominated official life during the time of the Nazi regime, and for a long time afterwards. One old women told me about the trains she saw passing our town, and about the hungry people locked up in them, bound for Mauthausen Concentration Camp. “We knew what was going on, but it was to late. We could not do anything against it any more”. We found out about Fritz Sedlacek, who was the son of our town´s doctor during the war. He also was an SS-officer, and present at the shootings that night. After the war, he became doctor in a town some 15km away, and was awarded a honorary citizenship. Even a square is named after him in that town. The mayor does not want to change anything, “young people don´t know who Dr. Sedlacek is anymore. They are not interested.” We found out about the last survivors, about Jakob Schwarz who, as an eleven-year-old-boy, survived because another young boy was shot and fell on him. His mother and his sisters died in that night. To this day, he has nightmares about that night. He never told his five children – just as his oldest son found out what happened on his own, he started to talk. With our film “The Silence of the old people” we will tell the story of that night, and it´s consequences into the present time, as a parable on forgetting. Narrative framework is our journey, searching for the last whitnesses, survivors and murderers. Nine vignettes will tell, in the perspective of the victims, the whitnesses and the murderers, the story of this massacre. Our protagonists have one thing in common – not being able to forget, or not wanting to forget what happened in that night. We find the last survivors in Israel and France, and the descendants of the murderers in Austria. We find a culture of Forgetting in Austria – how come that local squares are still named after SS-officers? What happened in that night? Is one of the murderers still alive? Time is scarce – now is the last moment to bring light into that fateful night of May 1945. The last whitnesses are in their 80s, some in their 90s. Be it murderer or victim, they never liked to talk about what happened during the war, so the following generation knows very little. With your help, “The Silence of the Old Ones” will bring the story of the massacre to a wide audience, for the first time, and will establish a process of reflexion on the Culture of Forgetting. We could write history not yet written. The project is currently in the final stages of the research phase. We are working with a production company on securing funding to produce the film.