Biography / History / War
Biography / History / War
Loading video, please wait...
In an old house in the modest neighborhood of Kiryat Ata, neighbors did not imagine that the old man who lives next door is the last living commander of a partisan battalion in World War II. He is the man who located the secret facility where the Germans developed their last hope for victory - the V2 missiles. In his confession, Berenshtein returns to the past and reveals the sights that accompany his whole life - women and children burned before his eyes, partisans he executed, his brilliant war tactics, the love of his life which he relinquished, his encounter with the Holocaust and the moment he chose to refuse an order, break into a German prison and release Jews sentenced to death. In the last moments of his life, he faces the decisions he made and recounts how he found not only Hitler's doomsday weapon, but himself.—Simon Shechter
Uploaded by: FREEMAN
Tech specs720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
Leonid Berenstein I have never heard of this individual before watching this film although his history may be known in other Countries where he lived. Astonishing that this man born into a Ukrainian Jewish family played such a pivotal role after many months of searching and gathering intelligence found the location of the German V2 site located in Debica, Poland. Which we all know then leads to many scientists ending up in either the United States or the Soviet Union and went on to develop the science of rockets and space exploration. Only now do we learn about this man who joined the Red Army in 1939 and became a Commander of a Partisan in the Ukrainian in 1943 operating behind enemy lines blowing up Nazi Trains and gathering intelligence from local populations. This group expanded to around 200 men and a woman radio operator joined by Polish, Slovakians and Czechs and at one time freeing 100 Soviet prisoners from a German Camp. He eventually reached the Rank of Colonel and was also decorated for his exploits throughout the War where on one occasion his group freed 100 Soviet prisoners from a German Camp. Witnessing many German atrocities he became hardened as an individual but also very determined to carry out his duty to his Country. He married Zatwarnica Bieszczady his radio operator during his service and also lived for a time in the early Nineties in Kyiv becoming Deputy Chairman of the Ukraine-Israel Association. In 1993 he moved to Israel and lived in a tiny flat and also did not receive that much support or a war pension really unbelievable for a man who did so much in the service of his Country but this is often the case for many War Veterans. Simon Schechter, a screenwriter at Metaphor, had been researching Leonid Bernstein for years for this documentary film with the support of the Israeli Broadcasting Authority. The film features Berenstein himself taking to camera about his life and War experiences interspersed by filmed reconstruction of some of his group's key actions. Ukrainian actor Yaroslav Kucherenko a close look-a-like of Berenstein acts his part in the featured action sequences. It does of course state that it is 'based on a true story' so may not be entirely accurate in the story itself but many of the operations featured are true facts. Berenstein passed away in 2019 and thankfully for his family and offspring they have this film as a legacy of his wartime service. Well worth a watching.
An amazing story of a Leonid. Berenshtein depicts bravery and heroism exercised by a special regiment under his command during WWII.
His Jewish background assured silence about his activities in a post-war Soviet era.
Storytelling by a major character in a fragile aged state, visualised by an actors' play is a brilliant approach of which materialisation would even more impress if script, uniforms deployed, performing could a bit more be detailed.
Screening this movie of a Soviet Army tonight, in a middle of RF operation in Ukraine, bears some special meaning as one could feel.