About the project

The documentary will tell the story of the forgotten Jewish freedom fighters of 1848 who became Heroes of the American Civil War. These Jewish immigrants mainly from Hungary (and others from Germany, Austria) fought overwhelmingly in the Union army during the Civil War. Not only on the battlefield but they also contributed to human values and took their part in the building of today's America.

This is an untold part of the Jewish history that emphasis on the Jewish contribution to the Union's victory and highlights the role of the Jews in the fight against slavery. Not many know that Jewish 48'ers were one of the reasons of the North's victory and names such as Joseph Pulitzer, Frederick Knefler and August Bondi who fought alongside John Brown in Kansas will appear in this movie.

Jewish documentaries which unveil heroic moments of our history and can make a change are needed at a time when antisemitism is on the rise and when Jews are accused of being the cause of slavery.

General Knefler

General Knefler

Brevet Brigadier General Knefler was born in Hungary who was barely 15 years old when he fought through the Revolution of 1848. He later became one of the highest ranking Jewish officers of the Union army. He is also known as one of the founding fathers of the First Jewish Congregation in Indianapolis.

Julius Stahel

Julius Stahel

Stahel was an experienced officer who served as a lieutenant in 1848. He is a Medal of Honor recipient who showed extra ordinary gallantry at the Battle of Piedmont where he was wounded in action. "Led his division into action until he was severely wounded." Stahel's Jewishness cannot be confirmed for 100% sure but he was likely of Jewish roots.

Utassy Brothers

Utassy Brothers

Frederick George Utassy and his brothers served in the 39th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment. The brothers were distinguished veterans of the Hungarian Revolution. Colonel Utassy was the founder and commander of the Garibaldi Guards also known as the 39th New York Volunteer Infantry regiment till 1863.

In Media

39th IAJGS Conference, Cleveland, 2019

Presentation Download

The Jewish 48’ers and their participation in the American Civil War was one of the featured topics at the 39 th IAJGS Conference on Jewish Genealogy in Cleveland.
As Fleetwood didn’t cover our session, we have recorded the presentation by ourselves and put the voice together with the slides. As we recorded the program in our studio after the presentation in Cleveland it might be slightly different from the one you heard at the Hungarian luncheon.

We will never forget our heroes who fought for a better Europe in 1848 and for a free America. Both the PPT and the PPT with voice are available for free download.

We are making huge efforts to promote the Jewish heritage and we put lots of energy into this.
While the presentation is available for free download please consider making donation. It’s tax deductible due to the documentary being fiscally sponsored by the International Documentary Association (IDA) a 501(c)(3) non-profit organisation.

Thank you!
Peter Kovacs Rosenbluth

Click here to download the presentation Click here to watch on YouTube

Education can make a change

Jewish Documentaries challenge antisemitism by unearthing unknown topics about Jewish history. We believe education is the right response to ignorance, racism and antisemitism. Project Director Peter Rosenbluth's recent action is the proven example we are in the right direction.

To learn more about it click here for the BBC's article or watch the interview on YouTube

Peter Rosenbluth's statement following the meeting

"Today I met Labour Councillor Damien Enticott as anti-Semitic content appeared on his Facebook last week. I explained him that "Talmud Jews" and "Jews drink blood" phrases were used by the Nazi propaganda machine and it cost the lives of 6 million Jews. A few days later he stated he is not anti-Semitic just anti-Zionist. This afternoon we went through the Jewish history and he was very open minded.... I told him Zionism is not a conspiracy theory but in short, an idea that Jews deserve a national homeland. I gave him a book about British Jewish history as seen in the picture. Mr. Enticott took the responsibility and admitted he was wrong. On the other hand, I am very pleased he was willing to learn about the Jewish culture. As we live in the same country we need to communicate more, and education can change anti-Semitism."

In Jewish Virtual Library

Our documentary featured in the Jewish Virtual Library. Click here to read the article

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