Documentary focuses on Holocaust survivors reuniting after 80 years

On November 9, 2018, 92-year-old Holocaust survivor, Fred Behrend, was at the Politz School in Cherry Hill talking to middle school students about his experiences growing up in Nazi Germany. 

During his talk with the students, he mentioned the name of a childhood friend and schoolmate. Suddenly, after the mention of his friend, the school director left the room and returned, handing Behrend a cell phone. What Behrend didn’t know at that moment was that he was going to be reunited with a friend who he hadn’t seen since 1938.

About three and a half years ago, FOX 29’s Dawn Timmeney interviewed Behrend and shortly after, he met with his long-lost friend, Henry Baum in Florida for the first time in 80 years. 

"It was very emotional," said Behrend. "I had tears in my eyes and so did he."

Now, the reunion is featured in a documentary called, "Rebuilt from Broken Glass."

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Before their reunion, Behrend, of Vorhees, had not seen Baum since they were 12-years-old in Nazi Germany. The Nazis bombed their synagogue and school, in an attack known as Kristallnacht, or the "Night of Broken Glass." 

Larry Hanover produced and directed the documentary and was there for the miracle of these two men reuniting in Florida in 2019. The two friends actually have homes in Florida just 15 minutes apart, and they never knew throughout all those years. 

"The only way I can describe it is as if they were 12 years old when they last saw each other and the years melted away. It was like they were 12 years old again when they hugged each other at the door," Hanover said.

The documentary also included the fleeing of Nazi Germany and some of the horrors that Behrend compares to what is happening in Ukraine. Behrend says that the war in Ukraine, just like the horrific events of the Holocaust are things that we can never forget. 

"The whole idea of the documentary is that what I and millions of others went through should not be forgotten," he said.