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Holocaust Documentary Films in Leavey Library (DVDs): Poland


Blinky & Me
"This documentary is of the life of animator Yoram Gross who moved from Poland to Israel and finally to Australia where he found fortune and happiness through animated features. Popular in Australia, his series about a koala named Blinky Bill reflects events in his early life. The video follows a trip he took back to Poland with his grandchildren."

Castaways = Wyrzutki
"A deeply moving short documentary about the desperate acts of condemned parents to save their children. Łapy was one of several stations in occupied Poland on the way to the Nazi death camp of Treblinka. Trains transporting Jews would slow down there and sometimes briefly stop while the tracks were being adjusted. Some parents tried to save small children by throwing them off the train; the last eyewitnesses to this story remember these times."

Chabad Rebbe and the German Officer
"The story of the rescue of the 6th Lubavitch Rebbe, Yosef Yitzchak Schneerson, from war-torn Warsaw in 1939 by half-Jewish German Spy Maj. Ernst Bloch working under direct orders of Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, head of the Abwehr, German Military Intelligence. Canaris was part of a back-door deal between Germany & the US government."

A Day in the Warsaw Ghetto: A Birthday Trip in Hell
"Presents illegally taken photographs from inside the Warsaw Ghetto in 1941 by Heinz Joest, a German soldier, on his 43rd birthday. Combines his pictures with a multi-voiced dramatic narration taken from hidden ghetto diaries."

Diamonds in the Snow
"This documentary tells the story of three Jewish children from Bendzin, Poland, who survived the Nazi Holocaust. These women, one of whom is the filmmaker herself, recount their memories of a childhood spent hiding from the Nazis and reflect on those individuals and families who helped them survive. Rare archival film and photos interspersed with interviews document a tragic historical period."

A Film Unfinished
"At the end of WWII, 60 minutes of raw film in an East German archive was discovered. Shot by the Nazis in Warsaw in May of 1942, the film became a resource for historians seeking an authentic record of the Warsaw Ghetto. The later discovery of a long-missing reel, including multiple takes and cameramen staging scenes, complicated earlier readings of the footage. Presented is the raw footage in its entirety, falsely showing the 'good life' of Jewish urbanites. Included is an interview, and more."

Hiding and Seeking: Faith and Tolerance after the Holocaust
"The dramatic and emotional story of a Jewish father who journeys with his two ultra-Orthodox sons back to Poland to try to find the Christian farmers who hid their family from the Nazis."

How Much to Remember: One Family's Conversation with History
"Fifty years after leaving Poland, Celia and Morris Elbaum return to their homeland bringing the children and grandchildren with them. The film accompanies this family on their journey and explores the legacy of the Holocaust from the vantage point of three distinct generations. How Much to Remember invites the viewer to mourn along with the survivors and their families, to understand and identify with their loss and to see it as their own as well."

Irena Sendler: In the Name Of Their Mothers
"This is the story of 29-year-old Irena Sendler, who saw the suffering of Warsaw's Jews, reached out to her most trusted colleagues for help, and outwitted the Nazis during World War II. Together, they rescued over 2,500 Jewish children. Expertly captured is the will and character of the women of the resistance against the backdrop of occupied Poland."

Karski & the Lords of Humanity
" is a feature-length partially animated documentary project. The film tells the story of a member of the Polish underground who acted as a courier during World War II and whose most prominent mission was to inform the Allied powers of Nazi crimes against the Jews of Europe in an effort to prevent the Holocaust. Jan Karski infiltrated the Warsaw Ghetto and a Transit Camp and carried his dreadful eye-witness report of the atrocities to Britain and the United States, hoping that it would shake the conscience of the powerful leaders or - as Karski would call them - the Lords of Humanity."

The Legacy of Jedwabne
"Feature-length documentary that tells the story of a pogrom in 1941 in Jedwabne, Poland and explores the implications of the past for present constructions and negotiations of personal, national and religious identity."

