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Hollywood, Hitler and Carl Laemmle

On Sunday morning, Nov. 8, more than 300 people — both Jews and non-Jews — gathered at Congregation Or Shalom in Orange for the Kristallnacht program, “Hollywood, Hitler and Carl Laemmle: The Story of an Unsung Hero,” dedicated to the life-saving deeds of Carl Laemmle who, in the late 1930’s, retired from his position as founder of Universal Pictures and threw himself into the work of rescuing Jews from the clutches of the Nazi regime. Laemmle provided desperate German Jews with affidavits, guaranteeing the U.S. State Department that he would personally feed, clothe and shelter them on American shores — thereby circumventing this country’s notoriously heartless immigration laws.

“On the anniversary of Kristallnacht, which was in many ways the opening scene of the Holocaust, we at Congregation Or Shalom focus on individuals – ordinary people – who suddenly became extraordinary; individuals whose deeds were beacons of conscience in a world that had gone dark,” said Or Shalom’s spiritual leader, Rabbi Alvin Wainhaus. “Their life-saving deeds will never be forgotten.”

CAP: Members of the Laemmle family received a U.S Senate Commendation from Senator Richard Blumenthal on behalf of their “Uncle Carl,” as Rabbi Alvin Wainhaus looks on. 

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