In advance of Veterans Day, “Bagels Over Berlin,” a new documentary celebrating Jewish veterans of the Army Air Corp who contributed to the Allied victory in World War II, will premiere at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 30, at the Ina Levine Jewish Community Campus in Scottsdale.
The film explores the mindset of America’s Jewish community about the threat of war and its meaning to the Jews, according to a press release.
Antisemitism and discrimination in the United States made life uncomfortable for Jews in the 1930s, and – in unison with Hitler’s propaganda machine – placed a share of the blame for the coming war on the Jews.
Anti-Jewish rhetoric from no less than Henry Ford and Charles Lindberg was everywhere, and discrimination was omnipresent — from limited educational and employment opportunities to house restrictions and social limitations, the release stated. Nonetheless, Americans Jews responded to the outbreak of war with an overwhelming determination to fight for the country they loved.
Through his interviews with over 30 Jewish war veterans, “Bagels Over Berlin” director Alan Feinberg discovered that Jews volunteered in large numbers for the U.S. Army Air Corps (later renamed the Air Force), the branch of service with the highest mortality rate in the first part of the war. Yet with any war veteran, each Jewish soldier or airman’s story is different and thus personal.
“Whether their contributions were about experience as a POW, loss of friends in combat, living in constant fear for their own lives or even humor in the midst of a deadly war – the men shared what was important to them, and in the end, how they wished to have America remember them as they are now and their deeds of long ago,” Mr. Feinberg said in the release.
Mr. Feinberg will attend the event and participate in a post-screening question and answer session with the audience.
“Bagels Over Berlin” will be shown free of charge by the Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival and Bureau of Jewish Education. To reserve advance tickets, visit www.bjephoenix.org or call 480-634-8050.
The Ina Levine Jewish Community Campus, is located at 12701 N. Scottsdale Road.
The Scottsdale Independent is available for free every Wednesday.