Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Walking With The Enemy (2014)

Yesterday I watched "Walking With The Enemy." It is based on a true story of a Hungarian Jew who works to save other Jews after his own family is murdered at Auschwitz. The story is based on what Pinchas Tibor Rosenbaum did in Budapest during World War 2, but in this movie the main character's name is Elek Cohen (played by Jonas Armstrong.) I have seen Armstrong in other shows/movies like "Robin Hood" and think he's a good actor and he acts just as good in this role as any other.
Here's a little history of Hungary during World War 2: People outside of Hungary don't usually know that Hungary was allied to Nazi Germany until 1944 and for the most part resisted sending Hungarian Jews to the Germans. In 1944, with the Allied victory now a certainty, the Hungarians tried to make peace with the Soviets, Americans and British. The Germans didn't want that and so officially invaded and took over the country. Adolf Eichmann then came to send the Jews to the death camps. Most of the Hungarian Jews were unaware of the camps even though it was 1944 and the war and killings had been going on for years. The Germans and the Hungarian Nazi Party (the Arrow Cross) cleared the countryside of most of the Hungarian Jews with only those in the capital, Budapest, "left." It is at this time that the Soviet Red Army are closing in on Hungary and Budapest. Many neutral nations (Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland) had their legations in Budapest and with the end of the war in sight they finally tried to help the Jews (after doing little to nothing for them throughout the rest of German-occupied Europe.) The neutrals gave "safe-conduct" passes to the Jews that said they were considered citizen of that particular neutral country even though the majority were really Hungarian citizens. The Germans tend to love any official-looking document and that along with not wanting to alienate their neutral "friends" left the Jews with the safe-conduct passes alone (for the most part) while the Hungarian Arrow Cross didn't really seem to care and would take hundreds of Jews to the Danube Rive, tie 3 people together, shoot one of those 3 and the other 2 would drown when they all fell in the river. Because of hard-work and dedication thousands of Hungarian Jews in Budapest survived the war.
Now back to the movie:  I randomly came across this film and decided to get it. I'm really glad I did since it is really good. It involves both Jews and non-Jews, Hungarians and Neutral citizens working together to save innocent men, women and children. I had also never heard of Pinchas Tibor Rosenbaum (whom this film is based on) and now I do. It is one of those films that people should watch because not only is it based on something that actually happened, but it also shows Jews saving other Jews and that was a rarity during the war.

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