Film premiere highlights heroic Goshen family during Holocaust

Published: Apr. 9, 2021 at 5:51 PM EDT
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GOSHEN, Ind. (WNDU) - A film premiere Friday night in Goshen is helping tell the incredible story of how a local family rescued several German Jews from the Holocaust.

16 News Now reporter Carly Miller sat down with a descendant of that family as well as the film’s producers to learn more.

“I do think my grandfather and great-grandfather were heroic, and I think people locally need to know there are heroes all around us,” descendant of the family Steve Gruber said.

That’s how Elkhart resident Steve Gruber describes his grandfather Sidney Plaut and great-grandfather David Plaut who sponsored and rescued 28 Jewish Germans from the Holocaust.

The Plauts lived in Goshen, and a new documentary film titled “Vital Passage” tells their story.

“My grandfather and my great-grandfather were so tenacious. It’s just a great story that came out of Goshen,” Gruber said.

For the past several years, faculty and students from Goshen College’s FiveCore Media have been producing the film, and Friday it will premiere for the first time.

“It’s a little surreal that it’s finally getting to the finish line, but we are excited tonight to show it to a live audience. We’re also really excited to have it in the Goshen Theatre,” director and producer Kyle Hufford said.

“It’s quite the experience to figure out how to portray that story. What images do you use? What music do you put in to get those emotions that you want the audience to get out of it?” Co-Editor of the film Eric Miller said.

Gruber hopes viewers are not only reminded of the gravity of the Holocaust but also learn the local history portrayed in the film.

“I hope the community will see it as an asset, as a gift,” Gruber said.

While the private viewing Friday is already sold out due to COVID restrictions, those who helped make the film say they expect there to be more viewings in the future.

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