Born in Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany in the late 1800's, Carl Laemmle came to America in 1884, and founded Universal Studios in 1914. He never expected it to become Hollywood's longest, continually-operating movie studio.
In 1936, Carl or "Uncle Carl," as he was called, sold Universal and began devoting 80% of his time to saving his fellow Jews from Nazi Germany.
"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."
Carl Laemmle's letter to U.S. Secretary of State, Cordell Hull. April 12, 1937.
In 2010, Deborah Fletcher Blum began searching for hidden gems of truth about her great-grandfather's first cousin, Carl Laemmle, and discovered that he saved fellow Jews from the Holocaust. She located and interviewed three families sponsored to come to America by Carl Laemmle. After learning their stories of courage and hope, she was able to confront her past that her own family had kept hidden for years.
The documentary FOOTSTEPS unfolds throughout California -- where the families Carl rescued and Deborah live today -- and Baden-Wurttemberg, Southern Germany, where the Laemmles originated and where the families Carl saved and Deborah's great-grandparents fled.
Deborah meets non-Jews working to preserve Germany's rich Jewish cultural history, remorseful volunteers, a town Mayor, and a museum curator, who help her heal the wounds of the past and come to terms with the Holocaust by showing what was lost and what remains in selected towns in Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany.
Laupheim, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany