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Nazi Propaganda - The Unfinished Film

The Germans Film Life in the Ghetto

"An Unfinished Film"


An unfinished Nazi propaganda film of the Warsaw Ghetto, simply titled “Das Ghetto” and discovered by East German archivists after the war, was used by scholars and historians as a flawed but authentic record of ghetto life.


Shot over 30 days in May 1942 — just two months before deportations to the Treblinka extermination camp would begin. The film was released as part of a Documentary directed by Yael Hersonski in 2010.


During the shooting of the actual film by the Germans in the Warsaw ghetto and Adam Czerniakow, the Judenrat Chairman recorded these events in his diary.


May 1 1942


German cameramen film staged scenes of Jewish police rounding up Jews in the Warsaw ghetto

Before 8 in the morning, a call from the Kommissar* ordering me to report at 8 A.M. at Bruhl Palace - in view of yesterday’s panic I thought some evil development was in store.


It turned out that some Propaganda functionaries had arrived, the Kommissar told me to give them a briefing on the ghetto, which I preceded to do. They are going to film the activities of the Council and life in the Quarter.


From my office they left for the prison, at the Kommissar’s request they inspected a company of the Order Service in prison - they also watched as the Service was dispersing vendors at Lubecki Street.


May 2 1942


The German propaganda people are in the ghetto, they visited the prison and the refugee shelter at Tlomackie Street filming.


May 3 1942


In the morning at the Community; At 10 the film crew from the Propaganda Office arrived and proceeded to take pictures in my office. A scene was enacted of petitioners and rabbis entering my office. Then all paintings and charts were taken down. A nine-armed candlestick with all candles lit was placed on my desk.


May 5 1942


The film crew is still much in evidence. They are filming both extreme poverty and the luxury (coffeehouses). The positive achievements are of no interest to them.


May 6 and 7 1942


The Kommissar told us to get in touch with the film-makers; we are to make civilian clothes for them, which they apparently need for work.


Jews were being filmed in the streets.



May 12 1942


In the morning at the Community; Franz Avril arrived with the film-makers and announced that they would shoot a scene at the ritual baths on Dzielna Street. They need 20 Orthodox Jews with earlocks and 20 upper class women.


In addition a demonstration of circumcision, this is to be arranged on orders by Dr. Milejkowski. Since the actor weighs 4.4 pounds there is danger that he may not last that long.


Read more here: www.holocaustresearchproject.org/holoprelude/unfinishedfilm.html


The Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team



Copyright Carmelo Lisciotto H.E.A.R.T 2011

Copyright Carmelo Lisciotto H.E.A.R.T 2010

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