As Deborah walks the footsteps of her ancestors, she makes a surprising discovery . . .
Carl Laemmle emigrated from Southern Germany in 1884 and founded Universal Studios in 1914. He produced thousands of silent films and talkies. With his son Junior, he invented the horror genre.
Yet, after selling Universal in 1936, Carl Laemmle spent 80% of his time rescuing Jews from Nazi Germany.
As a millionaire and retired Hollywood studio head, he was in a position to help. He cared about the people of Baden-Wurttemberg, because he had grown up there. And he foresaw Hitler's menace as early as 1930, when Nazi Brownshirts organized a boycott against Universal's first Academy Award winning film, All Quiet on the Western Front and succeeded in having the film banned in Germany.
Deborah F. Blum, Carl Laemmle's cousin, began researching his life and learned he rescued Jews from the Holocaust. She located three families Carl Laemmle saved, living in California, and in intimate interviews, learned their stories of survival. Then, with her husband and 11-year old daughter, she traveled to Germany to see where these families came from, and was forced to confront what was left of the Jewish life of Baden-Wurttemberg.
Deborah found Germans working to preserve the past, who shared their knowledge in museums, cemeteries and a restored synagogue. Deborah also made a startling discovery about her great-grandparents oil and grease factory that was confiscated by the Nazis.
FILM STILL: Professor Michael Berenbaum at the Holocaust Museum LA.