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Two Mothers - The Search Began in Riga (Meine Mütter - Spurensuche in Riga)

Two Mothers - The Search Began in Riga
Scene from "Two Mothers - The Search Began in Riga" (photo © Rosa von Praunheim)

Tracing my two mothers in Riga is my personal history.

I was born Holger Mischwitzky in Riga/Latvia, on November 25th, 1942. In 2000, my then 94-year-old mother told me I was not her son and that she had found me in a children’s home in Riga during the German occupation. That was all she was prepared to say. She died in 2003.

Initially I didn’t want to start searching, she had been a loving mother to me. Two years later I did become curious, but not knowing my real family name, I thought searching would be futile. With the help of a Latvian journalist I met Agnese who discovered intriguing things in the national archive.

Amazingly enough, I eventually found my real birth certificate in Berlin which stated that I had been born in Riga in the central prison in 1942.

I start searching for my mother. Will I find her or her family? Will I be able to find out something about my father?

After 63 years, I decide to fly to Riga and start searching for my two mothers’ traces.


Rosa von Praunheim was born in Riga/Latvia in 1942. He studied painting in Berlin and took on his artist's name of Rosa von Praunheim in 1964, in reference to the pink triangle homosexuals were forced to wear in the Nazi concentration camps. A prolific filmmaker, a selection of his films includes: IT’S NOT THE HOMOSEXUAL WHO IS PERVERSE, BUT THE SITUATION IN WHICH HE LIVES (1970), ARMY OF LOVERS (1971-1976), A VIRUS KNOWS NO MORALS (1985), I AM MY OWN WOMAN (1992), TRANSSEXUAL MENACE (1996), GAY COURAGE (1998), THE EINSTEIN OF SEX (1999), FASSBINDER’S WOMEN (2001), QUEENS DON’T LIE (2001), COWS KNOCKED-UP BY FOG (2002), TWO MOTHERS – THE SEARCH BEGAN IN RIGA (2007), NEW YORK MEMORIES (2010), DIE JUNGS VOM BAHNHOF ZOO (2011), and DARKROOM (2019), among others.
Genre History, Biopic
Category Documentary
Year of Production 2007
Director Rosa von Praunheim
Screenplay Rosa von Praunheim
Cinematography Thomas Ladenburger, Elfi Mikesch, Markus Tiarks
Mike Shephard
Andreas Wolter
Producer Rosa von Praunheim
Production Company Rosa von Praunheim Filmproduktion, in co-production with RBB, HR/Frankfurt
Length 87 min
Format color
Original Version
 German
Subtitled Version English
Sound Technology Stereo
Festivals Hof 2007, Rotterdam 2008, Goeteborg 2008, Tribeca 2008, BAFICI Buenos Aires 2008
With backing from Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, mabb Medienanstalt Berlin-Brandenburg

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