Personal Profile

Elkan Spiller

Elkan Spiller was born August 14, 1963 in Cologne. As the son of Holocaust survivors, he was interested in Jewish history from early childhood. In 1992 he received a Master’s degree from the Universität der Künste in Berlin with a thesis on anti-Semitism in German television. Since then, he has worked as a freelance journalist and documentary filmmaker for Deutsche Welle and ARD, among others,.

Spiller lived and worked for many years in New York, Tel Aviv and the San Francisco Bay Area. At present he is again living mainly in Germany in order to complete a documentary about Chaim and his mother.

Elkan Spiller’s short film “Mama L’Chaim!” (5 min.) is currently being shown at numerous international film festivals and has received overwhelmingly positive reviews (see attachment). He has received many prizes for his short film, including even a “Highly Recommended” rating from the German Film Review Board (see attachment).

The film “L’Chaim” is a project from the heart that has a great deal to do with my own biography. Chaim is my cousin; his family is my family. Although I am much younger, my father also experienced and survived the concentration camps, so I am also part of the “second generation.” For me, at first it seemed like a contradiction to grow up in Cologne as a Jew. Anyone who grows up like that asks, “Can life be right in the wrong place? After this film you can say yes, it can be!

Short film credits

Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Image from Mama, L'Chaim!

Mama, L'Chaim!

Germany | Jan 2009 | 5:23
Chaim (63) lives together with his mother (96), a concentration camp survivor, in a Jewish elderly home in Antwerp.
Information on this profile is provided by the person and/or compiled from available sources | Profile updated 4 Nov 2009