What Happened To Gittel On 'Transparent'? Hari Nef Weighs In On Her Character's Season 2 Fate
By now I'm sure many of you have already marathoned your way through Transparent Season 2, which means you've also no doubt fallen in love with the latest Pfefferman family member to come out of the woodwork. I'm referring, of course, to Hari Nef's Transparent character, Tante Gittel, who appeared in multiple flashbacks throughout the season and gave viewers a glimpse of what life in Berlin was like for a trans woman back in the 1930s. And, while we eventually see Gittel's home at the Magnus Hirschfeld Institute get raided by the Nazis, her fate was mostly left up for interpretation. Bustle interviewed Nef about this particular storyline and what she thinks happened to Gittel and whether or not audiences can expect her to show up at some point in Season 3.
I think it's up to interpretation, but women like Gittel weren't really going to survive the Holocaust," Nef explains. "It could've been that night. It could've been years later in a camp. I'm not a Holocaust historian and finding out what happened to this community after the Nazi regime took hold, that really wasn't part of my research, but I would say... just looking at the way trans women have been treated historically over, I guess you could say forever, at least in this culture that we live in the Western World, I'm sure she died. I'm sure she was raped and I'm sure she was murdered. I just don't see how that could've not happened.
That being said, though, Nef wants it made clear that this is just her own personal interpretation of her character's outcome. The writers purposefully made Gittel's future uncertain, hoping that our imaginations would fill in the rest. "I kind of want people to have their own interpretation. I think ambiguity is where Transparent finds a lot of its strength," she says. However, based on the circumstances, Nef doesn't expect Gittel will be popping up anywhere (in flashback form or otherwise) next season.
"I'm pretty sure Gittel is gone. I don't think she's coming back," Nef shares, which means we can assume that Rose and Gittel never saw each other again, after being quite literally ripped from each other's arms by the Nazis. "You have to understand that the scene where she's taken away, that's 1933. World War II didn't end for years and years and years after that. The first thing that the Nazis hit was Berlin and that institute after they came into power, so I would say they never saw each other again."
But, even if Gittel had the chance to go back and do it all over again, Nef thinks she still would've made the same decision to stay in Berlin and remain true to who she was. "Gittel made a choice. I think she knew the danger, but at the end of the day there was no guarantee she could live as her authentic self in the United States, so she made a choice to stay in the only place that she could."
A place that tragically ended up getting destroyed and all of its important research along with it. "I can almost say without a doubt that the loss of this history and the loss of this research, which was essentially solely due to the Holocaust, has delayed progress in the conversation of gender and sexuality, if only in the Western World," she says."
It makes you wonder what the world would look like for trans and gender-nonconforming individuals if all that information hadn't been erased. "It represents the fact that this isn't new and that trans and gender-nonconforming people have been not only around, but in your community forever. And, they have been persecuted forever," Nef points out.
Gittel was just the tip of the proverbial iceberg, but gave a voice to much greater (and less known) aspect of human history.
Image: Amazon Studios