Dabrowa Gornicza, Poland
Jews walking on sidewalk, nicely dressed, past storefronts, including "Schumacherei". Jewish Stars marked "Jude" worn on clothing, mostly young adults. CUs. Funny angle up, Jewish star on clothes of boy and his dad. 01:00:24 Policeman passing quickly close to camera. 01:00:30 Large group of many smiling women with Jewish stars close together, elevated camera angle. CU, pan CU to more faces.
01:00:31 Wider shot, big crowd on street in front of building. Pan up brick building to window with bars, three men lean heads out window. CU men from elevated angle. Serious-looking man, grim woman, two boys smiling awkwardly at camera, man with beard. Crowd on street, CU. Crowd walking, smiles and excitement. Men arm in arm, pose for camera. Various CUs.
01:02:56 Old man with beard walks down street, people strolling down sidewalk. Large sign over shop, obscured by barred gate: "Schumacherei" [Shoemaker]. Two men wait for cue, then begin walking down street. Man carrying a mattress. A little girl and well dressed woman (no Jewish star badge).
01:03:48 Shtetl-like scene of unpaved street and low buildings in Dabrowa Gornicza. Pan of children in street. Close view of little girl. Pan of village street. Toddler with Jewish star plays with string, CUs. Man with pails of water. Cows. Men gesturing with hands as in livestock trade. 01:05:14 Pan of a box covered with black cloth and bearing a Star of David. Sign on the box with words in print and handwritten on three lines: "KOMITEE - [Unclear script] juedische Kultusgemeinde (Jewish Community) - Dombrowa 06". The object is about shoulder high. Camera pans slightly to close view of man in cap. Several shots of men, outdoors, fence in background. Three brief views of "KOMITEE" object with sign. CU, boy.
01:06:04 Alfred Rossner's sewing workshop, with sewing machines and hand sewing. Men and women all wearing Jewish stars. Row of six men at sewing machine, manager walks around. CUs one at a time on the sewing machines and the "sewer" SINGER. Big room of women with scraps piled up, lights hang down. MCU, pan CU, slow pan of two women cutting fabric into strips, throwing scraps. Pan of two women at table, cutting, sewing by hand, all very busy, serious, quiet. Nicely dressed VCU, a wedding ring on sewer's hand. 01:09:06 Men standing for camera, posing VCU, the tall man at right is the SS-appointed German manager of this textile factory, Alfred Rossner, who protected and saved some Jewish workers and has been named a "Righteous Gentile" by Yad Vashem. Machine stitching (good, some white spots). Faces of women, mid-20s, no smiles or just barely, with intense eyes. Women sewing by hand, wearing Jewish stars, all seated on bench.
01:10:22 Street scene. Young men looking up to camera, heads cut off at first, focus on the Jewish star. Old man VCU, with hat and glasses and beard. More shots of the crowd in the street, several walk past camera and into a doorway.
Filmed in neighboring locations in Upper Silesia, Poland: Dabrowa Gornicza, Sosnowiec, and Bedzin. Dabrowa Gornicza is in the vicinity of Auschwitz (Dabrowa is pronounced "Dombrova").
USHMM Photo Archive image #29876, obtained from Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz, appears to be a frame from this film, located at 01:07:32:10. The original BPK caption reads: "In der Schneiderei von Dombrowa - der "Judenstern" muss auch am Artbeitsplatz getragen werden. 1941". The National Archives catalog lists the film as "Dombrova, Poland."
Morris Rosen, USHMM survivor-volunteer, is from Dabrowa Gornicza and recognizes some of these people. He has provided some details and believes that all the footage shows Dabrowa Gornicza, including a poorer section. The scenes of people walking along the sidewalk past the "Schumacherei" are on Ulica Sobieskiego, according to Mr. Rosen.
According to Agnieska Sowa, a historian from the Silesian Museum [Muzeum Slaskie]:
-The scenes of people walking along the sidewalk past "Schumacherei" are on ul. Modrzejowska in Sosnowiec.
-The film dates to 1942 as the yellow Star of David with a black inscription JUDE was introduced at the end of 1941, and there is free access to Jewish districts for the Poles.
-The shtetl-like scenes beginning at 01:03:48 are in the Warpie district of the Bedzin ghetto, also known as Kamionka. In addition to Jews from Bedzin, there were also Jews from Oswiecem [Auschwitz] and the surrounding region in this ghetto.
-Alfred Rossner's sewing workshop, which had 6600 employees, is shown from 01:06:04 to 01:10:21.
Biography / History:
According to USHMM Photo Archive: "Bedzin, Sosnowiec and Dabrowa Górnicza are 3 neighboring towns in the Zaglebie District in southwest Poland. On the eve of WWII, Bedzin and Sosnowiec supported Jewish communities of c. 28,000 each, while Dabrowa had 5,000.... During 1940-41 the situation in [these locations] was considered somewhat better than elsewhere in occupied Poland. There, the Jews resided in open ghettos and their lives retained a semblance of normalcy."
For more information about Alfred Rossner, see the chapter in Mordechai Paldiel's book "Saving the Jews: Amazing Stories of Men and Women who Defied the 'Final Solution'" (2000).
1991.255.1 The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum purchased this from the National Archives and Records Administration in September 1991. The footage was obtained as research for the Museum's Permanent Exhibition.
National Archives & Records Administration (NARA), 242 MID 6198u
1"; Betacam SP; VHS
01:00:07 - 01:11:24