Julien Bryan recorded countless hours of film footage of Nazi Germany in 1937, depicting the German people at work and at play, Hitler Youth groups, Nazi leaders, daily life in cities and on farms, and evidence of anti-Jewish measures. He filmed the Goldschmidt Jewish private school shortly after Jews were no longer allowed to enroll in public schools (students in the classroom include Trudi Goldschmidt, the daughter of the school’s founder Dr. Leonore Goldschmidt, Margot Segall, who writes on the blackboard in Hebrew, and Stella Goldschlag, who passed as Aryan during the war and reportedly betrayed Jews in hiding). When Bryan returned to the United States, he regularly toured the country to lecture about what he had seen and to convey the threat that he thought the Nazis posed to peace in Europe. At a presentation in 1938, he said “This is a special Jewish school. Probably by this time all of you realize… [there are] no Jewish faculty in any university, or high school, or elementary school…. This country which five years ago was… one of the most civilized among the countries in the civilized world. And back today to the Inquisition…. To my mind, in another five years there will be very few of these five hundred thousand Jews left alive.” The ‘wavy positive scribe’ or cross-hatching that constantly appears across the frame was added to the 35mm film print by a motion picture stock footage facility where Julien Bryan stored his original materials in the 1970s and 1980s. It was done to prevent people from copying the footage without permission. Unfortunately, the signature is deeply etched into the emulsion and cannot be repaired.
Find out more about this film footage in the online Film and Video catalog »