107-year-old Holocaust survivor, Jehovah's Witness is star of 'Ladder in the Lions' Den' documentary

An unusual Holocaust documentary has brought near-capacity afternoon crowds to the Laemmle Town Center 5 for almost a week.

They've come not only to see "Ladder in the Lions' Den," but to meet its subject, 107-year-old Austrian survivor Leopold Engleitner. |PHOTOS


Sitting quietly in his wheelchair outside the theater, the frail but remarkably resilient Engleitner met adoring fans from all over Southern California after Monday's screening of the 40-minute-film. It recounts the Jehovah's Witness' refusal to join Hitler's army during World War II and subsequent imprisonment in three Nazi concentration camps.


"It's really something that everybody should know about but very few people do," said Dave Butler, a Jehovah's Witness who drove down from Bakersfield to see the movie and meet the man. "Leopold doesn't speak English, I'd love to talk to him, but I think he's awesome. He's expending his limited strength and resources to come out and meet people and do this tour; it's amazing. It's very generous of him."

107-year-old Holocaust survivor and Jehovah's Witness Leopold Engleitner looks on following a screening of a new documentary, "Ladder in the Lion s Den," in Encino, Calif., on Monday, Nov. 12, 2012. The film depicts Engleitner s life as a Jehovah s Witness in Nazi concentration camps. Engleitner is the world s oldest known male Nazi concentration camp survivor. (Andy Holzman/Staff Photographer)
107-year-old Holocaust survivor and Jehovah's Witness Leopold Engleitner looks on following a screening of a new documentary, "Ladder in the Lion s Den," in Encino, Calif., on Monday, Nov. 12, 2012. The film depicts Engleitner s life as a Jehovah s Witness in Nazi concentration camps. Engleitner is the world s oldest known male Nazi concentration camp survivor. (Andy Holzman/Staff Photographer)




107-year-old Holocaust survivor and Jehovah's Witness Leopold Engleitner looks on following a screening of a new documentary, "Ladder in the Lion s Den," in Encino, Calif., on Monday, Nov. 12, 2012. The film depicts Engleitner s life as a Jehovah s Witness in Nazi concentration camps. Engleitner is the world s oldest known male Nazi concentration camp survivor. (Andy Holzman/Staff Photographer)
107-year-old Holocaust survivor and Jehovah's Witness Leopold Engleitner looks on following a screening of a new documentary, "Ladder in the Lion s Den," in Encino, Calif., on Monday, Nov. 12, 2012. The film depicts Engleitner s life as a Jehovah s Witness in Nazi concentration camps. Engleitner is the world s oldest known male Nazi concentration camp survivor. (Andy Holzman/Staff Photographer)


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