Recommended Film: None Shall Escape

One can only wonder why this movie has been so little seen and given so little credit for its powerful message. This is the film Henry Travers (Clarence the angel in It’s a Wonderful Life) should be remembered for; his portrayal of a Polish village priest is understated and unsentimental. Made in 1944, before World War II ended, this film puts to rest the notion that the world did not comprehend the magnitude of Nazi evil. It’s all here: Polish women forced into sexual slavery, Jews rounded up and murdered, synagogues looted and destroyed, the brutality of young German men enamored with their cowardly power, the covert resistance of Poles, and the vain hope of ordinary people that such monstrous horror could never overtake a “civilized” world. The story is told in courtroom flashbacks comprising testimony during the trail of a Nazi officer, with convincing village scenes portraying life in the small town of Lidzbark, Poland, 70% of which was destroyed during the war. Made seventeen years before the release of Judgment at Nuremburg, one of the most widely recognized films about Nazi war crimes, None Shall Escape is still difficult to find online, even though it is one of the most astonishing screen achievement of World War II. Writers Alfred Neumann and Joseph Than were nominated for an Oscar for Best Story (“Going My Way” won).


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