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Another opportunity to see film about ND hero Herman Stern

Herman Stern

FARGO — First Lutheran Church, 619 Broadway N. in Fargo, is hosting a free screening of the local documentary film "The Mission of Herman Stern," at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 17.

The half-hour documentary tells the story of local businessman and civic leader Herman Stern who is credited with saving 125 Jews from persecution and possible death in Adolf Hitler's Germany.

The screening will also feature a question-and-answer session with documentary producer/director Art Phillips of Video Arts Studio.

"This is a story that needs to be told, needs to be in the community, it needs to be a program in the schools," Phillips told The Forum at the film's premiere in November.

Stern ran Straus clothing store for years, promoted the Boy Scouts of America and established chapters in the Red River Valley, founded what would become the United Way and oversaw the formative years of the North Dakota Winter Show.

He died in 1980 and his family says he didn't talk much about his efforts to help German Jews during WWII. He learned about many of them from relatives who wrote letters to him expressing their need to escape Nazi Germany. Stern used his political connections to slowly move them to the United States, where he would stay in touch for years and sometimes even provide work at Straus.

He was posthumously awarded the Theodore Roosevelt Roughrider Award, the highest honor for a North Dakotan.

Phillips says Stern's story serves as more than just a history lesson, but rather a life lesson.

"One of the takeaways from this project is that one person can make a difference," he says.

If You Go

What: "The Mission of Herman Stern"

When: 7 p.m. on Jan 17

Where: First Lutheran Church, 619 Broadway N., Fargo

Info: Admission is free and open to the public.

Tracy Briggs

Tracy Briggs is a former TV anchor/radio host currently working as a features writer and video host for Forum Communications.

(701) 451-5632