My Underground Mother

My Underground Mother is a gripping, first-person narrative about a daughter hungering for reconciliation with a mother who claimed she wasn’t a Holocaust victim. The film yields startling, new information about Nazi-run women’s camps and the sexual trauma and agency its survivors experienced and hid from their own families.


My Underground Mother, a feature-length documentary, explores the tenacity, unspoken trauma and resilience of women survivors of Nazi slave labor, focusing on Jewish, Polish native, Tamar-Fromer Fox. After the war and a stint spent fighting in the Israeli underground and army, she immigrated to the United States, changed her name and age, and kept her World War II experiences a secret. As she moved through American life, from college to medical school to matrimony and motherhood, Fromer-Fox chipped away more of her past. To her American peers and family, she presented herself as a former freedom fighter, a femme fatale, a double agent and Israeli military hero. “I was never a Holocaust victim,” she repeatedly told her only daughter.

Twenty years after Fromer-Fox’s death, her daughter, director Marisa Fox, sets out to discover the truth, following a trail of clues to find the last remaining traces of her buried Holocaust past. At the center of the film is a remarkable document, a collective diary written by 60 teenage inmates of Nazi-run women’s camp Gabersdorf. In an intergenerational reclaiming of a women’s Holocaust narrative, My Underground Mother challenges longstanding tropes of female victimhood, reframing this history to include and humanize women survivors.

About the Director

A veteran journalist, Marisa Fox has reported on 9/11 to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, focusing on women, war, trauma, extremism and refugees for The Daily Beast, Elle, CNN, The New York Times, Health, Ms., Ha’aretz, where she was a U.S. correspondent, The Forward, and is a “she source” for Gloria Steinem’s Women’s Media Center. She was a producer at WNET, Vh1 and FX, and earned American Society of Magazine Editors awards and nominations, won pitch competitions, a humanitarian award for a women’s Holocaust monument she unveiled in Trutnov, Czech Republic, and curated a digital exhibit of women’s testimonies with USC’s Shoah Foundation. Fox holds an MS and BS from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, winning a National Journalism Society Award, and a Bachelor’s of Arts in French. She is a 2022 Jewish Film Institute fellow and received grants by the Claims Conference, National Endowment for the Humanities and others for her directorial debut.

TBD (In production)

Film Type

Film Length
TBD (In production)

Marisa Fox

Deborah Shaffer

Executive Producer
Michael Berenbaum

Rachel Reichman

Director of Photography
Slawomir Grünberg

Script Consultant
Maia Harris

With Assistance from Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany

Supported by the Foundation Remembrance, Responsibility and Future and by the German Federal Ministry of Finance