Hero Among Us, dir Brent Watkins

Hero Among Us, dir Brent Watkins

  • June 16, 2018 from 8:00pm to 9:30pm
  • CSPS Hall
  • $10

Join us for the Cedar Rapids premiere of a new documentary from award-winning filmmaker Brent Watkins.

Two men share an incredible story of survival during World War II. One, an Army Combat Medic and concentration camp liberator. The other, a holocaust survivor. Both discover how the power of story can bring healing to their troubled past.

As a medic with the 71st Infantry Division, John Gaultier saw intense combat as the allied Armies advanced into Germany at the close of the war.  He relates his firsthand experience liberating a concentration camp in Austria. An eyewitness to the Nazi atrocities, he recalls the utter shock and incomprehensible scope of that tragedy. The toll these experiences took on his mental health was brutal. Long before PTSD was known or understood, John found himself in and out of Army hospitals, became homeless for a time, and even attempted suicide. Through the support of an Army nurse, who would later become his wife, he managed to survive his emotional injuries and settle in Vinton, Iowa.

The story of Martin Weiss parallels Gaultier’s. Born in Czechoslovakia, he was still a teenager when his family was taken first to a Hungarian ghetto, then to several concentration camps. Some members of his family perished in the gas chambers, while Martin and his father ended up slave labor, building a mountain tunnel using only picks and shovels. Eventually they were transferred to Gunskirchen Lager, the same camp that Sgt. Gualtier’s unit liberated.

Though their lives took very different trajectories, both John and Martin ultimately found healing through the power of their stories. Although advanced in years, both men still devote countless hours making sure the horrors of the holocaust are never forgotten.