The film met with a lukewarm reception in its native Germany, with the local media being less than complementary about it. The German Oscar selection committee did not even include it as a submission for that year's Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. Much embarrassment ensued when it went on to become one of the most successful German films ever released in the US, winning a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.
The trivia item below may give away important plot points.
At the movie's end, the real Salomon Perel is in Israel, singing in Hebrew. The song is the first line of Psalm 133. Translated the lyrics are "See now, how good and how pleasant is the dwelling of brothers, moreover, in unity."