V040: The Exiles

A Richard Kaplan Production, VHS (NTSC), color and b/w (1989), 1:56:00.

Producer/Director: Richard Kaplan
Writers: Richard Kaplan and Lou Potter
Co-Producer: Lou Potter
Associate Producer: Catherine Taylor

Time Description
0:00 Woman stands alone, gives monologue about the legacy refugees have to offer (translation of a poem by Hans Sahl)
1:45 Interviews with various émigrés (they are not identified on film)
4:20 Credits
4:40 Footage of Nazi pogroms
5:45 Interview with Edward Teller, physicist
6:00 Footage of burning Reichstag
6:30 Interview with Helen Wolff, publisher: "[We were listening to Goering on the radio] and my husband said to me, 'These are madmen. Pack.'"
7:00 Footage of trains, voice-over of Billy Wilder, film director
7:25 Interview with Alfred Eisenstaedt, photographer. More footage of Nazi Germany.
8:15 Interview with Hans Jonas, philosopher. Further interview with Wolff; she remembers that not only Jews were taken to camps, but also Hitler's many political enemies.
10:20 Interview with Albert O. Hirschman, economist. Footage of book-burning and of Joseph Goebbels addressing a crowd. Footage of Hitler's artistic choices in the Haus der deutschen Kunst.
13:00 Prussian Academy's employment policies after 1933. Many controversial intellectuals were removed from the faculty.
13:45 Interview with Adolph Lowe, social scientist. Footage of Nazi parades. Interview with Hanna Holborn Gray, president of University of Chicago and daughter of émigré historian, Hajo Holborn. Further interview with Jonas. Lowe and Jonas comment on Alvin Johnson's activities in founding the New School for Social Research in New York.
15:45 Interview with Felicia Deyrup, economist. More about Johnson's "University in Exile." Interview with Hans Speier, social scientist, who helped Johnson recruit faculty for the New School.
21:30 Footage and photos of New School faculty and classes. Johnson was again instrumental in establishing the Ecole libre for French émigrés.
22:35 Peter Johnson, historian, discusses the role of the Rockefeller Foundation in aiding German scholars in exile
23:10 Hanna Gray and Johnson comment on the "quota system" in place at American universities (and in many other aspects of American life). Ivy-league schools rarely hired Jewish émigrés. Footage of New York, passengers arriving by ship; newspapers cartoons and proposed Congressional amendments demonstrated American fear of radical ideas.
24:55 Footage of Congressman Martin Dies explaining how America's employment problem was "imported from foreign lands." Footage of soup lines and protests during 1930s.
26:30 Footage of Thomas Mann, interview with his son Golo Mann, a historian. Footage of Albert Einstein and Thomas Mann at Princeton. Footage of Mussolini and interviews with Franco Modigliani, economist, an Mario Salvadori, engineer.
29:55 Interviews with Ernest Dichter, psychologist, and Erich Leinsdorf, conductor.
31:20 Footage of the March 1938 Anschluss in Austria. Footage of Sigmund Freud. Interview with Bruno Bettelheim, psychologist.
32:50 Footage of Kristallnacht, November 1938, of families leaving Europe by train and boat. America was not altogether welcoming; many American isolationists found wide acceptance.
35:55 Interview with Peter Selz, art historian. Footage of F.D. Roosevelt, Fiorello Laguardia (Mayor of NYC), and Eleanor Roosevelt making political speeches.
38:20 Further interview with Helen Wolff, discussing the disbelief of the American public about what was transpiring in Europe. Interviews with Claire Ehrmann, political refugee, and with Mary Jane Gold, American activist. Footage of Nazi Paris.
41:00 Description of Varian Fry's activities on behalf of intellectual and political refugees trapped in southern France after the Nazis invaded France. Interview with Henry Ehrmann, political scientist.
42:40 Further interview with Hirschmann. Interview with Hans Sahl, poet. Mary Jane Gold describes more about Fry's activities. Photos of people trying to flee France. Further interviews with the Ehrmanns, who describe their efforts to cross the French border into Spain.
53:00 More about Varian Fry and the Emergency Rescue Committee: they saved over 2000 people. Fry is arrested in 1941 and forcibly deported by Vichy French officials. In America the Committee works to make Americans aware of the tragedies in Europe. Footage of F.D. Roosevelt making a speech. Photo of Schoenberg flashes at mention of "musicians."