Line 41
"A revealing documentary that explores the history and psychology behind the complex triangle of perpetrators, bystanders, and victims in Holocaust-era Poland."

Little America: The Story of the Jewish Community of Mezritch
"The flourishing and destruction of the Jewish community in Mezritch, Poland"

Łódź Ghetto
"Regarded as the most authentic film about the Jewish life within the Holocaust, this documentary uses the diaries of a single community to reveal the heroic struggle of 250,000 people trapped in the longest surviving Jewish community in Nazi Europe."

The Lonely Struggle: Marek Edelman, Last Hero of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
"Mark Edelman, a cardiologist in Lodz, is the sole surviving member of the leadership of the Warsaw Ghetto resistance. Dr. Edelman gives us an insider's account of the few hundred Jewish youngsters who encouraged the decimated ghetto population to rise up against the Germans and fight to the last. Shot in Warsaw."

Luboml: My Heart Remembers
"Shows daily life in the predominantly Jewish market town of Luboml in prewar Poland through the use of archival photos, film footage, and interviews with former residents. Also recounts the the Nazi destruction of the Jewish community and the execution of the Jewish citizens in 1942."

My Dear Clara
"When Clara Greenspan left Montreal for Warsaw in June of 1938 she could not have known how her personal destiny would soon become intertwined with the events about to unfold in Europe. Set in Canada, Poland, Russian, and Germany, between 1938 and 1947, My Dear Clara interweaves love letters, personal diaries, family photographs, official correspondence and rarely seen archival footage. The film tells the dramatic story of a Polish Jewish refugee's struggle for survival alongside his Canadian wife's unflinching battle to change her government's immigration policies."

Partisans of Vilna: The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During World War II
"Skillfully blended songs, newsreels, and archival footage with interviews of over forty Holocaust survivors to paint an eye-opening portrait of the courageous Jewish resistance who staged a sabotage offensive against the Nazis in the Polish city of Vilna."

Photographer: Lodz Ghetto Through the Eyes of Walter Genewein
"In 1987, in a Viennese shop, hundreds of color slides from World War II were found. It turned out they had been made in the Lodz ghetto by a skilled amateur photographer named Walter Genewein, chief accountant on the ghetto council and a proud member of the Nazi party. In this documentary, filmmaker Dariusz Jablonski combines Genewein's disturbing images of ghetto life with the recollections of Dr. Arnold Mostowicz, the last surviving witness of the events portrayed, to create an important testament to the suffering and subsequent extermination of the ghetto's Jews."

Powieđz mi, dkaczego?
"Jurek and Stella tell of their love for each other and how it enabled both of them to survive the Holocaust. They describe their life in Poland during World War II and tell how they were able to avoid detection until Jurek was arrested and sent to Auschwitz. Jurek tells how they lost contact with each other in the last months of the war and of his efforts to trace her and make contact. They tell their stories against the backdrop of Jurek's efforts to once again see Stella in person."

A Promise to My Father: One Survivor's Journey through the Holocaust
"Follow Holocaust survivor Israel Arbeiter as he returns to Poland for the final time to look for items buried in 1939 in the basement of his old home as the German army advanced. He also visits the Treblinka death camp where his parents and younger brother were murdered, and to other camps, most notably Auschwitz-Birkenau, where 'Izzy' used the motivation of his father's final words to him to stay alive."

Return to My Shtetl Delatyn
"Filmmaker Willy Lindwer traveled with his father Berl Nuchim Lindwer, and his daughter Michal to Galicia (now Poland & Ukraine) to retrace the route his father had taken six decades earlier, escaping from he Nazis and to see how the area and its inhabitants had changed. This film contains unique historic footage of pre-war life in the shtetls."

Samuel Goldwasser
"Samuel Goldwasser talks about his life and survival during the holocaust."

"The Nazi extermination of Jews is examined through interviews of survivors, witnesses and perpetrators and through footage of the sites of the death camps and environs as they appear today."

