Why would a man faced with death in three Nazi concentration camps not sign a document granting him his freedom? This is the true story of 107-year-old Leopold Engleitner. A seemingly ordinary man who was given the choice between life or death, he found the extraordinary courage to stand by his conscience. Refusing to take up arms in support of Nazi aggression and to salute "Heil Hitler," his uncompromising stand put him and thousands of other Jehovah's Witnesses directly in the crosshairs of the Third Reich. Hitler personally proclaimed: "This brood will be exterminated in Germany!" Like a "ladder" lowered into the "lions' den" to which he was condemned, he was given a way out by the Nazis: in exchange for his freedom he was offered a document requiring him to renounce his faith and swear allegiance to Hitler. This-he refused. After surviving Buchenwald, Niederhagen, and Ravensbrück concentration camps, he weighed less than sixty-two pounds, but his will remained unbroken.
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International awards and notable events:
*Winner: Best Documentary Short at the 2013 Fallbrook International Film Festival, Fallbrook, California, USA*
*Official Selection: Festival of Tolerance: 7th Zagreb International Jewish Film Festival 2013, Croatia*
*Official Selection: Festival of Tolerance: 1st Rijeka International Jewish Film Festival 2013, Croatia. (The film was ranked 3rd place among all screened films and received an audience rating of 4.81 out of 5.)*
*Official Selection: Chagrin Documentary Film Festival, Ohio, USA (Festival will take place from October 2-6, 2013)*
*English version of Ladder in the Lions' Den premiered in 2012 at the Laemmle Theater in Encino, Los Angeles, California, USA*