Rebuilt From Broken Glass
A German Jewish Life Remade in America
Fred Behrend witnessed the flames of Kristallnacht in 1938 at age 12, seeing synagogue after synagogue on fire, and was soon fleeing Nazi tyranny with his family for Cuba, the only country that would take them. But several years after entering America, he earned victory over the Nazis in his own way, including teaching democracy as a GI to German POWs and being assigned to watch over Wernher von Braun, a Nazi rocket scientist who later became the catalyst of the U.S. space program. But at age 92, he discovered that a miracle 80 years in the making still awaited.
OUR MEDIA COVERAGE
JERUSALEM POST (11/8/19): Holocaust Survivor Celebrates Bar Mitzvah on Kristallnacht Anniversary
KYW NEWSRADIO (11/8/19): Holocaust survivor has ‘2nd bar mitzvah’ 80 years later — and on anniversary of Kristallnacht
CHERRY HILL SUN (10/25/19): Cherry Hill resident continues journey with Kristallnacht witness
SJ MAGAZINE (7/1/19): ‘Hitler did not win’
FOX 29 (11/29/18): Two Holocaust survivors to reunite after 80 years
COURIER POST (11/27/18) :How a speech at local school reunited Holocaust survivors
PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER (8/8/17): A witness to history writes a memoir for the ages
ABOUT THE FILM
Rebuilt from Broken Glass is a documentary film that follows the life of Fred Behrend, whose life was ripped apart by the horrors of Kristallnacht (the Night of Broken Glass). He saw synagogues on fire. He saw Jewish stores destroyed, the glass from their storefronts littering the streets. His father was taken to a concentration camp.
Fred’s tale of escaping the Germans, only to turn the tables on them during his life, was extraordinary all on its own. As a U.S. Army soldier, he taught the ways of liberty and democracy to hardened Nazi POWs. He was assigned to watch over Wernher von Braun, the surrendered German rocket scientist who later became the father of the U.S. space program.
Little did Fred know that on the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht, he would suddenly be reunited with a long-lost friend with whom he experienced that fateful day. We will watch as the revelation of each other’s tales enlightens the two men – and all of us – on what it takes to endure tragedy and Holocaust survivors’ ultimate triumph: living to pass down their story to new generations. As the two men say: Hitler did not win.
A STATEMENT FROM CO-DIRECTOR/CO-PRODUCER LARRY HANOVER
Events like Charlottesville, the Tree of Life shooting in Pittsburgh, and the shooting in Poway (Calif.) remind us that anti-Semitism is alive today. Holocaust education is more important than ever. The need for it is a message that this documentary will bring home The parents of the family that Fred Behrend lived with so he could attend school in Germany perished in Auschwitz. But 66 percent of millennials cannot say what Auschwitz was.
We look forward to including experts such as Rhonda Fink-Whitman in the film. Her viral “Mandate” video illustrates the poor state of Holocaust knowledge even among college students.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
Joe Fab, Consulting Producer, Co-Director
Joe Fab is an award-winning and Emmy-nominated producer , director and writer with over 40 years’ experience in film and video production, media and communications, event production and the live presentation of plays and music.
He directed Paper Clips (2004) which was theatrically distributed in over 130 theaters nationwide – grossing over $1.2M. Broadcast on HBO, it garnered an Emmy nomination and was screened for the president at the White House in 2005.
He also produced, directed and wrote Bedford: The Town They Left Behind (2008), was executive producer with Magic Johnson and Penny Marshall of Crossover: A Worldwide Basketball Odyssey (2003) for Showtime, and co-produced and co-directed NOT The Last Butterfly (2016). Other credits include projects for Discovery, History and PBS.
Joe Fab’s career has brought him the privilege of working with Presidents Clinton, Carter and Bush (both George H. W. and George W.), as well as an array of other political figures, from Sam Nunn to Orrin Hatch. He produced the premiere presentation of “Amazing Peace,” a poem by Dr. Maya Angelou, performed by the author herself. He has written for such diverse actors as Gregory Peck, Mary Steenburgen, Shirley Jones, Robert Prosky and Alan Alda, and personalities like Mary Matalin, James Carville, Willard Scott and Al Roker – to name but a few.
Larry Hanover, Co-Director, Co-Producer
Larry Hanover co-authored Rebuilt from Broken Glass: A German Jewish Life Remade in America (Purdue University Press, 2017). Larry has assisted on the memoirs of another Holocaust survivor and is working on various other book projects.
Larry served as manager of public relations for a New Jersey state authority from 2006 to 2010. He was an award-winning reporter for The Times of Trenton from 1988 to 2006 and also worked for the Cherry Hill Courier-Post.
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Rebuilt from Broken Glass
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In the news
Grant from Jewish Community Foundation awarded as fund-raising for Rebuilt from Broken Glass film launches
Date: May 16, 2019
CHERRY HILL – The Jewish Community Foundation (JCF), Inc., has awarded a $3,000 grant to Broken Glass Media LLC as fund-raising efforts for a documentary based on Holocaust survivor Fred Behrend’s memoir Rebuilt from Broken Glass officially launched today. Larry Hanover, co-director and co-producer of the film, announced the grant as local officials, leaders of the Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey, and fund-raising partner Arts Guild New Jersey gathered to watch the premiere of the film’s teaser. Behrend, 92, of Voorhees, told the tale both of his escape and miraculous reunion with a fellow survivor at the event held at the Esther Raab Holocaust Museum & Goodwin Education Center.
“Until hatred and bigotry are eradicated, the notion of ‘Never Again’ can never truly be realized,” said Behrend.