1-DVD DigiPac with 32-page booklet, 14 chapters. Playing time approx. 58 mns. German TV production, subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Hebrew, Polish.
- The untold story of 300 Jewish volunteers from Palestine
- Volunteers joining the International Brigades to fight General Franco's rebels
The Spanish Civil War began in July 1936 with a military coup led by General Francisco Franco against the democratically elected government. Some 35 to 40,000 volunteers from all over the world came to Spain to fight side by side with the people against the rebels.
For the first time ever, this present film documents the widely unknown and moving story of some 300 Jewish volunteers from Palestine, under British Mandate (the area of Israel today), most of them communists, who went to Spain to join the International Brigades. First of all, these volunteers had to deal with resistance of the Zionist community back home. Israeli director Erban Torbiner notes, "Israel was established in 1948 as a Zionist state i.e the state of all the world Jews and not as a state of its citizens regardless of their religious affiliation."
In Palestine, each hand was needed to build up the young settlements and kibbutzim. For most Jewish citizens, especially for Zionists, fighting for a Jewish state was more important than risking your life in the outland. Torbiner: "The main Zionist project at the time was 'Wall & Tower' i.e creating new Jewish settlements in heavily populated Arab areas in order to establish facts that will determine the border, in case Palestine is partitioned in the future. Hanita, a settlement in north Palestine ..., was made a symbol of the 'Wall & Tower' campaign. In 1938, Yaacov Hazan, leader of the Zionist left was shocked when he realized that a significant number of Zionists had joined or were about to join the International Brigades, so he came out with the slogan 'Hanita Before Madrid.'' - The film traces the destinies of Jewish fighters in Palestine and Spain. It features comments of contemporary witnesses, among them two of the last Jewish volunteers still alive, as well as members of the families of former fighters.
Along with historical film clips, documents, excerpts from diaries and letters, this film presents a lively and moving view of the battle of Jewish volunteers in Spain in 1937/38.