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4.3 out of 5 stars25
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 14 June 2012
During the horrors of the holocaust,non-Jews saved many thousands of Jews from death and depravity at the hands of the Nazis and its allies.We know the stories of many of these brave ordinary people;Schindler,Wallenberg and Ten Boom are but a few and there were many more "Good Germans" who knew the risks of harbouring Jews yet still faced evil at every turn.
Every so often a small film comes along that just keeps me mesmerised and this is one of the best of them.Wonderfully acted,softly directed and with a story littered with interesting characters all of which is true.Luckily for us the consumer the artwork isn't misleading us into believing this is a war film full of gung-ho action but a delicate story of human decency when the world around had gone mad.

Based on the personal memoirs of Marga Speigel this film is an accurate narrative on the years she and her daughter spent living on the Aschoff family farm under the surname Krone whilst her Jewish husband (Menne) hid on another farm close by.
During WW1 Menne and his farmer friend Aschoff served in the trenches together and were awarded the Iron Cross,now that same country that honoured his bravery wanted him dead along with every other Jew in Europe.Although his long time (non-Jewish) friends are willing to shelter them there is still danger at every turn where any slight mishap could see the end of them all.
Amongst the Aschoff family loyalties are somewhat confused,the same night they see their son of to the Russian front they harbour Jews.Their daughter is a member of the BDM and whose boyfriend is an over zealous Nazi Youth leader.Plus being a large farm there are many other "guests" who could turn them in at a minutes notice so vigilence becomes an exhausting practice.
Now I don't perceive myself as shallow but a lot of war dramas I have seen in the past have bored me to tears and although not a lot happens plot wise in this film I was gripped from start to finish and would recommend this to anyone who has an interest in the holocaust or indeed if you have a heart at all.Simply put its a stunning piece of film making where nothing is rammed down your throat its just told as it happened.
Just as the credits roll there is an interesting vignette of the real life Marga Speigel and Frau Aschoff sharing a moment on set together which just warms your soul.
Filmed in German with well translated English subtitles.
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This film is based on the memories of Marga Spiegel (Veronica Ferres) which was published in 1965. It tells her story about how the farmers of South Munsterland hid her, her husband and their daughter to avoid deportation to the Nazi death camps during WWII. It follows them from the decision to go into hiding right through out the war. Menne Spiegel had served with these men during the First World War and earned an Iron Cross First Class for defending the country that now sought his destruction.

Whilst Mara and her daughter Karin, pretended to be evacuees from the allied bombing, her husband Menne the Horse Jew had to be hidden as they had to pretend he was in the army. Thus he was forced to become a recluse for the duration - a bit like solitary but where you have to keep quiet all the time. When Marga arrives at the farm it is just as her hosts the Aschoff's are bidding farewell to their eldest son Klemens who is off to do his bit for the Fatherland on the Russian front. He is offered a last minute reprieve from his dad who says he can still be hidden, but the young lad insists on going.

The problem is that the rest of the Aschoff family don't know that they are hiding Jews, a crime punishable by shooting on the spot. Heinrich Aschoffs daughter is a member of the BDM a sort of more feminine Hitler Youth and she has a brain washed would be suitor who is a Grupen Leader in the aforementioned Youth organisation who believes the Nazi Party are always right, Jews are to blame for everything and anyone who has the temerity to voice an alternate opinion is a traitor.

What develops is at first a painful situation for everyone but soon becomes a learning experience for all involved. The whole thing is done at a pace that is spot on, it is moving and inspirational as well as having its fair share of suspense. There is a piece on the run out of the film with Marga and Frau Aschoff who attended the filming and that was a really nice touch. We are reminded that the option to shelter Jews was open to quite a few Germans and actually 455 did so. This is not an action war film but still conveys the anxiety and heart break that such violence inevitably brings with it. In German with a run time of 100 minutes, this is a beautifully made film that I found to be utterly engrossing.
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on 2 October 2012
A true story starting from a friendship in the German army world war one, between two farmers that go to war and receive the iron cross. Both are German, one a Jew. There are no battles, violence or visual Holocaust to be seen, but in this true story you know what is happening to the Jewish race.
The story tells of how a German family hide and take in other bombed out Germans from the city s, three being a Jewish family.
It is such a touching film it will make a imprint on you forever, of how brave, generous and unselfish some Germans where.
I never took my eyes from the screen the whole time this film was playing and it was over too soon. We should never forget what happened.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 8 October 2012
This is a quite superb movie, with an original take on the Holocaust theme - dealing, as it does, with ordinary Germans working to save Jews. Most emotions come through in this film; empathy, sympathy and solidarity between people, irrespective of their origin. I especially enjoyed seeing the change of heart experienced by the BDM member, Annie, who changes her opinion of the Jews after hearing of the suffering they had endured. All in all this is a top notch film and one I heartily recommend.
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on 21 May 2014
Having visited several of the Nazi Concentration Camps, I was particularly interested to hear how these German Christian Farmers saved this Jewish Mother and Child and their father from being deported to the Camps in the East.
It is a story of selfless courage by the farmers, in the face of the terrible consequences of their being discovered hiding a Jewish family, which would have resulted in their certain death.
It also highlights how virtually a whole nation was completely brainwashed into their hatred of the Jews, by the Nazis, with Hitler as their leader and Saviour, who in the end, led them to complete destruction with all its horrible consequences.
No wonder the names of those involved are recorded in the Yad Vashem Memorial in Jerusalem.
The statistic of names recorded in Yad Vashem quoted at the very end of the film is well worth noting.
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on 20 January 2015
A film accurate to the times giving a picture of country life in Germany during WWII on a farm. We don't often think of those brave comrades who returned from the Great War, as the opening scene shows, and how these old friends sheltered their old Jewish comrades who fought so bravely side bt side and at times saved saved each others lives and ate out of the same mess tin. The film is a lesson in loyalty and comradeship despite Nazis oppression and trandscends all man made barriers. We never forget our old army buddies who served with us.. A great story.
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on 6 January 2014
this is a sub titled film but don't let that put you off its about how some farmers in southern Germany hid and protected a family of jews thus saving them from deportation, this is a well acted and gives a real insight of how life must of been like in those dark times...
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on 17 April 2013
The reality of the situation that people had to endure is portrayed with a real sense of honesty and sensitivity. This is a great product and an excellent service++++
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on 31 August 2013
The story is well presented, and historically thought provoking.
The history always reminds of what we might have done in similar cicumstances.
Bravery in the face of terrible consequences.
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on 12 January 2014
Untold story about regular Germans. During WW11. Well told. It's seldom that we ever hear this side if the story.
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