Carl Laemmle relative, Deborah F. Blum, sets out to discover all she can about Carl Laemmle, the founder of Universal Studios. When she learns he rescued Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany, she must find these families today!
"I feel it is the solemn duty of every Jew in America who can afford it, to go the very limit for these poor unfortunates in Germany...who are suffering untold agony without having done any wrong whatsoever."
Written in a letter by Carl Laemmle
to United States Secretary of State, Cordell Hull
April 12, 1937.
Carl Laemmle not only founded Universal Studios and is one of Hollywood's greatest pioneers, he also rescued Jews from the Holocaust. This is what he did with the millions he earned as a movie studio mogul. But no one knows this story! Least of all, his own relative.
Remarkably, this story is not well-known because Carl Laemmle wanted to keep his noble actions a secret. The United States State Department was not eager for Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany to flood into the United States during the 1930's, when America was still suffering from the Great Depression.
But Carl Laemmle cared about his fellow Jews in Nazi Germany and headed their calls for help. He tenaciously persisted and managed to save hundreds of individuals, who melted into the fabric of American society able to fulfill the hopes and dreams that would have escaped them had they been forced to stay in Germany and not received assistance.
Deborah F Blum, a Laemmle relative, connected with three families Carl rescued and began to tell their stories, which led her to discover some incredible secrets about her great-grandparents.
FOOTSTEPS tells the stories of three families - the Benders, Schloss and Einstein families - who left Germany and made it successfully to California because of Carl Laemmle.
The film also travels to Southern Germany to the towns and cities these families came from and to the site of the factory Deborah's great-grandparents were forced to turn over to Nazis.