When the Nazis marched into Austria in March 1938, a Jew baiting of such ferocity, which up to that point had not even been seen in Nazi Germany, took Austrian Jews by complete surprise. The assaults, arbitrary arrests and persecution which soon followed caused a rush among many Austrian Jews to flee the country and seek refuge elsewhere. This film tells the story of four of these people, who were able to find a new home abroad. What was it like to be a Jew in March 1938, when the Anschluss took place? How difficult was it not only to leave Austria, but to find a country willing to take you in? How difficult was it to adjust to your new life in a foreign country very different from your own? This film answers those questions and through personal interviews, reveals much about the seldomly told part of the Holocaust: the difficulties of flight and life in a new land.
Accompanying this film is the German propaganda film, The Fuhrer gives the Jews a City, made in 1944 in the Theresienstadt Ghetto. The director of the film was Kurt Gerron, a very successful director of films in Germany before the Nazis took over in 1933. Having missed the opportunity to emigrate to the United States several times, because of some petty disagreements about the mode of transport and what kind of work he'd find in the States, Gerron eventually ended up in Theresienstadt, where he was picked by the Nazis to make this film shortly after a successful visit by the neutral Red Cross to the ghetto. The intention of the film, to serve as a propaganda piece to counter rumors about the extermination of the Jews, came to naught: during filming, the Soviets overran Majdanek extermination camp and the story of the Holocaust got out to the world (though like most of the Holocaust stories coming out of Europe, it was pretty much considered an "exaggeration" until American and British forces overran Nazi camps in 1945). With the film's propaganda value gone, Gerron was put onto one of the last trains to Auschwitz-Birkenau from the ghetto and was gassed upon arrival. A short time afterwards, Himmler was to order the cessation of gassings at Birkenau.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THE MATERIAL FOR THE MAIN FILM WAS ORIGINALLY PART OF THE DVD, Anschluss in Austria, AND THAT THE DVD WE SELL CURRENTLY WITH THAT TITLE DOES NOT HAVE THIS MATERIAL ON IT.
DVD-R IS IN GERMAN WITH SWITCHABLE ENGLISH SUBTITLES.
THE MAIN FILM IS OF EXCELLENT QUALITY; THE ACCOMPANYING FILM IS OF GOOD QUALITY WITH HARD-ENCODED ENGLISH SUBTITLES.
TOTAL DURATION: 67 MINUTES
PLEASE NOTE THAT SWITCHABLE (SOFT) SUBTITLES WILL NOT SHOW UP WHEN VIEWING THE SAMPLE BELOW. IF YOU SEE SUBTITLES, THEN THEY ARE HARD-ENCODED (meaning, they cannot be turned off when viewing the film):