A Unique World War II Story – Soon to be Told in Film

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A remarkable event will soon take place in Chicago.  It is of historical significance that Thursday, May 20th, will mark the 75th Anniversary of the seven Weber siblings’ arrival in the United States as Jewish refugees from Germany in 1946. The siblings – Alfons, Senta, Ruth, Judith, Renee, Gertrude and Bela – remarkably survived the war through the help of the selfless couple who hid them on their farm, and were eventually able to emigrate to the United States together. They all established residency on the South Side of Chicago in Hyde Park, thanks to the sponsorship of the Chicago Jewish Children’s Bureau.

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WOULD YOU HIDE ME? is filmmaker, activist and actress Beth Lane’s debut feature documentary. It tells the incredible story of seven siblings evading capture as German Jews during World War II. Among these children? Beth’s own mother. Their survival was made possible by the heroic actions of the citizens of a small town just east of Berlin.

For Beth, this documentary feature film is both a professional milestone and a personal quest to immortalize this story of true humanity and refusal to stand by as egregious injustice is done. Throughout the 3-year production, Beth has interviewed family members, friends and top museum curators around the world about the events that took place in the small town of Worin, Germany, aiming to unearth the qualities of courage, bravery and heroism.

New York, New York -March 28, 2019. Portrait of Beth Lane photographed in Manhattan. CREDIT: Chad Batka

Beth Lane is a filmmaker, actress and activist living in Los Angeles and Ojai, California. A graduate of the MFA program at UCLA’s School of Theatre, Film & Television, Beth is the writer, producer and director of the feature documentary film, WOULD YOU HIDE ME?, which is in post-production. For Beth, this film is both a professional milestone and a personal quest to immortalize the incredible story of her family’s survival as Jews living in Germany during World War II and the unwavering courage shown by those who helped them.

The 60 Second Doc Series explores the more contemporary side of the questions the feature documentary aims to answer about courage and the importance of condemning hate, highlighting the parallels between then and now.

The Weber siblings’ story was featured on the front page of numerous newspapers across the USA, including in a New York Times article, on May 21st, 1946.

This photo of the Weber siblings in the article was taken just after they disembarked the S.S. Marine Flasher in New York Harbor in 1946. Photo: From private archives, and the photographer is unknown

Their story was also featured in Aufbau, a New York-based German-language publication, on May 24th, 1946.

In 1988, in remembrance of the 50-year anniversary of the beginning of the persecution of the Jewish population in Germany, the Weber siblings’ story was re-told in the German newspaper Chronik-Blätter.

Photo credit: cinematographer, Olivia Aquilina,except for the photos of Beth , with credit to Chad Batka. 

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