Carl Laemmle Documentary (working title):

Deborah, researching her ancestor Carl Laemmle - founder of Universal Studios, found he saved Jews from Nazi Germany, and wondered if she could locate any of the families today. 


Amazingly, she was able to find three families living in California. With her husband, Warren Blum, who'd made a few short films, they set out to interview them.


Then, in December 2016, Sandy Einstein - whom they'd interviewed and whose father Hermann was saved by Carl Laemmle, met Deborah and Warren in Southern Germany to attend the opening of an exhibit honoring Carl Laemmle in Stuttgart.


Deborah and Warren visited the town of Sandy's father, Buchau, and learned the sad fate of Sandy's aunt from a poem written by a German soldier. 


Two other families -- the Benders and Schlosses -- were interviewed in California. Deborah and Warren searched for their streets and homes, robbed of Jewish life. 


This film asks: what does it mean to be German-Jewish American who is alive because of the kindness of others? Carl Laemmle's generosity lives on in the stories of those he saved. 


Deborah also learns about her grandfather's trip to Germany in 1938, which saved his parents' lives. And visits the apartment and factory they were forced to abandon.

Timeline

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1867 - Carl Laemmle is born in Laupheim, Germany.

1884 - He arrives in the U.S. with $50.

1915 - He opens Universal City, home of Universal Studios in Hollywood.

  • 1923 HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME produced
  • 1925 PHANTOM OF THE OPERA produced
  • 1930 ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT wins Academy Award for Best Production. 

1936 - Carl Laemmle sells Universal and retires at 69.

1937-1938 - Carl Laemmle signs affidavits of support sponsoring Jews from Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany

September 24, 1939 - Carl Laemmle passes away.

September, 2014 - Deborah begins researching Carl Laemmle's life.

2016 - Deborah and Warren begin filming.