On January 20, 1942, high-ranking Nazi party and German government leaders, including the secretaries of the Foreign Ministry and Justice Departments, gathered at a villa in Wannsee, Germany. They assembled at the villa to discuss the “final solution to the Jewish question in Europe.”
During the making of “Berlin Calling,” we visited this location. It was a place that turned our stomachs, to be in the room that decided the fate of the Waserman family. Decisions were made there that took millions of lives and left others broken – and that trauma is handed down for generations.
Never forget how the decisions of a few can affect the future of many.
“Berlin Calling” made its Australian premiere over the summer to a full house at The Australian Center for the Moving Image (ACMI)
. The film’s cast member/cowriter Kastle Waserman and director Nigel Dick made the trip to attend a Q&A following the screening. We received these great photos from photographer/producer Jack Crombie.
During the session, Kastle was asked questions about the emotional journey of making the film while Nigel explained the technical challenges of being a one-man film crew.
Stay tuned for news of future screening announcements.
Photos by Jack Crombie, jackcrombie.net
“Berlin Calling’s” Kastle Waserman and director Nigel Dick went to see the film, “Anthropoid” recently. The film tells the true story of British-trained Czechoslovak paratroopers Josef Gabcík and Jan Kubiš , who went on the WWII mission to assassinate SS General Reinhard Heydrich in Prague.
Beautifully told, the film moved them both to tears. “It hits us hard because we went during the making of ‘Berlin Calling’ to film at the location where the assassination took place and also shot a scene in that crypt where Gabcík and Kubiš died,” said Nigel. “We were both particularly impressed by the historical accuracy of the sets that were built to film the final scenes in ‘Anthropoid.'”
“For me, the film captured that fear of being persecuted,” said Kastle. “My father always said the fear never left him, even long after the Holocaust. I really felt it watching “Anthropoid,” what it must have been like for Gabcík and Kubiš , and those who helped them. I wish they were alive today so I could thank them. Everything they did helped slow down the German machine and bring the horror the Nazis put on people closer to an end.”
Shout out to “Anthropoid” director/writer/producer Sean Ellis and lead actors Jamie Dornan and Cillian Murphy, on making a film that truly honors this story.
Photos from Prague during the making of “Berlin Calling”:
Kastle Waserman and Nigel Dick filming at the Anthropoid assassination site and memorial statue.
Photo by Dana Cerna
Inside the Orthodox Church of Saints Cyril and Methodius crypt hiding place.
Photos by Kastle Waserman
The bullet-riddled crypt window and memorial plaque outside the Orthodox Church of Saints Cyril and Methodius.
Photo by Kastle Waserman
Front of the Orthodox Church of Saints Cyril and Methodius
Photo by Kastle Waserman
“Berlin Calling” made its Australian premiere on Saturday, June 18th at The Australian Center for the Moving Image (ACMI). The film’s cast member/cowriter Kastle Waserman and director Nigel Dick made the trip to attend a Q&A following the screening.
While they were in town, Kastle and Nigel did several radio interviews with Australian local and national radio programs and posed for pictures with their celebrity DJs. Check it out:
With ABC National Radio Host Serpil Senelmis
Click here to listen to the show.
With Triple R Radio‘s Breakfasters
Click here to listen to the show.
With Melbourne’s ABC Drive Time Host Rafael Epstein
On Kastle’s first trip to Berlin, she learned of the Stolpersteines (or Stumble Stones), handmade plaques created by artist Gunter Demnig to memorialize the Jewish people of Germany who were taken from their homes and murdered by the Nazis. The stones are embedded in the sidewalk at the address where they lived.
When Kastle returned to Berlin in 2008 with her Holocaust survivor father, she had a present for him, four Stolpersteines created to mark the place her father once lived with his mother, his brother and his father, who was killed in Buchenwald Concentration Camp.
“It was like having the family back together again,” her father tearfully told her after the stones where placed while they were there.
The Waserman Stolpersteines are located at Kommandantenstr. 68/69
More information is available on the Stolpersteine website.
Welcome to our first edition of Berlin Calling Behind the Scenes. Throughout filming of the documentary, Kastle Waserman took photos for her personal scrapbook of the places seen while researching her father’s story as a Holocaust survivor. Now she’s opening up the book to share the sights and emotions behind the photos.
Theresienstadt. Photo by Kastle Waserman 2009. All rights reserved.
This is #14 Hauptstrasse, the building in Theresienstadt concentration camp where Ben Waserman was imprisoned for two years. It’s now an apartment building.
“As we saw people taking liesurely walks in the park and pushing baby strollers, we couldn’t help but think how people could live there knowing what happened,” says Kastle of seeing the place.
Also known as Terezin, the camp was a military garrison town in Czechoslovakia that was designed for 8K soldiers. When the Wasermans arrived in June of 1943, they were squeezed in with 50K prisoners living in filthy, disease-ridden conditions.
The first thing Ben sees as he enters the camp is 7 people just hanged in the gallows.
“Berlin Calling” director Nigel Dick just keeps racking up the awards! He recently won the County Music Television (CMT) awards for Best Duo for his music video for the group Florida Georgia Line and their song “Dirt.”
Nigel and Berlin Calling star Kastle Waserman attended the awards and after party in Nashville. Here’s a sneak peek behind the scenes!
The winning video
It’s a win for Nigel Dick!
Florida Georgia Line thanking Nigel on stage when accepting the award.
Kastle Waserman attends the after party at Big Loud Shirt management on Nashville’s Music Row
We are very excited to announce “Berlin Calling” director Nigel Dick has a video up for Video of the Year and Duet of the Year at this year’s CMT Awards for his work on the music video “Dirt” by country artists Florida Georgia Line. See the video here and be sure to VOTE for it to win on the CMT website HERE!
After seven years of hard work and a year of screenings, it’s been a thrill to finally see “Berlin Calling” officially released to the world on Passion River Films. So we couldn’t just celebrate alone – and we’re in Los Angeles, where no movie release is official without a release party. We set a date for the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, invited our closest friends and supporters, put together goodie bags filled with “Berlin Calling” memorabilia and donated items including CDs and beauty products and set out to party!
There was only one place we could think of to have the party – Canter’s Deli in Hollywood – the perfect combination of legendary Jewish deli and rock ‘n’ roll. Canter’s was the place “Berlin Calling”‘s Kastle went for a bite after many late nights in the clubs as a music journalist and where she discovered a few bands jamming in the adjacent bar, The Kibitz Room. It’s been the place where musicians, actors and Hollywood movers and shakers have noshed while seeing and being seen. In fact, Canter’s own Marc Canter was a close friend and photographer for the band Guns ‘N Roses, who the director of “Berlin Calling” did the first five videos for. The links were all there!
Check out the scene:
Cicada Club’s Maxwell DeMille, Berlin Calling Director Nigel Dick, and Toto/Ringo Starr Guitarist Steve Lukather
Berlin Calling’s Kastle Waserman signs a few autographs
Klaire Firestone and Auschwitz Survivor Renee Firestone
Actress/playwright Katherine James, Martin Blumenfeld and actor Alan Blumenfeld
Canter’s Delicious Treats!
Thank you to everyone who came!
We broke the internet! “Berlin Calling” SOLD OUT its first two runs of inventory on Amazon.com! But don’t worry, you can still order it there – our distributor is hard at work making sure ALL orders are filled. It just might take a few extra days to get to you. Thank you everyone for making our release a success!