Documentary about Roman Jews during the Nazi Occupation – Free Screening at Monmouth University

Posted on October 15, 2014 By

What was the experience of Roman Jews living in Nazi occupied Rome? The public is invited to a free screening of the film Oro Macht Frei (Gold Will Set You Free), Wednesday, November 5, at 7:30 p.m. in the Pollak Theatre, Monmouth University, 400 Cedar Avenue, West Long Branch, N.J.

Joel Markel, the founder and president of Preferred Home Health Care & Nursing Services, Eatontown, and the executive producer and founder of Ottimo Films, created Oro Macht Frei, a 70-minute documentary that tells the story of the Roman Jewish experience during the Nazi occupation of Rome, September 1943 through June 1944. The film seeks to create a personal reflection of the Holocaust in Italy by weaving testimony from Roman Jews who lived there with historical research of Susan Zuccotti, Alexander Stille, and Liliana Picciotto.

Following the screening, renowned historian Zuccotti and other scholars will be on hand for a question and answer session. Selected works from the Holocaust Suite, a set of lithographs by renowned printmaker, painter and humanist Jacob Landau; and Nazi artifacts from the private collection of David Meenan will also be on display in the lobby of Pollak Theatre.

Joel Markel, the son of a Hungarian Auschwitz survivor, wanted to honor the experience of his mother and the millions of victims of the Jewish genocide by contributing to the field of Holocaust memory. In 2004, during a tour of the Roman Ghetto, Markel first heard the story of Kappler’s Gold, an extortion plot perpetrated by Herbert Kappler, the head of the SS, who demanded 50 kilos of gold within 36 hours or 200 Jewish family heads would be deported. Markel immediately felt connected to this story because for generations his family had worked as jewelers.

The screening of Oro Macht Frei is sponsored by Monmouth University’s Center for the Arts with support from Preferred Home Health Care & Nursing Services, Monmouth University’s Department of History and Anthropology & The Jewish Cultural Studies Program, David Meenan, and the Jacob Landau Institute. For more information about this event visit or call 732.263.5715.

About Joel Markel: Joel Markel is the founder and president of Preferred Home Health Care & Nursing Services (PHHC), Eatontown, a company that provides a wide range of medical and non-medical home health care services from pediatric to geriatric care throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania. He and his wife Stephanie recently received a recognition award for their long-term commitment to the Homeless Health Initiative (HHI), a volunteer outreach program run by Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). PHHC provides home care for individuals in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.