Professor Richard Freund: Finding Matilda

Event information
Venue:Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU

Matilda Olkin, the “Anne Frank of Lithuania,” was a student and poet who was murdered along with her family by Nazi sympathizers in 1941. Her diary was found years later in a local church. Richard Freund, Professor in Jewish Studies at Christopher Newport University and director of the "Finding Matilda" project, will discuss the film that tells Olkin’s story and the search for her burial place in Lithuania.


Dr. Richard A. Freund is the Bertram & Gladys Aaron Professor of Jewish Studies at Christopher Newport University in Newport News VA.

Professor Freund has directed over a dozen archaeological projects in Israel, including sites associated with the beginnings of Christianity and Judaism at Nazareth, Bethsaida, Yavne and Qumran, site of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

In addition, he has directed projects in Spain (2 sites), Poland (6 sites), Rhodes, Greece (four sites) and Lithuania (18 sites in Lithuania). His work has been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Time magazine, Reader’s Digest, Newsweek, Archaeology, and in three major articles in Smithsonian magazine.

He has been featured on BBC, MSNBC, CNN, NPR and Fox News, in hundreds of media outlets worldwide and in 20 television documentaries from National Geographic, CNN, Discovery,History Channel and PBS. His 2016 work in Lithuania was chronicled one of the most viewed episodes of NOVA’s science series episode: “Holocaust Escape Tunnel” on the new discoveries made in the Ponar Burial Pits and the Great Synagogue of Vilna, Lithuania that has been seen around the world. Dr. Freund is the author of over 100 scholarly articles and 12 books (written or co-edited) including his newest book: Archaeology of the Holocaust: Vilna, Rhodes, and Escape Tunnels (Rowman &Littlefield, 2019) is available nationwide.


Free for Members, $5.00 Non-Members