When 13-year-old Fred Sondermann escaped from Nazi Germany in 1939, on the eve of World War II, he never imagined he would return. His homeland held only horrific and traumatizing memories of discrimination, persecution and death. However, an opportunity in 1969 to spend a sabbatical in Germany represented a chance for Dr. Sondermann to make sense of, and peace with, his experiences. RETURN recounts Sondermann's remarkable journey to understanding, as he begins to appreciate the complexities and multiple realities of the time. This documentary, adapted from Sondermann's memoirs, explores the emotions and the conclusions of an American Jew returning to his German homeland after 30 years. In addition to the late Sondermann's compelling first-person narrative, RETURN also features interviews with his son, his widow and his childhood friend. Contemporary video and photography of Dachau Concentration Camp and Sondermann's hometown of Horn are interchanged with archival images and documents, period news footage and the few surviving family photographs.
Share your thoughts, questions, and comments on "Return" here.
Vermont PBS educates, informs, entertains and inspires Vermonters to be lifelong learners and engaged in their community.