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"Ladder in the Lion's Den" - the Story of Leopold Engleitner
"Ladder in the Lion's Den" tells the unforgettable and inspirational story of Leopold Engleitner, one of Jehovah's Witness, who survived the horrors of Nazi concentration camps until he was released only to serve in the German army. Engleitner, who passed away in 2013 as the oldest known male survivor of the Holocaust, lived a life that exemplifies the struggle that our faith in God is capable of enduring. From intolerance to imprisonment to war and finally to surviving in the wilderness, Engleitner never gave up in his dedication as one of Jehovah's Witnesses. Adults and children alike can draw upon his story in order to better themselves.
For more on Leopold Engleitner as well as other famous Jehovah's Witnesses who serve as great role models for their brothers and sisters in the faith, check out this blog post. Feel free to subscribe for more news and updates in our special blog for Jehovah's Witnesses!
Award winning film and appreciated by film festivals around the world
The SS officer drew his pistol, held it to my head, and asked: 'Are you ready to die? I'm going to pull the trigger because you're really a hopeless case.' 'I'm ready,' I said, trying to keep my voice steady. I braced myself, closed my eyes, and waited for him to pull the trigger, but nothing happened. 'You're even too stupid to die!' he shouted, removing the gun from my temple. How did I end up in such a desperate situation? - from w05 5/1 pp. 23-28: 'Though Weak, I Am Powerful' - The amazing true story of a solitary bibelforscher (Jehovah's Witness) against the Nazi war machine.
Award winning documentary: One of Jehovah's Witnesses (bibelforscher) who stood up to the Nazis
Why would a man faced with death in three Nazi concentration camps not sign a document granting him his freedom? This is the true story of
Leopold Engleitner, a bibelforscher, (as Jehovah's Witnesses were known). At 107 years old, he was the world's oldest known Nazi concentration camp survivor. A seemingly ordinary man who was given the choice between life or death, he found the extraordinary courage to stand by his conscience. Refusing to take up arms in support of Nazi aggression and to salute "Heil Hitler," his uncompromising stand put him and thousands of other Jehovah's Witnesses directly in the crosshairs of the Third Reich. Hitler personally proclaimed: "This brood will be exterminated in Germany!" Like a "ladder" lowered into the "lions' den" to which he was condemned, he was given a way out by the Nazis: in exchange for his freedom he was offered a document requiring him to renounce his faith and swear allegiance to Hitler. This-he refused. After surviving Buchenwald, Niederhagen, and Ravensbrück concentration camps, he weighed less than sixty-two pounds, but his will remained unbroken.
Spotlighted by the perspective of others who also suffered, such as Renée Firestone, a Jewish Auschwitz survivor, and Gottlieb Bernhardt (former SS bodyguard of Adolf Hitler), who himself faced a crisis of conscience, Leopold's story resonates with the power of conviction and hope.
If not for a chance meeting with Bernhard Rammerstorfer, Leopold would have disappeared into the shadowed subtext of history; instead an enduring friendship formed between two men separated by more than sixty years and two World Wars. Together, they traveled more than 95,000 miles around the world promoting peace and tolerance. Their lectures have taken them to Stanford, Harvard, Columbia, UCLA, and Georgetown Universities, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC, the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Library of Congress, as well as other noted institutions throughout the United States, Europe, and the Russian Federation.
Internet Movie Database:IMDb.org
Official Facebook: facebook.com/LeopoldEngleitner
LADDER in the LIONS' DEN has received excellent recognition in the film industry. At the Long Island International Film Expo in New York the film received nomination in the category "Best Documentary" and "Alan Fortunoff Humanitarian Film Award."
Other international awards and notable events:
Winner: Audience Choice Award for a Documentary at the Marina del Rey Film Festival, 2013, California, USA
Winner: Best International Feature Documentary at the 2013 Laughlin International Film Festival, Nevada, USA
Winner: Best Documentary Short at the 2013 Fallbrook International Film Festival, Fallbrook, California, USA
Winner: Best Short Documentary at the 2013 Rincón International Film Festival, Rincón, Puerto Rico, USA
Official Selection: Life Fest Film Festival, Hollywood, California
Official Selection: Festival of Tolerance: 7th Zagreb International Jewish Film Festival 2013, Croatia
Official Selection: Festival of Tolerance: 1st Rijeka International Jewish Film Festival 2013, Croatia. (The film was ranked 3rd place among all screened films and received an audience rating of 4.81 out of 5.)
Official Selection: Chagrin Documentary Film Festival, Ohio, USA (Festival will take place from October 2-6, 2013)
English version of Ladder in the Lions’ Den premiered in 2012 at the Laemmle Theater in Encino, Los Angeles, California, USA
A. Ferenc Gutai (co-director)
Writing credits: (in alphabetical order)
Brian Dorsey - script editor
Frederic G. Fuss - script editor
Solange Fuss - script editor
A. Ferenc Gutai - script writer
Bernhard Rammerstorfer - script writer
Cast: (in alphabetical order)
Rammerstorfer Bernhard - Character of Leopold Engleitner
Frederic G. Fuss - Narrator (voice)
Gordon Piedesack - Voice of Leopold Engleitner (voice)
A. Ferenc Gutai - co-producer
Bernhard Rammerstorfer - executive producer
Bernhard Rammerstorfer - producer
Anton Kapfer (director of photography)
Film Editing by:
Anton Kapfer (edited by)
David Abrahamsen - sound mixer
Anton Kapfer - sound editor
Jonathan Liebert - digital cinema mastering