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Bland Family Collection

Film Collection | Accession Number: 2015.253
Collection Summary
American Jews Lottie and Herman Bland took a trip with their two sons to visit their hometowns, Suwalki and Filipow, in 1937. The towns lie 15 miles apart in Northeastern Poland, near the border with Lithuania. Herman was a motion picture operator and theater owner and arrived in Poland equipped with a Bell and Howell 16mm camera. The four reels of film (mostly black and white with a few minutes of Kodachrome) are in excellent condition and show a variety of imagery depicting prewar Jewish life in an area of Poland from which we have very little footage. The donor of the collection, Harold Bland, was eight years old at the time of the trip. A Museum staff member collected the film from Mr. Bland at his home in Chicago, and also conducted an oral history in which he detailed his still quite vivid memories of the trip. Subjects include lengthy coverage of the Jewish orphanage and old age home in Suwalki, Jewish cemeteries in Filipow and Suwalki, the synagogue and market in Filipow, and townspeople creating peat bricks from bogs in Filipow. The Blands also encountered overt antisemitism – Harold reports that they saw graffiti reading “Kill the Jews” near the Suwalki market, and a desecrated gravestone in one of the cemeteries.
US Holocaust Memorial Museum, gift of Harold Bland
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Browse 4 Items In This Collection

Suwalki street scenes, orphanage, and cemetery

Film | Accession Number: 2015.253 | RG Number: RG-60.1763 | Film ID: 4130

Event:  Summer 1937

Jewish family in Poland

Film | Accession Number: 2015.253 | RG Number: RG-60.1764 | Film ID: 4131

Event:  Summer 1937

Cemetery, daily activity, and synagogue in Filipow

Film | Accession Number: 2015.253 | RG Number: RG-60.1765 | Film ID: 4132

Event:  Summer 1937

Jewish quarter in Suwalki; Market in Filipow

Film | Accession Number: 2015.253 | RG Number: RG-60.1766 | Film ID: 4133

Event:  Summer 1937
Record last modified: 2020-04-10 14:41:43
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