Journalist Steven Pressman will debut his first film on HBO on April 8th, Holocaust Remembrance Day, in association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The Shapell Manuscript Foundation has hundreds of Holocaust-related documents, including manuscripts, letters and journals from countries across Europe. Pressman’s documentary, called “50 Children: The Rescue Mission of Mr. and Mrs. Kraus”, is based on a hidden, unpublished manuscript of a woman who fought for the lives of children during the Holocaust.
Pressman first learned of the unsung Philadelphian heroes Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus when his wife, their granddaughter, discovered Eleanor’s manuscript. The text explained the Kraus’s mission: to rescue Jewish children before the outbreak of World War II. Pressman traveled through Europe, and later to archives in Jerusalem and Washington D.C., to learn more about the Kraus’s efforts. He began collecting footage in 2010, and has finally gathered enough information to reveal the full story.
The film was written, directed and produced by Steven Pressman. Mamie Gummer is the voice of Eleanor Kraus, and Alan Alda narrates. The work includes archival footage and photographs, while nine of the rescued children share their experiences with the audience first hand.