"Europa, Europa" Is Released

Europa Europa is a 1990 German language film directed by Agnieszka Holland.

Its original German title is Hitlerjunge Salomon, which means Hitler Youth Salomon. It is based on the 1989 autobiography by Solomon Perel, a Jew who escaped persecution by the Nazis by masquerading as an Aryan. The film stars Marco Hofschneider and Julie Delpy, along with the real-life Perel as himself. The film is an international co-production between companies in Germany, France and Poland.

The film should not be confused with the 1991 Lars von Trier film Europa, which was initially released as Zentropa in the United States to avoid such a confusion.

This drama was based on the true story of a young German Jew who survived the Holocaust by falling in with the Nazis. Solomon Perel (Marco Hofschneider) is the son of a Jewish shoe salesman coming of age in Germany during the rise of Adolf Hitler. In 1938, a group of Nazis attack Solomon's family home; his sister is killed, and 13-year-old Solomon flees to Poland. Solomon winds up in an orphanage operated by Stalinist forces; when German forces storm Poland, Solomon's fluent German allows him to join the Nazis as a translator, posing as Josef Peters, an ethnic German. In time, "Peters" is made a member of the elite Hitler Youth, but since Solomon is circumcised, he can be easily revealed as a Jew, and he lives in constant fear that his secret will be discovered. Solomon's close calls include an attempted seduction by Robert Kellerman (André Wilms), a homosexual officer, and his relationship with Leni (Julie Delpy), a beautiful but violently anti-Semitic woman who wants to bear his child for the glory of the master race. Europa, Europa (shown in Europe as Hitlerjunge Salomon) also features the real Solomon Perel, who appears briefly as himself. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide