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In real life, James Stewart was a decorated WW II bomber pilot. Stewart flew 20 bombing missions over Germany including one over Berlin-after wrangling combat duty when commanders would have preferred to use a movie star for morale building work at home. As a squadron commander, he flew many dangerous missions when he could have sent others instead, recalled Robbie Robinson, a sergeant who was an engineer-gunner in Stewart's B-24 squadron. Stewart rose to colonel during the war.

When he lost his wife Nettie in childbirth and their infant son also died, Thomas Andrew Dorsey wrote “Take My Hand, Precious Lord,” which his protégé Mahalia Jackson sang at the funeral of Martin Luther King, Jr. Dorsey helped develop and shape modern day gospel music through the National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses, which he founded. He is considered the father of modern gospel music.

"In 1943, Maria von Maltzan, a German aristocrat, took Hans Hirschel, her Jewish lover into her Berlin apartment to hide him from the Nazis. It was the time when the last Jews were supposed to be 'cleansed' out of Berlin. Since Hans had ingeniously faked his own suicide, he was registered as dead, and for a long while, no suspicion fell on Maria; until one day..." Read the rest of the story at the link.