Watch 50 Children: The Rescue Mission of Mr. And Mrs. Kraus
- 1 hr 3 min
In the early days of World War II, a married couple from Philadelphia, Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus, set out on a dangerous mission to Europe to rescue Jewish children from the clutches of Nazis. Their story is the subject of the poignant 2013 documentary 50 Children: The Rescue Mission of Mr. And Mrs. Kraus. At a time when most Americans were reluctant to get involved in the war, Gilbert and Eleanor were determined to make a difference. They managed to secure visas for 50 Jewish children and took them from Vienna to safety in the United States. Their mission was fraught with danger and obstacles, but they persevered, driven by their sense of morality and compassion. The film, directed by Steven Pressman, tells the story through a mix of interviews with survivors, historical footage, and reenactments with actors like Alan Alda and Mamie Gummer portraying the Krauses. It is a sobering reminder of the horrors of the Holocaust and the bravery of those who risked their lives to help others. The Krauses were not wealthy or influential, but they were committed to their cause. Through interviews with their surviving relatives and letters they wrote during their trip, the film gives us insight into their motivations and fears. Eleanor, in particular, expressed her concerns about leaving her own children behind while she went on this dangerous mission. The film also includes interviews with some of the surviving children, who recount their experiences of being torn from their families and sent to live with strangers in a foreign land. They describe the terror of living in Nazi-controlled Europe and the relief and gratitude they felt when the Krauses arrived to rescue them. The Krauses' journey was not an easy one. They faced numerous obstacles, including skeptical State Department officials who were hesitant to grant the visas, corrupt officials who demanded bribes, and the dangers of travelling through war-torn Europe. The film depicts some of the dangers they faced, including being held at gunpoint by soldiers who suspected them of being spies. It is a testament to their determination and courage that they never gave up on their mission, despite the risks. The reenactments in the film, featuring actors like Alda and Gummer, are tastefully done and add depth and emotion to the story. They allow us to see Gilbert and Eleanor as real people, with fears and doubts, rather than just historical figures. The film also provides historical context for the Krauses' mission, explaining the political climate of the time and the events that led up to the Holocaust. It includes footage of the infamous Kristallnacht and the Kindertransport, which brought thousands of Jewish children from Germany to safety in England. Overall, 50 Children: The Rescue Mission of Mr. And Mrs. Kraus is a powerful and moving tribute to two ordinary people who did something extraordinary. It is a reminder of the importance of standing up for our beliefs and helping those in need, even when it is difficult and dangerous. The film is a must-watch for anyone interested in WWII history or stories of human bravery and compassion.