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Film Gallery: Prewar Poland 1936–1937 Browse

Kazimierz (Jewish quarter in Krakow), 1936

When Julien Bryan and Jules Bucher convened for a screening thirty years after they filmed Krakow’s Jewish quarter, Bryan noted that “the shots of the ghetto are remarkable historical material…. The products: the geese, the ducks and the fowl being sold were of good quality and abundant.” Bucher remembered the Jews as quite cheerful and cooperative: “Many of them came out and wanted to have their pictures taken. There were a number of candid shots where they paid no attention.” Through their camera lens, Bryan and Bucher recorded the once vibrant Jewish life before the Holocaust, as well as the Izaak synagogue (which still stands today) and a view of the street that was famously documented by renowned photographer Roman Vishniac. What they could not relate on film, however, was the “great amount of anti-Jewish feelings [in Poland].… Even a cosmopolitan and educated man told us that the Jews in the ghettos who pretended to be so poor had millions in gold under their beds.”

Find out more about this film footage in the online Film and Video catalog