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Jewish families pose for camera; street scenes in Humenne

Film | Digitized | Accession Number: 1991.249.1 | RG Number: RG-60.0833 | Film ID: 412.1

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    Jewish families pose for camera; street scenes in Humenne


    Reel 2. Shows families (the Sommers, the Kleins, the Grosmans) in Humenne. Man greets the camera. Girls at play, dancing in a circle, including Zuzana Sermerova (b. 1924). Family group poses. CU sign, "Garage." Two men peel potatoes. Roof of garage building. Family members pose in front of gate. CU Judith Klein (sister of Bernard and Emery) in a baby carriage. Group of kids wave and walk to camera, CUs. Men walk to camera, one takes off suspenders, walks towards camera. Bernard and Emery sit in the grass with the movie camera case. CU, Judith in carriage. Family in garden; in front of house; in yard. (06:01) Ladislav Grosman with cap and knickers walks towards the camera with his sister. Other family members walk forward. They play ball, bicycle in BG, and pose with Judith in carriage.

    (08:51) Automobile. Street with shops. Man exits Klein shop, smoking a pipe. Elderly woman exits the family shop and walks towards the camera, and then in the garden. Klein family at house/garden. (10:57) Boys in hats (Bernard and Emery Klein) pose for the camera, joined by their mother Helen Klein, and a cousin [hatchmarks along right side of frame]. Waving at camera. A group of women singing (silent). Kissing. Family and friends pose again in the yard.
    Event:  1932
    Humenne, Slovakia
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Bernard and Emery Klein
    Camera Operator: Louis Sommer
    Subject: Harry Sommer
    Subject: Bernard Klein
    Subject: Emery Klein
    Subject: Ladislav Grosman
    Louis Sommer was born in Izbugya, Hungary and emigrated to the United States in 1899. He settled in Omaha, Nebraska where he owned a grocery business at the intersection of Dodge Street and 49th Street. Louis and his brother Harry visited their father Barnath and extended family and friends in Humenne, Slovakia in March 1932. They recorded Jewish families and businesses with a movie camera.
    Bernard and Emery Klein were born in Humenné, Slovakia. They had a younger sister, Judith (b. 1933); their mother was Jacob Grossman's sister; their father, Hermann Klein, owned a kosher and non-kosher meat market, farm and brick manufacturing company in Humenné. The Germans occupied the area in 1939 and started to deport the Jews in 1941. The Klein family was not deported until 1944 because Mr. Klein was an important farming advisor. The family was sent to Auschwitz without Bernard, who had become separated. Mrs. Klein and her daughter were immediately gassed upon arrival at the camp. Bernard was reunited with his brother and father at Auschwitz a month later. The three were sent to Gleiwitz where Emery and his father worked in a factory while Bernard worked in the concentration camp kitchen. In 1945, as the Russian army advanced into the area, the camp was evacuated to Blechhammer, another camp in the vicinity. The German guards fled the camp, leaving the prisoners. A few days later, the brothers, their father and several others began walking back to Humenné. The Klein family moved to Israel, Montreal, and eventually to Detroit, Michigan. Their cousin, Ladislav Grossman, also survived; he is the author of the award-winning film, "A Shop on Main Street" (1965).
    Ladislav Grosman was born in Humenne to a Slovak Jewish family, the son of a tanner and owner of a small shop selling leather and belts. His parents and three of his five siblings were killed during the German bombing of Ružomberok in 1944. He is the author of "The Shop on Main Street," which he adapted into a critically acclaimed Academy Award-winning film in 1965. During WWII, he worked in a brick factory in Humenné, was forced into military service without weapons (on racial grounds), and was eventually deported to a forced labor camp in Banská Bystrica. He later went into hiding. Grosman returned to the liberated Humenné in March 1945, but moved to Prague in September of that year. He earned an engineer's degree from the Political and Social University in 1949 and a PhD at Charles University in Prague. He worked as an editor for Czech publishing houses and a film studio. In 1968, he emigrated with his family to Israel and settled in Tel Aviv where he worked as a lecturer in Slavic literature and taught creative writing and screenwriting. Grosman died in 1981. His is survived by his wife, Edith, and son, Jiří.

    Physical Details

    B&W / Color
    Black & White
    Image Quality
    Time Code
    01:00:08:00 to 01:14:34:00
    Film Format
    • Master
    • Master 412.1 Film: positive - 16 mm - b&w - reversal original
      Master 412.1 Film: positive - 16 mm - b&w - reversal original
      Master 412.1 Film: positive - 16 mm - b&w - reversal original
      Master 412.1 Film: positive - 16 mm - b&w - reversal original
      Master 412 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - small
      Master 412 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - small
      Master 412 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - small
      Master 412 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - small
    • Preservation
    • Preservation 412 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - small
      Preservation 412 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - small
      Preservation 412 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - small
      Preservation 412 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - small
    • User
    • User 412 Video: DVD
      User 412 Video: DVD
      User 412 Video: DVD
      User 412 Video: DVD

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    You do not require further permission from the Museum to access this archival media.
    Emery Klein, Bernard Klein
    Conditions on Use
    The Museum does not own the copyright for this material and does not have authority to authorize third party use. Researchers must contact the Klein family (Ron Klein) for permission to reproduce or use this film footage in a production.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Film Provenance
    The five 16mm films were recorded by Louis and Harry Sommer when they visited their family Houmena (Humenne), Slovakia from Omaha, Nebraska in March 1932. Bernard and Emery Klein rescued the decaying films from their cousin, Beatrice Sommer, in the 1950s. The Kleins signed a release for the footage, ca. 1987, to The University of Michigan-Dearborn. Sidney Bolkosky at the University of Michigan-Dearborn sent a viewing copy to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in August 1991. The Kleins donated the original 16mm films to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2012.
    Film footage shows Štefánikova Street, aka Gross Street, where the Gross, Grosman, and Klein families (wealthy merchants) lived.

    The five original film reels are labeled: (1) Around Before LS Europe Trip (Film ID 2988); (2) My Trip to Europe - March 29, 1932 (Film ID 412.1); (3) My Trip to Europe Continued (Film ID 412.2); (4) My Trip to Europe Continued (Film ID 413); (5) Louis Sommer's Family Abroad (Film ID 2989).

    For more information, review the Oral History with Bernard and Emery Klein from May 23, 1984 at or RG-50.155*0228.

    Refer also to the Washington Post article on the first transport to Auschwitz with teenage girls from Humenne, including Edith Friedman Grosman:
    Film Source
    Bernard Klein
    Emery Klein
    File Number
    Legacy Database File: 2787
    Record last modified:
    2024-02-21 08:08:22
    This page:

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