The Wandering Jew
Der Vanderner Yid

aka Abraham Our Patriarch, Jews in Exile, Nazi Terror, The Jew in Germany
USA, 1933, 66 minutes
Yiddish with English subtitles
Directed by George Roland

with new English subtitles by
The National Center for Jewish Film

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Public Exhibition Formats: 35mm, Beta


The Wandering Jew tells the story of Arthur Levi (Jacob Ben-Ami), a German-Jewish artist who experiences the new German antisemitism when his masterpiece, a portrait of his Polish-born father entitled "The Eternal Wanderer" is rejected by the Berlin Academy of Art, which also asks his resignation as professor. Later in the film the figure in the painting comes to life and tells Levi the story of the persecution of the Jewish people. The film ends with footage of an anti-Hitler rally at New York City's Madison Square Garden and Levi's resolve to bear onward in the face of adversity.

The Wandering Jew is a unique find: the first American feature film to depict the situation of Jews in Nazi Germany, and the only Yiddish-language film of its era to address this subject. The film, which dramatizes the situation of German Jews, was an American-Jewish response to the Nazi regime. It was produced by Jewish American Film Arts at the Atlas Studio on Long Island, NY during the summer of 1933, just months after the Nazi rise to power in Germany. In the wake of the violence of Kristallnacht the film was given a December 1938 re-release under the title Jews in Exile, screening in RKO theaters all over the New York area. The NCJF restoration features new subtitles and represents the most complete version of the film in existence.

Selected Screenings

Memorial de la Shoah, Paris (2010)
Vienna Jewish Film Festival (2007)
New York Jewish Film Festival (2000)
Jerusalem International Film Festival (2000)
Vienna Jewish Film Festival (2000)
Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival (2000)
Jewish Kulturtage, Berlin, Germany (1998)

NCJF Film Restoration

Preservation and restoration was made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts, Brandeis University, Sheldon Feinberg, Massachusetts Cultural Council & The Righteous Persons Foundation.

Critical Acclaim

"This graphic account of the tribulations of the Jewish people from the days of Pharaoh to those of Adolf Hitler... grips the spectator from start to finish. It is difficult to imagine a more crushing indictment of Nazism and all its works"
-The New York Times, 1933


Director George Roland
Production Jewish American Film Arts, Inc.
Screenplay Jacob Mestel
Photography Frank Zucker & J. Burgi Contner
Music Director I.J. Hochman

Jacob Ben-Ami (Arthur Levi)
Natalie Browning (Gertrude)
M.B. Samuylow (The Wanderer)
Ben Adler (Paul Von Eisenon)
Jacob Mestel (The Servant)
Abraham Teitelbaum (The Reporter)
William Epstein (Messenger)

1999 Restoration © The National Center for Jewish Film
Executive Director Sharon Pucker Rivo
Associate Director Miriam Saul Krant
Technical Director Rich Pontius
Translator Daniella HarPaz
Title Animation Frame Shop
Laboratory Cinema Arts, Inc.

Home Use DVD: $29.95

Does not include Classroom or Library Use Rights or Public Performance Rights. More Information


Classroom/Library Use DVD: $150

Does not include Public Performance Rights. More Information

Digital Site Licensing (DSL) available - Contact us

Step down pricing for K-12 & public libraries may be available - Contact us

Arrange a screening - Contact us

Also Directed by George Roland

Love and Sacrifice

A Vilna Legend

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