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By Renee Buck

GENRE: Historical
LOGLINE: At the height of World War II, the desperate citizens of a sleepy Midwestern community must accept Nazi POW labor to save their farms and factories from financial ruin. Inspired by a true story.


This is World War II as it is fought in Friedental, a small German town in Minnesota. When the labor shortage reaches crisis level due to the draft, German POWs become the unlikely heroes to save the town from an economic meltdown. Effective labor replacements for husbands, sons, brothers and lovers, the POWs step unknowingly into a powerful void that both promises and threatens to change everything… Germantown is smart, passionate, and courageous, fueled by socio-political tension, heartbreaking decisions and conflict, surprising alliances, forbidden loves, and plenty of secrets. From the Minnesota farmlands to war-torn England and Germany, the many shades of gray that blur the boundaries of war will have you questioning your own ideas of right and wrong, good and bad, enemy and friend. PILOT SYNOPSIS “The Replacements” Teaser: Selma (45, Marlene Dietrich in farm clothes) holds a shotgun on Nazi officer Lt. Schwarz, who hovers his burning cigarette over dry straw mere feet from a gas can. A deadly game of chicken. A terse exchange in German. (wait, where are we again?) SUPER: Three months earlier | Friedental, Minnesota – May, 1943 A sunny spring day on the prosperous and meticulous Bauman farm. The family gathers around a bountiful dinner table when a Special Report comes on the radio: over 200,000 German soldiers have surrendered in North Africa. Moments later, Clara Hoffman calls with news that her sons Milo and Christian—the Bauman farm hands—have been drafted! What about Jack? Marta finds the letter in the mail stack. Unwilling to risk losing Jack, Selma races into town to appeal the decision, but gives up when Jack finds her at the Draft Office and makes a plea to let him fight for his country. Selma is shattered, but concedes, and refocuses on the challenge of finding help for harvest. When Selma learns the stunning news of available labor in the form of German POWs, she—with the help of husband Daniel—gets the wheels in motion for a branch camp, but the citizens of Friedental are not all on board, especially the Norwegian contingent from the nearby town of Osland, who haven’t trusted the Friedental Germans ever since WWI. When Daniel lands in the hospital after a debilitating fall, Selma is forced to speak in favor of the POWs at an open town meeting, where she is heckled and her loyalty questioned—but she finds her footing and delivers a powerful speech of unity and purpose. Aided by Marta, Selma makes an emotional appeal to prison base camp commander Col. Lobdell, who wants to pull back on plans over fears of fraternization. Selma’s argument wins over Lobdell and the Friedental camp is a go. Meanwhile, our POWs take an eye-opening journey from North Africa to Friedental. Expecting to find America in ruins, the soldiers realize they’ve been fed a pack of lies by the Reich. Tensions with the Nazi officers escalate. Hopes are high for the first day of POW labor on the Bauman farm, but Daniel unwittingly selects Nazi Lt. Schwarz, and the dramatic pilot conclusion warns of treacherous waters ahead.


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