The Essential Link: The Story of Wilfrid Israel

In the 1930’s, Wilfrid Israel was a wealthy Jewish businessman and scion of Berlin’s largest department store. Even before Kristallnacht, he was involved in the saving of tens of thousands of Jews, including all 700 of his Jewish employees. He also played a key role in the founding and funding of the Kindertransport. Israel died in 1943, along with Gone With the Wind’s Leslie Howard, when on his way to a rescue mission, his plane was shot down by the Luftwaffe. In the memorial book that was published a year after his death, one can find the names of Albert Einstein, Gandhi, Martin Buber, Chaim Weitzmann and many more. All praise Wilfrid and his rescue efforts, yet his story was kept untold.

  • Yonatan Nir
  • 70 minutes
  • In Hebrew and German with English subtitles.

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About Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema

Welcome to the largest Big Tent community showcase of Israeli features, docs and TV series--made in Israel and/or by Israelis in the past 12 months--in the Midwest! You’ll take a deep dive beyond the headlines. See Chicago Premieres of some of the most talented and internationally award-winning directors, actors and other artists working today as they share their multicultural perspectives. And have unprecedented opportunities to dialog, laugh, cry, party and otherwise interact in person with cinephiles of all backgrounds. We look forward to seeing you again, or meeting you for the first time, soon.

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