JRI Poland #Poland JGSLA "Three Minutes in Poland: Discovering a Lost World in a 1938 Film" with Glenn Kurtz - Tuesday, Sept. 8th in Los Angeles #poland
The Jewish Genealogical Society of Los Angeles invites you to our
Tuesday, September 8, 2015 - 7:30PM
American Jewish University- Sperber Library
15600 Mulholland Dr. Los Angeles 90077
"Three Minutes in Poland: Discovering a Lost World in a 1938 Family Film"
with author Glenn Kurtz
How did three minutes of film shot in 1938 reunite Holocaust survivors?
In the summer of 1938, David Kurtz, an American businessman on a
six-week European vacation with his wife and friends, made a home
movie that captured three minutes of life in his birthplace, the
Polish town of Nasielsk.
In 2009, his grandson, Glenn Kurtz stumbled across these old family
films in a closet in his parents' house in Florida, and was
especially taken by this one, shot more than 70 years earlier on
that vacation in Europe. The footage is a series of panoramic views
and seemingly unrelated scenes. It shows dozens of adults,
schoolchildren, the town synagogue, building facades, the interior of
a home, and what appears to be a restaurant.
Residents respond enthusiastically to the presence of the Americans
and their camera, vying to be part of the picture. As Glenn Kurtz
relates: "I realized it was 1938 and there are all of these beautiful
images of children and adults in this town, one year before World War
II begins. They"re so happy to be filmed, they're so excited to see
these Americans coming to visit the town..not knowing what was coming."
Kurtz set out to restore the film and find the people in it. Three
Minutes in Poland traces his four-year journey to identify those in
these haunting images: a search that took him across the United States,
to Canada, England, Poland and Israel, to archives, film preservation
laboratories, and an abandoned Luftwaffe airfield. Ultimately, he
encountered seven living survivors >from this lost town, including an
eighty-six-year-old man who appears in the film as a thirteen-year-old
boy. The book -- and the story behind it -- is a detective story,
genealogical quest and memorial to the vanished Jewish community of
Glenn Kurtz is the author of "Three Minutes in Poland: Discovering a
Lost World in a 1938 Family Film," which was selected as a "Best
Book of 2014" by The New Yorker, The Boston Globe, and National Public
Radio. The Wall Street Journal praised it as "captivating," and The
Los Angeles Times described Three Minutes in Poland as "breathtakin."
Glenn's first book, Practicing: A Musician's Return to Music, was
hailed by the New York Times as "a thoughtful and fluid meditation,"
and by Newsday as "the book of a lifetime."
Book sale and signing after the presentation. JGSLA members free.
Guests $5.00. More details and an excerpt >from the film at: