Born in Vienna, 1928, Professor Gerhard Baader was interned in a forced labour camp as an 11 year old Jewish boy. He survived the war becoming a leading figure within the German Student Movement in the 60's and a leading figure within socialist politics as part of his long career teaching at Berlin's Frei Universitet. His academic research on the history of medicine within the 3rd Reich in the 80's has informed much of what is known of practices of that period.
Baader's life-story is a tale of heroism and tragedy, proactive optimism in the coming of a just and fairer world, dedication to his work, love for his family and his religion and guilt as a survivor of horrors that took so many. The social-political context of his life, from an 11 year old Jewish boy surviving forced labour during Germany's Nazi dictatorship to a politically active socialist living in modern capitalist Germany provides an extreme narrative that, arguably, informs all the other participants in these films. Today Baader remains a member of Berlin's only egalitarian Synagogue run by female Rabbi, Gesa Ederberg and throughout his career has actively supported Israel's socialist academic community, remaining a guest professorship at Israels's Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Baader, a Viennese-born Berliner, vocal socialist, Jewish, academic, researcher, historian, writer, activist, community leader, holocaust survivor and widow, is the prismatic starting point of these first 100 films.
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