On a more personal note, I have lived in both Germany and Austria; Germans constantly apologize for the actions of their ancestors, or claim that, due to a loss of a leg/eye/arm/etc in World War I, were unable to participate in World War II. They have no need to continuously apologize, but the reactions show that denazification is still in full effect. Austria, unlike its neighbor, did not fully absorb the process of denazification, and in my experience, many Austrians today claim that Austria was a victim of the Holocaust. This is further demonstrated by the FPÖ, a xenophobic political party, whose triumph in recent elections indicates that Austrians have not learned from their past. The Nazi-era chant of "Juden raus" ("Jews get out") has transformed into "Ausländer raus" ("Foreigners get out").
Below are some of the thinly-veiled racist FPÖ billboards from the October 2015 election in Austria.
"The ONLY ONE "WE exclude no one,
who speaks OUR language" especially not OUR VIENNESE"
Check out the film's blog for
more information regarding the refugee crisis, reference media,
inspiration for the film, and background on the cast and crew.
Rachel, a Jewish-American woman who works for the IAEA in Vienna, Austria, is saddened to be away from her family, yet excited to be living in a new country. She works hard and struggles to make this new location her home. Surrounded by the daily reminders of Austria’s past Holocaust involvement, she delves into her roots and discovers her family’s history intertwined with the Holocaust. Rachel’s life, enmeshed with echoes of the past, is soon overtaken by the present as the Arab refugee crisis grows. With the Austrian far-right political movement gaining power, Rachel’s inner fears are born out as anti-refugee statements begin to circulate with the growing tide of Austrian and European “nationalism.” Can it be that a new Holocaust is about to commence?
The role of “Rachel” has not yet been cast.
DAVID WURAWA as YITZHAK
SARA HOFSTEIN, WRITER/PRODUCER/DIRECTOR
Sara has worked in all phases of film making, from casting through post production, and has bolstered her creative and business skills working on soap operas,
movies-of-the-week, reality shows, scripted programming, music videos,
commercials, shorts, and feature films. Her career behind the camera began on NBC's Kings in post-production, and Sara has been constantly working since then, casting seasons 6 and 7 of Food Network's Chopped, and working in production on Disney's The Last Song and Paramount's Mean Girls 2. She has worked on TV shows for E! Entertainment, MTV, National Geographic, Discovery Channel, and more. In 2014, Sara won Best Original Concept at the Williamsburg International Film Festival for her web series Echo Helix. Beyond her career in the US, Sara has worked on a number of commercials, shorts, and films in Austria and produced feature films in France including The Assignment 1.0 and Killing Uncle Roman.
A partial credit list can be seen here.
MARIAN GREEN, PRODUCER
As a professional Hollywood stunt woman and stunt coordinator, Marian has performed stunts on over 130 films and TV shows, including The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Mockingjay Part 2, Anchorman 2, Reservoir Dogs, Terminator, Basic Instinct, Pearl Harbor, Batman Returns, The Nutty Professor, and many more.A partial credit list can be seen here and her stunt reel can be viewed here.
MICHAEL HOFSTEIN, CINEMATOGRAPHER
His feature credits include The Learning Curve, Le Septieme Mensonge, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Rush Hour, and The Mask of Zorro. Television credits include: Mork and Mindy, Laverne and Shirley, Happy Days, and M.A.S.H. Other series include: Star Trek: Voyager, The Fall Guy, The Paper Chase, The A Team and many other series filmed during the 1980s.A partial credit list can be seen here and his cinematography reel can be viewed here.
Vienna is central to this story. The locations will be used as backdrops to convey the ever-present shadow that the Holocaust casts over Jewish and European history. We plan to use locations that existed before the war, such as the Stadttempel, structures that were built during the war, such as the flak towers at Augarten and Esterhazypark, and places that were built as a result of the war, such as the Holocaust memorial at Judenplatz.
The flak tower at Augarten
The flak tower at Esterhazypark, now an aquarium
The Holocaust Memorial
The Stadttempel ("City Temple"), the only synagogue to survive WWII in Vienna
In order to bring more attention to the plight of Syrian refugees, we will be filming their stories and releasing them for all to see, just as Holocaust survivor stories have been recorded over the years. We are currently seeking out assistance from organizations to put us in contact with refugees in Vienna, Austria and translators to help with the interviews.