In Our Own Hands (1998)

Genres - History  |   Sub-Genres - Military & War, Social History  |   Run Time - 84 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Peter Thomas narrates this documentary exploration of WWII's only all-Jewish brigade, formed September 1944 to fight the Axis in Italy. After Germany's surrender, when the Jewish Brigade relocated at the Austrian-Italian border to aid refugees, they learned about the ordeals and suffering of most European Jews. Some soldiers went AWOL in order to seek relatives. Brigade members worked to get Jews close to southern ports, a route to the Middle East; this involved challenging rules and authorities -- with the end result that the Brigade was disbanded by British leaders. However, the intense WWII training made these men leaders in the 1948 War of Independence that led to the creation of the Israeli nation-state. Anecdotes by surviving Brigade members are intercut with archival photos, Allied military footage, and newsreels. Shown at the 1998 San Francisco Jewish Film Festival.