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Not All Were Murderers (Nicht alle waren Moerder)

Not All Were Murderers
Scene from "Not All Were Murderers" (photo © SWR)

Berlin, 1943. After the death of her husband in a concentration camp, the Jewish Anna is left fending for herself and her young son Michael in the Nazi-ravaged city. When their apartment house is raided, they rip the mandatory Star of David patches from their clothing and are barely able to escape the round up to which their many Jewish neighbors fall victim. Aided by their friend Lona and traveling under assumed names, they find refuge with a compassionate Russian pianist. One day, just as they are about to be discovered, an Allied bombing rain prevents their capture, but they are again thrust onto the dangerous city streets.

So begins a harrowing two-year odyssey through the region, with the Nazi net drawing ever tighter around them. It is only due to a steady stream of sympathetic an brave Germans who offer them safe haven – risking their own lives in the process – that Anna and Michael are able to survive...

There is the friendly communist couple, who know from their own experience what it means to be hunted. Wakened in the middle of the night by their frantic hosts, Anna and Michael leap out of a window to evade the dreaded Gestapo pounding on the front door below. Wearing the safe uniform of a Hitler youth, young Michael befriends another boy, Rolf, who brings him home. Rolf’s father, Mr. Redlich, is a railroad engineer whose wife had abandoned him, and who suffers a terrible guilt from having transported trainloads of Jews to their deaths in the concentration camps. He as well welcomes the two Jews into his home...

Soon, however, the Russian divisions enter Berlin. Having survived so far, Anna and Michael are now accused by the advancing soldiers of being spies. Where before they had to hide their Jewish identities; now, their lives again on the line, they are forced to prove them...


Jo Baier was born in 1949 in Munich and studied Drama, German and American Language Studies at the Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich. He made more than 70 documentaries and TV features before turning to feature films and has been working as a director since 1979. A selection of his award-winning films includes: Rauhnacht (TV, 1984), Schiefweg (TV, 1987), Wildfeuer (1991), Hoelleisengretl (TV, 1994), The Store (Der Laden, TV 1998), Wambo (TV, 2001), Schwabenkinder (TV, 2002), Stauffenberg (TV, 2004), All Were Not Murderers (Nicht alle waren Moerder, TV, 2005), Valentin (TV, 2007), Henry of Navarre (Henri 4, 2009), and Das Ende ist mein Anfang (2010).
Genre Drama

Year of Production 2005
Director Jo Baier
Screenplay Jo Baier
Cinematography Gunnar Fuß
Clara Fabry
Enjott Schneider
Klaus-Peter Platten
Cast Aaron Altaras, Nadja Uhl, Hannelore Elsner, Dagmar Manzel, Maria Simon, Richy Müller
Producers Gabriela Sperl, Nico Hofmann, Jürgen Schuster
Production Company teamWorx Television & Film/Potsdam, in co-production with SWR, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Degeto Film, EOS Production/Munich, in cooperation with RBB
Length 90 min
Original Version
 German
With backing from Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, FilmFernsehFonds Bayern, MFG Baden-Württemberg

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