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Stones from the Soil

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Editorial Reviews

Stones from the Soil tells the story of a unique school in 1930s Germany where a small group of Jewish teenagers was trained to become the vanguard of a new society. One of those teenagers was the filmmaker's father, Rudolph Caplan. The school, situated on a farm, was called Gross Breesen (pronounced bray' sen), and it would eventually save the lives of Rudi and 150 other students. Stones from the Soil begins sixty-six years later, when Rudi's son returned to find the farm.

During their four to five years at Gross Breesen, the isolated teenagers were protected by both the administrators and their families from the growing anti-Semitism in the country. There was no question they would have to leave Germany at some point; nonetheless, their lives were filled with tilling fields and milking cows during the day, and listening to classical quartets at night. Curt Bondy, a renowned psychologist and professor, was selected to run Gross Breesen, which was the name of the town and the name the farm came to have.

Their seclusion was shattered in November of 1938, the day after Kristallnacht (Crystal Night), when an SS squadron came to Gross Breesen to terrorize and destroy. After vandalizing the buildings, the squadron took Doctor Bondy and all boys over 18 to Buchenwald Concentration Camp. However the camps were not yet extermination factories, and after a month the group was released, signing a promissory note to leave Germany as quickly as possible. Everyone at Gross Breesen left Germany by August of 1939, a month before Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia and immigration was slowed down to a trickle.

The bond forged between the "Gross Breeseners" is so strong, that they have stayed in touch for sixty-five years via letters that circle the globe. The first Gross Breesen reunion took place in Israel in the late 1980s, and since then, reunions have been held on almost a yearly basis.

The film blends traditional interviews with inventive visuals, historical photos with dream-like video, and social commentary with personal discovery. Stones from the Soil is a tribute to a father, a reflection on memory, and a preservation of a formerly untold story from the Nazi era.

This product is manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media. Amazon.com's standard return policy will apply.

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