Monday, April 12, 2010

Europa Europa (1990)

Based on a true story and memoirs by Solomon Perel, this movie tells the story of a Jewish Boy, born in German in 1925. The movie begins when he was 13, in the beginning of WW2, when his family was attacked by those who hated the Jews - which was probable because of the new law. His father decided that the family should move to Poland, where he thought they would be safe, but they were not. Solomon and his brother Isaak left the house and they were separated. Solomon was in Russia and learned to be a communist. Meanwhile, the father & mother were moving to the ghetto. When Russia was attacked by Germany, Solomon was captured and to save his life, he told the Germans that he was also a German. The Germans recruited him because they needed him as an interpreter. He became a war hero and was sent to Hitler Youth school in Berlin. When Germany lost the war, Solomon told the Russians about his true identity, that he was a Jew.

Real brothers René and Marco Hofschneider play Isaac and Solomon.

The movie flows nicely. Incredible that this is a true story, about a Jew who lived among the Germans, but they didn't realize who he really was. In one class in the Hitler Youth, there was a lesson about 'how to recognize a Jew'. The teacher brought the necessary equipments and he called Solomon as the model and measured his head. Yet he didn't find the truth. I haven't read the book, so don't know if the scene really happened. If yes, the equipments didn't work then. As it could not recognize a Jew, perhaps it could also condemn a non-Jewish person.

Several times Solomon was almost caught because of his circumcision. Circumcision, at that time, was it only done in Europe by Jews? Were there not any moslem in Europe? I don't know if Nazi also have problems with moslems, though. 

"Don't tell your story to anyone. Nobody will believe you." said Isaac to his brother. Indeed, this was an amazing story. We learned about a boy who would do anything to survive, to live. And he succeed. I think he was lucky. He was destined to live.

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