Paradise and Melting Pot
Designed as a travelogue about Israel, Herbert Viktor emphasizes similarities to the FRG of the economic miracle years in his film: clean, neat, busy, enterprising. Haifa, for example, is described as having evolved from a “meeting place for Arabic caravans and robber bands” to the most modern port of the Levant. Viktor also pays tribute to the welcoming culture for the persecuted of the world, but omits to elucidate on the fates that lie behind them. The film, spiced up by staged intermezzi to become a statement of sympathy, was released in Federal German cinemas in 1959 under the patronage of Willy Brandt. It was not allowed on Israeli screens before 1962, when the death sentence against Adolf Eichmann had been upheld by the court of appeal.