"In 1942, 2,500 Jews from Bransk, Poland died in Treblinka's gas chambers. Their shtetl died with them. Uncover the true story of Jewish life in Bransk before and after WWII. Starting as a pilgrimage by a Holocaust survivor from Bransk to uncover his roots, the quest is joined by a young Polish Gentile historian from Bransk who is also driven to discover the mystery of the last Jewish community."

Smierć Zygielbojma = Zygielbojm's Death
"Video tells the story of Szmul Arthur Zygielbojm, an important member of Warsaw's Jewish Bund prior to the Nazi occupation. After trying unsuccessfully to enlist aid for Poland from other countries, Zygielbojm committed suicide in 1943. The story is told by Szmul's brother Reuven, who travels to modern day Warsaw and London to explore the incidents leading up to Szmul's suicide."

Song of the Lodz Ghetto
"Klezmer super group Brave Old World's haunting musical program of songs from the Lodz ghetto is the framework on which producer/director David Kaufman has created his definitive new documentary on the Lodz ghetto. It features extensive interviews from the survivors of the Holocaust from Lodz. It focuses on the lives of two historical figures: the beloved and popular street-singer, Yankele Herszkowicz, whose remarkable songs lifted the spirits of the Jews of the ghetto when their lives were full of despair and whose own tragic life mirrored that the fate of Polish Jewry; and the despotic, Nazi-appointed Jewish leader of the ghetto, Chaim Rumkowski."

Spark Among the Ashes: A Bar Mitzvah in Poland
"Tells the story of Eric Strom, a thirteen-year-old Connecticut boy, who journeyed to Kraków, Poland, with his family to take part in the first bar mitzvah held in Kraków in forty years, an occasion that became the center of controversy."

The Story of Chaim Rumkowski and the Jews of Lodz
"Shows the efforts of German-appointed leader Chaim Rumkowski to save the Jewish community during the Nazi occupation of Lodz, Poland, in World War II. Documents Rumkowski's establishment of an entire society, including schools, industries, and a postal system. Relates intimate details of life in the last surviving Jewish ghetto in Poland."

Saved By Deportation: An Unknown Oddysey of Polish Jews
"This film tells the story of seven deportees, who in 1940 were sent to Gulag labor camps."

Surviving Auschwitz: Children of the Shoah
"This documentary draws on interviews with two women who recount their experiences as child survivors of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the Nazi death camp. In the summer of 2004, the two women journeyed to Auschwitz accompanied by their own children and a WGVU film crew."

Tango of Slaves
"Story of Ilan Ziv's and his father's journey to the latter's former home Warsaw. Failing to find any documentary proof of it the film explores the only traces that are still left of the Warsaw ghetto - still photographs and documentary material produced by German soldiers, private individuals or Ministry of Propaganda professionals."

Tsvi Nussbaum, a Boy from Warsaw
"Many of us are familiar with the photograph of a little boy, his arms raised in surrender, as a German soldier trains his machine gun on him. The photograph has come to symbolize the suffering of the entire Jewish people during the Holocaust. Who was this little boy? Did he survive the War? Where was the photo taken & under what circumstances? This video, about the life of Tsvi Nussbaum, answers all of these questions. Dr. Naussbaum, a physician residing in New York State, provides us with a moving personal testimony of that era. Orphaned at age seven & having lost four generations of his family in the Holocaust, we come to better understand the anguish & isolation of the youth in that photo."

The Warsaw Ghetto
"Created for the Jewish Historical Institute as part of its permanent exhibit on the fate of Warsaw's Jews during the period from 1939 to 1945. They present the daily lives and deaths of those imprisoned in the ghetto, their hopes and efforts to survive, their armed resistance and struggle, and finally their total extermination." - LogIn Productions website

Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
"Beginning with the Nazi invasion of Poland, we are led step-by-step through the deportations, life in the ghetto, the formation of a resistance organization and finally the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Utilizes archival film footage, authentic still photographs, and actual testimony of survivors."