The Unimaginable Journey of Peter Ertel

Upcoming War Documentary: “The Unimaginable Journey of Peter Ertel”

The Unimaginable Journey of Peter Ertel” is an upcoming war documentary about a German World War 2 veteran, produced by Joseph Cahn, who has been working in the film industry for 30 years.

In this documentary, German World War 2 veteran Peter Ertel tells how he barely survived the Russian Front and the Battle of Normandy, became a U.S. Government agent in postwar Germany, and began a 25-year career working for a small company owned by Orthodox Jews.

Peter Ertel in Kharkov - June 1943
Peter Ertel in Kharkov – June 1943

Peter Ertel was drafted in the Wehrmacht in 1939. He took part in the invasion of France and was later transferred to take part in the invasion of Russia (“Operation Barbarossa”). He survived the Eastern Front for almost 3 years, during which time he was promoted to Unteroffizier (Platoon Leader) and was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd and 1st Class.

Because his unit was decimated, and Erwin Rommel needed more battle-hardened troops in Normandy, he was transferred to there just weeks ahead of D-Day. He was then captured by the Americans.

Some time later he was recruited as an agent for the U.S. State Department to help rebuild his former country, Germany, which was decimated by six years of war.

Peter immigrated to America in 1953 and worked nearly three decades for a small industrial chemical firm in Cleveland, Ohio, which was owned by Jewish people, who knew that Peter served five years in the German Army during World War II. They knew because Peter made no attempt to hide this during his job interview.

Peter Ertel tells his own life story, as only he could tell it – with unflinching honesty and raw emotion, while maintaining penetrating eye-contact with the audience. His are the eyes of a man who has seen so much, and lived to tell about it.“, according to Joseph Cahn.

Mr. Cahn added: “As the film has played to festival audiences these past two years, winning awards, what’s been most gratifying is that its themes of humanity and tolerance have had far greater resonance with audiences than I ever imagined it would when I began making it several years ago.  As remarkable a historical account as Peter’s story is, illuminating a rarely told perspective of the war, we hope audiences come away with an affirmation that goodness can – and does – transcend race, religion and national barriers.”

The Unimaginable Journey of Peter Ertel
Peter Ertel somewhere in Ukraine, 1943.

The Unimaginable Journey of Peter Ertel is a gripping first-person narrative documentary and will be released somewhere in 2019. You can be kept updated by signing in on the mailing list on (go to “Support the Film” and in the bottom of that page you can sign up).

Find more war movies coming out in 2018, 2019 or even 2020.