54:55 "A memorable moment" (descriptions of arrivals in US): Hanna Gray, Adolph Lowe, Mario Salvadori. "Seeing the same people everywhere": Christiane Zimmer, social worker; Salvadori. "This miraculous opportunity": Hirschman, Wolff, Bettelheim. "What one really misses is one's own language": Zimmer, Leinsdorf, Wolff, Gray. "I never knew where the police station was" (sense of freedom in America): Wolff, Salvadori.
1:03:15 News stories of Pearl Harbor. Interview with Hans Bethe, physicist and Nobel Laureate. Gray discusses the role that exiles played in the American Office of War Information. Interviews with Leo Lowenthal, social philosopher, and Dolly Haas, actress. Interview with Edward Teller, physicist. Several German and Italian physicists helped Americans develop the atomic bomb. Footage of Leo Szilard and Albert Einstein.
1:08:40 Aftermath of WWII, wider acceptance of psychoanalysis. Interviews with Bettelheim and Dichter. Dichter discusses the influence of post-war psychoanalytic ideas on mass marketing and advertising. With Lady in the Dark (by Moss Hart and Kurt Weill) psychoanalysis enters the musical stage.
1:14:25 Interview with Lotte Lenya, Weill's widow.
1:14:45 Footage from a production of Brecht and Weill's collaboration, Happy End. Interview with Wolfgang Roth, scenic designer. Footage of Maria Piscator (actress and drama teacher), daughter of Erwin Piscator (stage director and theorist), teaching at the New School.
1:17:00 Interview with Rod Steiger, actor, who worked with E. Piscator. Footage of Piscator discussing American theatrical talent.
1:19:20 Footage of Brecht's house in Santa Monica. Interview with Roth. Readings from Brecht's "Tales from Hollywood."
1:21:00 Footage of various exiles at home in southern California. Footage of Billy Wilder accepting an Oscar and on other occasions. Footage of Fritz Lang from an early interview (in German, with subtitles).
1:23:45 Footage of Schoenberg at Malibu party (see V034), photos of him composing and conducting (background music is from op. 16 (I.)). Interview with Leinsdorf discussing Schoenberg.
1:24:30 Interview with Nuria Nono Schoenberg. More footage of Malibu party and of Schoenberg playing tennis.
1:25:40 Anti-communist activism. Interview with Konrad Kellen, social scientist. Further comments from Roth regarding Brecht's appearance before the House Un-American Affairs committee.
1:27:00 Nuria Nono Schoenberg discusses the fate of Hanns Eisler and Schoenberg's attempts to help him. Kellen, Mann's personal secretary (1941-1943), remembers Mann's concerns about being deported. Golo Mann adds his reminiscences.
1:28:55 Footage of Senator Joseph McCarthy. Kellen continues. Footage of Mann at the Malibu party. More about McCarthy inquiries, effects of anti-Communism on academia. Leo Lowenthal discusses the founding of "critical theory" and the Frankfurt School.
1:31:45 Interview with H. Stuart Hughes, historian.
1:32:50 Riots during 1960s on college campuses. Footage of Herbert Marcuse addressing students. Interview with Hans Jonas about Leo Strauss and Marcuse.
1:36:30 Interview with Ralph Lerner, political scientist and student of Strauss. Jonas discusses Hannah Arendt's influence. Footage of Arendt accepting an award.
1:38:40 Interview with Prof. James Redfield.
1:39:15 Hannah Gray discusses the influence of European scholars on American universities.
1:40:15 Discussion of bauhaus architects' influence on American design. Interview with Peter Selz. Footage of Walter Gropius and Joseph Albers. Maholy-Nagy establishes the new bauhaus in Chicago, later known as the Institute of Design.
1:42:30 Footage of a class at the Yale School of Design, 1954. More footage of an interview with Albers.
1:43:10 Influence of German and French émigrés on art and film (Surrealism).
1:44:10 Interview with Robert Motherwell. Commentary by Peter Selz.
1:45:40 Photo of a group of émigré artists. Interview with Jacques Lipchitz
1:46:35    
Interview with Leinsdorf, footage of him conducting Mahler's First Symphony.
1:48:10 Helen Wolff, publisher, discusses the influence of publications of works by refugee authors on American readers and students. Interview with H. Stuart Hughes.
1:49:00 Footage of émigrés taking the oath of citizenship. Wolff quotes her husband: "Heaven didn't beckon, heaven kicked."
1:50:00 Adolph Lowe discusses his forthcoming book, The Outlook for Freedom
1:52:25 Woman who opened the video also concludes it: "We are the last ones, question us. We are authentic."
1:52:35 Credits (Mahler's First Symphony, third movement, plays in background)
1:56:00 End
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