Watch Europa Europa
This German-language film is about a Jewish boy trying to survive World War Two by blending in, first with Soviet communists and then with Nazis. A young boy and his family are swept up in the events of Kristallnacht and the rise of the Nazis. They first escape to western Poland. As they head there, people fleeing the Soviets are headed to Germany. The young boy, Solomon, ends up in an orphanage of Polish refugee children. Europa Europa is an internationally acclaimed film based on the autobiography “I Was Hitler Youth Salomon” by Solomon Perel. The movie was directed by Agnieszka Holland, an internationally acclaimed director, writer and actress. She and Paul Hengge wrote the screen adaptation. The film was produced by Central Cinema Company. Though the film only had a mediocre reception in its native Germany, it went on to win a Golden Globe, several film festivals and two National Board of Review awards. Solomon Perel appears briefly in this biopic on his life. Young Perel is played by Marco Hofschneider in his first movie role. His older brother is played by Hofschneider’s older brother Rene. While at the orphanage, Solomon joins the Komsomol, or All Union Leninist Young Communist League, and gets indoctrinated into the communist ways. He falls in love with a young instructor by the name of Inna. This is cut short when Nazi Germany invades the Soviet Union in June of 1941. Solomon is found by the Germans. He throws away his identification and claims to be a native-born German. He becomes the good luck charm for the German unit who captures the son of Joseph Stalin. The commander of the unit adopts him as his son and sends him to be educated at the Hitler Youth Academy in Berlin. There he has to deal with the infatuated Leni, played by Julie Delpy, who is a rabid Nazi. Solomon learns to hide in plain sight.