It was an oasis in the heart of hell. A sanctuary that never should have existed. In the mid-1930’s, as the wheels of Hitler’s “Final Solution” began rolling towards the greatest mass genocide in history, a Jewish school blossomed in the heart of Nazi Berlin. Functioning in plain sight of Nazi officials, the Goldschmidt Schule, became a refuge and a place of safety for hundreds of Jewish children. How did this school come to exist? Who were the brave leaders behind it? Why did the Nazis allow it to thrive? And what became of the children who attended this haven from the horrors of Nazi Germany? “The Teacher who defied Hitler” is a powerful and emotionally gripping STORY HOUSE Productions documentary, tells the story of the Goldschmidt Schule. Through its inception in 1935 to the day in 1939 when it was forced to close its doors, the Jewish school in Berlin is a remarkable and little known aspect of holocaust history. Told through firsthand accounts of surviving students and never-before seen raw footage of day- to-day life at the school, “The teacher who defied Hitler” is a portrait of an oasis in the center of hell. The film dives into the lives of the school’s key protagonists: founder, Lenore Goldschmidt, her students and Walter Hübner, a German official who aided Lenore and risked his career and freedom to help establish the school. How was a Jewish teacher in Berlin able to convince Nazi authorities to green light a school for Jewish children? “The Teacher who defied Hitler” is a fascinating journey into the personal stories of those most affected by the saving grace of the school. We will hear how the school provided not just shelter from Hitler’s growing oppression, but also a top-notch education and a pathway out of Nazi-Germany.
NDR, Smithsonian Channel
1x 45′, 2012