The Jewish 48'ers: in the American Civil War

Watch our first feature-length documentary for free above. Released on February 7th, 2020.

About the Film

The Jewish 48'ers: in the American Civil War

The Jewish 48'ers: is the story of revolution failed and redeemed. Freedom Fighters, inspired by the social ideals of the American and French Revolutions to take on the Feudal Monarchies in uprisings across Europe in 1848. While these revolts were crushed and participants hounded, many found refuge and purpose in the United States.

It is a contemporary story of diverse immigrants who help build and redeem their new home; heroic journeys which began in the bloody European Spring of 1848.
The cohort of European Jews with military experience, though small in number had an outsized influence in the America in the Civil War which was mobilising on an unprecedented scale. Research into the contributions and sacrifice of these new American Jews now tells their story in unprecedented depth and detail in a compelling and educational documentary.

This new film reveals the stories of August Bondi an Austrian Jewish guerrilla fighter called, one of the greatest abolitionists of the era; General Frederick Knefler, the highest ranking Hungarian Jewish officer; Generals Leopold Blumenberg and Edward S. Solomon, both German Jews.

The Civil War story of journalism's icon Joseph Pulitzer reveals the beginnings of his fight for social justice as a teen in a Cavalry Regiment. Colonel Frederick G. Utassy another Hungarian Jew, recruits and successfully leads a multinational force who speak seven different languages.

The action is not confined to the battlefield, Polish Jewish Michael Heilprin and the German Jewish rabbi David Einhorn's role in the anti-slavery [abolitionist] movement is brought into perspective.

Some of these stories were forgotten, others never told on this scale with information and details thought lost to history.

Discover their heritage in: The Jewish 48'ers!
The first documentary on the Jews and 1848, and the first colourised film on the Jews and the American Civil War.

General Knefler

General Knefler

Brevet Brigadier General Knefler has been known for a long time as the highest-ranking Jewish officers of the Union Army. However, during the research we found other Jewish brevet brigadiers as well such as Charles Mundee. Both Knefler and Mundee were 48'ers. Knefler who showed gallantry at the Battle of Missionary Ridge, is also known as one of the founding fathers of the first Jewish federation of 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

Colonel Frederick G. Utassy was devoted to keep America's unity as he fought for freedom all through his life. Once his regiment was ready, he brought his brothers Karl and Anthony to fight alongside the Union. Karl served as a lieutenant and Anthony finished his service as a captain. The 39th New York Volunteers had many Jewish soldiers who predominantly came from Hungary and Germany and many were 48'ers.

Watch the trailer

Quote from Maj. General Oliver O. Howard

Our Vision

A few years ago, we had a huge vision that first seemed to be impossible as first-time filmmakers. Theodor Herzl said "If you will, it is no dream". Our mission is to tell the story of Jewish military history and bring it as close to the public as possible. We believe making colourised documentary and educational films on the forgotten Jewish heroes is the best way to do so.

Jewish military history is an enormous topic, and despite having thousands of years of traditions and heritage it has been sadly neglected from most history books and documentaries. That's what we want to change by producing academic films and revealing the fascinating experience of the gallant Jewish troops.

We decided to bring the Jewish soldiers' image to the people, starting this journey from a very influential chapter: the American Civil War. Our first film is The Jewish 48'ers which we made out of love for Jewish culture. It's more than just a documentary, while making it we had the chance of unearthing materials that have never been seen before. We are proud of our forefathers who picked up the arms for having equal rights during the Spring Revolutions of 1848, and we believe they deserve to be remembered. Instead of retiring in 1861 and enjoying their new home in America, they will fight again on the frontline to defend the Union and in order to destroy the slavery.

We, the descendants must keep their heritage alive, and on the other hand Antisemitic lies (that often-become hate crimes) must not be tolerated. This is why we created this educational and non-commercial project and we have been working hard to bring an undiscovered history to you.

We're committed to spread the message of the Jewish soul that achieved so many glories in the world.

The Jewish 48'ers is just the first step unearthing our beautiful and lost heritage. Please help us in this struggle as we are very tight on funds.

The movie is fiscally sponsored by the International Documentary Association (IDA), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organisation.

Donations are tax-deductible.

Our next film will be also announced soon. Together, we can make a change.