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Holocaust Documentary Films in Leavey Library (DVDs): Rescuers


Back from the Brink

"With the Nazis fast at their heels, three Jews ran for their lives. Back from the Brink follows the harrowing escapes of these three survivors, now in their 80's, who managed to cheat death through the compassion and bravery of ordinary people. The film employs stark re-enactments of the most critical moments in these individual's personal sagas. The documentary, and these three harrowing stories, is a tribute to both the courage of the human spirit and to the thousands of unmentioned individuals during the Second World war who unselfishly stepped forward to save a life."

The Courage To Care
"Describes those individuals who knowingly risked their lives during the Holocaust to aid Jews."

A Debt to Honor
"Tells of the efforts of ordinary Italians to save Jews during the German occupation of Italy following the Italian surrender in 1943. Jewish victims and those who worked to save them, including priests and nuns, describe their experiences and the role of monasteries and convents in saving almost 80 percent of Italy's Jews from the Holocaust."

Defying the Nazis: The Sharps' War
"It tells the never-before-told story of Waitstill and Martha Sharp, an American minister and his wife from Wellesley, Massachusetts, who left their children behind in the care of their parish and boldly committed to a life-threatening mission in Europe. Over two dangerous years they helped save scores of imperiled dissidents and refugees fleeing the Nazi occupation across Europe."

Diplomats of the Damned
"Stories of four government officials who refused to follow orders so that they could save the lives of several thousand Jews during Hitler's regime: Aristides de Sousa Mendes of Portugal; Harry Bingham IV, U.S. vice consul in Marseilles; Carl Lutz, Swiss diplomat in Hungary; and Georg Ferdinand Duckwitz, German attaché in Denmark."

50 Children:The Rescue Mission of Mr. & Mrs. Kraus
"Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus never intended to become heroes. But in early 1939, as conditions were worsening for Jews living inside Nazi Germany, the Philadelphia couple embarked on a risky and improbable mission - an effort to rescue 50 Jewish children and bring them to safety in the United States."

Heroes of the Holocaust: Tales of Resistance and Survival
"A look at the ordinary men and women who risked their lives to rescue Jews during the Holocaust."

Heroes: Saving Jewish Lives from the Nazis
"They were hiding Jews and other fugitives in Central France during the Second World War. They risked their own lives taking such a stand. Who were these people, the descendants of France's Protestant minority? Were they heroes? What made them resist the Nazis and their collaborators, the French police? Is it possible to find traces of that behavior in this region's French society today? This provocative documentary challenges one’s own reaction to people of other cultures in a time of worldwide migration."

The House on August Street
"Story of Beate Berger and the 'Beith Ahawah Kinderheim', the home she founded in Berlin in 1922 for Jewish children in need. In the 1930's she carried out a rescue operation to spirit 'her' children out of Germany into a home she had built for them in Israel."

Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport
"The documentary tells the story of a group of children from Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia who were fortunate enough to escape the unfathomable horror of the genocide perpetrated against the Jewish people during WWII. They were saved by the Kindertransport, which took 10,000 children to the safety of England in the late 1930s. (The United States government, which could have sponsored a similar program, declined to do so.) Assuming that the broad historical context is well enough known, the film concentrates on individual stories, using archival film clips and photographs, re-enactments and interviews, with both the rescuers and the rescued."

It Was Nothing, It Was Everything: Reflections on the Rescue of Greek Jews during the Holocaust
"Presents interviews and archival footage reflecting on the events associated with the rescue of Greek Jews during the Holocaust. Features the stories of ordinary citizens who became extraordinary through the moral courage they evidenced in risking their lives to protect Jewish fugitives."

Kinder-Exodus, 1939
"Tells the story of the transportation of Jewish children from Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia, known as the Kindertransport, after the British Parliament authorized the entry of children to Great Britain as transmigrants after Kristallnacht in November of 1938, Some of the participants describe their experiences and tell of their lives during and after World War II."

"The film portrays Magda (Magdalena Grodzka-Guzkowska) who at age 15 joined the Polish underground in the fight against the Nazi regime and risked her life in efforts to save Jews in occupied Warsaw. Decades later, Magda discovers her own Jewish roots."

No. 4 Street of Our Lady
"Tells the story of Francisca Halamajowa, a Polish Catholic woman who hid 15 of her Jewish neighbors during the Holocaust. The film draws on excerpts from a diary kept by one of the survivors, Moshe Maltz. It also incorporates testimonies from other Jews saved by Halamajowa, her descendants and former neighbors as they reconnect on a trip back to Sokal."

Oskar Schindler: The Accidental Hero
"Documentary on the life of Oskar Schindler, thr wartime rescuer of 1,200 Jews during WWII. Survivors and researchers comment on the life and moral ambiguity of the flawed hero."

Orchestra of Exiles
"Reveals the dramatic story of Bronislaw Huberman, the celebrated Polish violinist who rescued some of the world's greatest musicians from Nazi Germany and then created one of the world's greatest orchestras, the Palestine Philharmonic (which would become the Israeli Philharmonic)" -- Container.

