PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Andrew Goldberg talked to survivors of the Tree of Life shooting while making a documentary about antisemitism.
CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith sat down with filmmaker Andrew Goldberg to talk about “Viral: Antisemitism In Four Mutations.” The documentary examines the rise of antisemitism across the U.S. and Europe.
While filming, Goldberg says he and his film crew were one of the few — and maybe only — allowed in the Tree of Life Synagogue after the shooting in 2019.
“We felt like we were in a war zone after it had been cleaned up a little, but not sanitized,” said Goldberg.
He said he was shown where bodies were laying and a Jewish prayer book with a bullet hole blown through it. He said “there were bullet holes everywhere.”
“It’s really upsetting. That is not a thing people see. You hear about someone who dies, maybe someone that you know passes away. But to go through the scene of a crime like that, almost like I was in some CSI movie, was upsetting.”
He recalls talking to a survivor whose mother was shot dead next to her: “I said, ‘well how did you know your mother was dead?’ She said, ‘I was laying in this room and everybody was dead because it was completely silent. I was the only one who was breathing.’ She said ‘and I just lay there.'”
Andrea Wedner was one of the two survivors in the Tree of Life tragedy. Her mother, 97-year-old Rose Mallinger, was killed.
While asking these questions, he says he sometimes worries he’s probing too far. But when interviewers on TV usually ask questions, he says they using leading questions, but he practices a style of journalism where he asks very specific — and often difficult — questions.
The documentary was released Friday.