A boy in Nazi Germany, trying to conceal that he is Jewish, joins the Hitler Youth.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Solomon Perel ...
Salomon Perel heute (as Salomon Perel)
...
Salomon Perel jung
René Hofschneider ...
Isaak
Piotr Kozlowski ...
David
Klaus Abramowsky ...
Vater
Michèle Gleizer ...
Mutter
Marta Sandrowicz ...
Bertha
Nathalie Schmidt ...
Basia
Delphine Forest ...
Inna
Andrzej Mastalerz ...
Zenek
Martin Maria Blau ...
Ulmayer
Wlodzimierz Press ...
Stalin's Sohn
Klaus Kowatsch ...
Schulz
Holger Kunkel ...
Kramer
Bernhard Howe ...
Feldwebel
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Storyline

A Jewish boy, separated from his family in the early days of WWII, poses as a German orphan and is thereafter taken into the heart of the Nazi world as a 'war hero' and eventually made a Hitler Youth. Although improbabilities and happenstance are cornerstones of the film, it is based upon a true story. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In the tradition of Voltaire's Candide and Jerzy Kosinski's The Painted Bird.

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for mature treatment of holocaust issues | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

14 November 1990 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Europa Europa  »

Box Office

Gross:

$5,575,738 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

René Hofschneider (Isaak Perel) is the real life elder brother of Marco Hofschneider (Solomon Perel). See more »

Goofs

At one point Salomon narrowly misses being killed in an air-raid, which kills his roommate. Rather than show a World War II aircraft, or even a bomber, stock footage shows a single C-130 Hercules transport aircraft, which was not even designed until many years after the war. See more »

Quotes

Goethke: The composition of Jewish blood is totally different from ours. The Jew has a high forehead, a hooked nose, a flat back of the head, ears that stick out, and he has an ape-like walk. His eyes are shifty and cunning. He never looks you in the eye. He waves his hands about, makes exaggerated gestures, and he fawns before you, but the minute your back is turned he leaps at your throat! The Nordic man is the gem of this Earth. He's the most glowing example of the joy of creation. He is not only the...
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Connections

Referenced in The 64th Annual Academy Awards (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Amazing but true tale of strength and the will to live
5 August 1999 | by (California) – See all my reviews

This story is made even more amazing since it is based on fact. The real Solomon Perel has quite a story to tell. I have also read the book, and the movie is a bit factually inaccurate, but it is still tremendously well-made.

Young Solly is played by a beautiful young actor named Marco Hoffschneider. His good looks and charm are part of what get him to convince the Gestapo that he is not a Jew, but an ethnic German. But Solly has much more getting him through this ordeal. His determination and strength of spirit, plus blinding will to live, and perhaps the youthful exuberance of being able to accomplish it, help him to pull off the charade. The young boy speaks several languages, and is able to use this skill to convince Nazi soldiers that he is not Jewish. The soldiers adopt him as a sort of "mascot." Solly is careful not to show his circumcised penis to anyone, including the German girl he falls in love with. Fate is also on his side, since several times when it seemed he might be found out, the hand of a higher power intervenes.

This is an engrossing film, sad and funny. Perhaps Solomon Perel is ashamed that he lived with the enemy to save his life, but, he is alive today to tell his story. The real Solomon Perel makes a brief appearance at the end.


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