The Power of Good: Nicholas Winton
"In the fall of 1938, Nicholas Winton took a pleasure trip to
Prague, Czechoslovakia. He saw that Czech children in the Sudetenland were stateless. He understood that these refugee children would soon be doomed by Hitler. Although Winton was only 28 years old, he knew he had to take action. He devised a rescue operation to save these children. This inspiring documentary tells how an ordinary man took extraordinary action."

Rescue in the Philippines: Refuge from the Holocaust
"A documentary of the previously untold story of how the five Frieder brothers, Cincinnati businessmen making two-for-a-nickel cigars in pre-WWII Manila, together with Manuel Quezon, the charismatic first president of the Philippines, Paul McNutt, US High Commissioner and former governor of Indiana (preparing for his own presidential campaign) and an ambitious Army Colonel named Dwight Eisenhower, helped 1,200 Jews escape the Nazis and immigrate to the Philippines."

The Rescuers: Heroes of the Holocaust
"...uncovers the largely unknown stories of 13 heroic and courageous diplomats who, at tremendous personal cost, saved tens of thousands of Jews during World War II. The film follows Stephanie Nyombayire, a young Rwandan anti-genocide activist who lost 100 members of her family in the Rwandan Genocide of the 1990s, and Sir Martin Gilbert, the renowned 20th century and Holocaust historian, as they travel across 15 countries and three continents interviewing survivors and descendants of the diplomats. Nyombayire and Gilbert explore and contemplate the past in a quest, in part, to understand what should be done to stop the ongoing genocide in Darfur and elsewhere."

Rescuers in Scandinavia
"A chronicle of extraordinary courage by ordinary people in and from Scandinavia during the Holocaust period in World War II."

Searching for Wallenberg
"Tells the legendary story of Raoul Wallenberg, who as a Swedish diplomat in Budapest in 1944, saved tens of thousands of Jews from Nazi deprtations and certain death ... Just before the liberation of Budapest by the Soviet Red Army, in 1945, Wallenberg disappeared. Arrested as a suspected spy, Wallenberg became one of the first victims of the Cold War and Stalin's paranoia. He was taken to the notorious Lubianka prison in Moscow ... on July 17, 1947, in what became one of the biggest mysteries of the twentieth century, he vanished."

Secret Courage: The Walter Suskind Story
"Walter Suskind, German Jew living in
Amsterdam, orchestrated the escape of close to 1000 Dutch children who were marked for transport to the death camps. In Secret Courage, we hear the stories of five of the saved children in their own words."

Sugihara: Conspiracy of Kindness
"This documentary tells the story of Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara, consul to Lithuania during World War II. Sugihara defied Tokyo authorities and wrote transit visas that allowed hundreds of Jewish families to flee Europe through Russia to Japan and other countries. Includes home movies, photographs, film footage, and interviews with Holocaust survivors who owe their lives to Chiune Suhihara."

Sugihara Survivors: Jewish and Japanese, Past and Present
"Fleeing from Nazi occupied Europe, thousands of Jewish refugees were able to escape by train across Russia and then by boat to Japan. This was due to a Japanese diplomat, Chiune Sugihara, working in Lithuania who issued transit visas contrary to his government's instructions. Many years later a Japanese writer, Akira Kitade, inherits a photo album with pictures of some of these refugees. He sets out on a mission to discover what became of these refugees. We follow him on his journey from Japan to the USA. The film features interviews with some of the 'Sugihara Survivors' and their families."

They Risked Their Lives: Rescuers of the Holocaust
"Selected interviews of Holocaust rescuers in 12 countries which show a variety of people and their reasons for helping the Jews ."

Treason Or Honor: German Rescuers of the Holocaust
"Presents six cases where Jews were rescued by Germans. Rescuers describe what they did and why they did it."

A Tree for Sugihara
"Story of Sempo Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat who issued thousands of visas during World War II, allowing Jews to escape the

Zegota: Council for Aid to Jews in Occupied Poland, 1942-1945
"Frustrated by the Allied Governments ̕rejection of active intervention, the exiled Polish government in London formed an organization called Council to Aid the Jews, code-named Zegota, to rescue Jews in German-occupied Europe. Zegota participants, Jewish survivors, and Polish and Jewish historians recall and reflect on the unparalleled crime of genocide committed by Nazi occupation forces, and of the extraordinary courage of people who risked - and some of whom sacrificed - their lives trying to save Jewish

Zerach: A Refugee and Remnant in the Holocaust
"Zionist leader Zeracḥ Warhaftig fled Warsaw, making his way to still neutral Lithuania. Fearing for the fate of thousands of Jews who also fled to Lithuania, Zeracḥ mounted a relentless campaign to get Jews out of Europe. With the help of the Dutch consul Jan Zwartendijk and Japanese consul Chiune Sugihara, thousands of Jews set out for the Dutch colony of Curaco, Kobe Japan and on to Palestine, the United States, Surinam and Shaghai. Now in his nineties, Dr. Wahrhaftig returns to Poland, Germany, Lithuania, Belarus, China and Japan to recount his memories and to revist the people and places that touched his life during those nightmarish years."

Subject Guide

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John Juricek
Grand Library CAL 205
3434 South Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90089
(213) 740-2931