Miracle at Midnight
Miracle at Midnight is a TV movie based on the Rescue of the Danish Jews in Denmark during the Holocaust. It is a Disney production and premiered on ABC in 1998. It was also portrayed in Ms. Saporita's "Morality" along with others including a documentary about a nun in South America.
Set in Denmark during September 1943, Miracle at Midnight tells the dramatic true story of the Danish rescue of Jews from deportation to Nazi concentration camps. Doctor Karl (Sam Waterston) and Doris (Mia Farrow) Koster are a Christian couple living in Copenhagen with their two children, 18 year old Henrik (Justin Whalin) and preteen Else (Nicola Mycroft).
As Chief Surgeon of Christiana Hospital, Doctor Koster initially uses his position to protect a young resistance fighter shot by the Nazis. Meanwhile, Henrik is secretly working for the same group, commandeering weapons sent to the Nazis.
On Wednesday, September 29, 1943 (three years in to the occupation), Doctor Koster learns of the imminent arrest of the Danish Jews on midnight Friday (the beginning of Rosh Hashanah). The Kosters start by hiding Rabbi Ben Abrams and his family, but soon realize they can help more Jews and become an integral part of an effort to transport over 7,000 Jews to neutral Sweden.
Doctor Koster, hospital staff and his family work with the resistance to save the Danish Jews from Theresienstadt Concentration Camp. As Doctor Koster narrates, "In every language and religion, to be humane is to love your neighbor."
Henrik and his friend load up a truckload of Jews and plan to send them to Sweden. There they are stopped by German Nazi officials. They ask Henrik to open the back of the truck. When the Nazis find Jews, Henrik's friend runs and hides in the woods, and gets help from Henrik's father, who springs Henrik, but Henrik's friend is killed while distracting the Germans.
First they find hiding places for the Jews to survive the initial raids, and then work with the Swedish government and local fishermen to transport them to safety. Meanwhile, Henrik secures trucks and other transport to get people to the coast. They discover that one of the fishermen that was helping them transport Jews was a traitor and tried to turn them in to the German Police.
Finally, the Kosters themselves have to flee when the Nazis discover their work. Doris Koster is captured by the Nazis, but the rest manage to escape to Sweden. Doris is soon released and the family is reunited after the war has ended. (The reunion is not shown in the film.)
- Sam Waterston as Dr. Karl Koster
- Mia Farrow as Doris Koster
- Justin Whalin as Henrik Koster
- Patrick Malahide as Georg Duckwitz
The film opens with a map of Nazi-occupied Europe in 1943. The map includes numerous errors. Austria is not displayed as an incorporated part of Germany. Yugoslavia shows its current division into independent republics. East Prussia is not shown; the Kaliningrad enclave appears instead.
An official can be seen reading the Völkischer Beobachter, the Nazi Party newspaper.
- First aired: Sunday, May 17
- As part of the Wonderful World of Disney Classroom Edition series, Miracle at Midnight has a website with a range of supporting educational materials,