Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Rare color footage of Jewish life in the Shtetl before the Holocaust

In 1921, 550 Jews lived in the town of Wielopole Skrzyńskie, constituting about half of the local population. At that time, some 20 small Jewish factories were in operation there.

David Teitelbaum (1891-1972), an amateur filmmaker who was born in Wielopole, emigrated to the United States in the early 1900s and became a successful businessman. He would return to his hometown almost every year to visit his family, and in 1938, he filmed his trip. In June or July 1939 he traveled to Wielopole again, but only stayed for a short time, fearing that war was imminent. It is possible that some sections of the film were filmed on that last visit. The film features members of the Teitelbaum, Rappaport and Sartoria families, their neighbors and acquaintances.

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