UC Berkeley Library

Jews in Pre-War Europe & Soviet Union

A Different World, Poland's Jews, 1919-1943 (Struggles for Poland; 3).

Documents through archival films, stills, interviews and readings the once flourishing and dynamic community of Polish Jews, and the events leading up to the Holocaust. Focuses on ghetto leaders, the Treaty for Protection of Minority Rights and the rise of European facism. 58 min. pt. 3

A Yiddish World Remembered

Looks back at the all but vanished Jewish way of life that existed in eastern Europe before World War II. Through archival films, vintage photographs, traditional cantorial and Klezmer music, and personal recollections, once-vibrant cities and small towns come alive again. The few remaining eyewitnesses share their compelling stories about life in the close knit communities where rabbis settled disputes, yentas gossiped, and boys dedicated themselves to learning. Directed by Andrew Goldberg.

Children Must Laugh (Mir kumen on)

Producer, Medem Sanatorium ; cinematography, Stanislaw Lipinski. One of the few surviving documentaries depicting pre-war Jewish life in Poland and life at the Jewish Labor Bund's Medem Sanatorium, a model residential children's institution. The Medem Sanatorium, which existed from 1926 through 1942, stood as a symbol of health and enlightenment. Originally released in 1938. In English and Yiddish with English subtitles. Dist.: National Center for Jewish Film. 94 min.

Comrade Abram

Originally released in 1919. A film by I. Ermolyev. One of thirteen single-reel agitki made to be shown on the agit-trains that carried propaganda across post-revolutionary Russia. It focuses on Abram Hersh, a young Jewish pogrom survivor, factory worker and organizer in Moscow who rises to leadership in the Red Army. This short emphasizes Hersh's suffering and heroism as both worker and Jew, and promotes solidarity over antisemitism. 19 min.

Echoes that Remain

A study of Jewish Shtetl life before the Holocaust. Combines hundreds of rare archival photos and previously unseen film footage, with live action sequences shot on location at the sites of former Jewish communities in Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, and Romania. Director, Arnold Schwartzman ; editor, Roy Watts ; producers, Arnold Schwartzman, Rabbi Marvin Hier. Dist.: Simon Wiesenthal Center. 1991. 60 min.

Image Before My Eyes: A History of Jewish Life in Poland Before the Holocaust

A photographic history of Jews in Poland between the two World Wars that pays homage to the dynamic and vibrant society of 3.5 million people that was destroyed during the Holocaust. Unearthing the stories of Jewish villagers, scholars, socialists, Zionists, and artists who built a thriving culture during a 900-year history, this film draws on the artifacts of a vanished world -- photographs, home movies, songs and evocative interviews -- to recreate Jewish Poland. Director, Josh Waletzky. Originally broadcast on PBS in 1980. 88 min.

Jew on the Land.

Jew on the land is a semi-documentary about a Jewish experimental agricultural settlement in Russia. (also on same tape: Fruits ofLove, a silent Soviet comedy film in which a single man attempts to trick others into caring for his infant child. 60 min.

Jewish Life in Bialystok.

Portrays the commercial, industrial and cultural center that was Bialystok, Poland in 1939, emphasizing the city's 200-year-old Jewish community. Dist.: National Center for Jewish Film. 10 min.View this video online
Stephen Spielberg Jewish Film Archive

Jewish Life in Krakow.

Portrays the Krakow, Poland of 1939; includes commercial, industrial and cultural highlights, focusing on the Jews, their institutions, and their way of life. Dist.: National Center for Jewish Film. 12 min.View this video online
Stephen Spielberg Jewish Film Archive

Jewish Life in Lwa³w.

Now known as L'vov, in Ukraine, this city is shown as it was in early 1939, the Polish City of Lwow. Focuses on the Jews, one third of the population in 1939, their institutions, and their way of life. Dist.: National Center for Jewish Film. 10 min.View this video online
Stephen Spielberg Jewish Film Archive

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