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“50 Children: The Rescue Mission of Mr. and Mrs. Kraus” premieres April 8 on HBO

Melissa Hayer Modified: April 24, 2013 at 3:32 pm •  Published: April 4, 2013

 

The documentary “50 Children: The Rescue Mission of Mr. and Mrs. Kraus” debuts at 8 p.m. Monday, April 8, on HBO.

Details on the film, provided by HBO, are as follows:

When much of the world closed its eyes to the terrors of Nazi Germany, one American couple risked everything to save Jewish children from an unimaginable fate.

“50 CHILDREN: THE RESCUE MISSION OF MR. AND MRS. KRAUS” tells the dramatic, previously untold story of Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus, a Jewish couple from Philadelphia who followed their conscience, traveling to Nazi-controlled Vienna in spring 1939 to save a group of children. Amidst the impending horrors of the Holocaust, they put themselves in harm¹s way to bring what would become the single largest-known group of children allowed into the U.S. during that time.

Narrated by Alan Alda, with Mamie Gummer reading from the memoir of Mrs. Kraus, this inspiring documentary, co-presented by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, debuts at 8 p.m. on Holocaust Remembrance Day, Monday, April 8  on HBO.

Several years before he began filming in 2010, first-time filmmaker Steven Pressman received Eleanor Kraus’ unpublished memoir from his wife, Liz Perle, who was the Krauses’ granddaughter. Written decades earlier, the manuscript spelled out in rich detail the Krauses’ amazing mission.

“50 CHILDREN: THE RESCUE MISSION OF MR. AND MRS. KRAUS” weaves together excerpts from Eleanor’s journals, archival footage of Vienna and Berlin under Hitler’s rule and rare photographs of the children who would be rescued. In addition to interviews with Holocaust historians, including Paul Shapiro, director of the Center for Advanced Holocaust studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the Krauses’ granddaughter, much of this bittersweet tale is told by some of the surviving children, who are now in their 70s and 80s. They include:

Kurt Admon, currently residing in Netanya, Israel
Paul Beller, currently residing in Morris Township, NJ
Robert Braun, currently residing in Fairfield, Ct.
Elizabeth Davis, currently residing in Melbourne, Fla.
Kurt Herman, currently residing in Philadelphia
Klara Lee, currently residing in Atherton, Cal.
Helga Milberg, deceased, who lived in Tucson
Fritzi Nozik, currently residing in Melbourne, Fla.
Henny Wenkart, currently residing in New York City

For more information on the documentary, visit: Facebook: facebook.com/hbodocs; and Twitter: @HBODocs # HBODocs.

Follow me on Twitter: @MelissaHayer

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