One Step to Freedom – the Grüninger File

direction: Alain Gsponer

92 minutes

Tuesday, 14.4.



February 1939: Switzerland closes its borders to Jewish refugees. Hundreds of people continue crossing the border without a valid visa. An investigation is launched by the Chief of the Swiss immigration authorities to look into the illegal border crossings. Police inspector Robert Frei, a young, ambitious official who believes in authority, is summoned to the canton of St. Gallen. There, he finds out that Grüninger is letting refugees in without a valid visa, and even forging documents, and bringing refugees over the border illegally. Grüninger is doing this out of pure humanity. Grüninger’s unreasonableness and the sight of the refugees seeking help, makes Frei doubt whether his task is right. Should he present his report to a superior? Or cover for Paul Grüninger?