Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Palestine as a haven from persecution

Film | Accession Number: 2011.123.1 | RG Number: RG-60.1307 | Film ID: 2930

Bad quality footage at first. Scenes from World War II: planes, bombs falling, explosions, tanks, soldiers running across battlefields. Narrator describes it as "the face of war," and discusses the soldiers who fought. Images of Allied soldiers. A picture of an elderly Jewish man is shown, which the narrator describes as "more horrible still than even the face of warr," as it calls to mind the horrors of the Holocaust, the horrors of the deaths of millions, innocent and defenseless. Liberation of Nordhausen and other concentration camps.

01:04:02 Superimposed over a color map of Europe are the numbers of Jews killed in each country. The narrator introduces James McDonald, former High Commissioner of the League of Nations and Roosevelt's Chairman of the Commission on Political Refugees. McDonald delivers a short speech to the camera, in which he describes the necessity of creating a Jewish state in Palestine. After the horrors of the Holocaust, the lingering effects of antisemitism, and the destruction caused by the war, the vast majority of Jews will be unable to return to their homes in Europe.

01:06:06 Over a map of Palestine, the narrator names the large cities of Israel as well as some of the settlements. He describes the current state of Israel, and the taming of the wilderness of Galilee by Jewish colonists over the course of decades. Galilee, despite its beauty, is asserted to be a savage place of swamps and pestilence. The Arabs living on the land allegedly had primitive housing and sanitation. This is contrasted to a Jewish settlement. Nearby is a shrine to those who died asserting their claim to the land. Arabs on camels travel down a dirt road. A sign warns of malaria, prevalent in the "swamps" that constitute the landscape. A man is shown spraying pesticide in a marshy area. The Jewish colonists drain hazardous swamps, turning them into fertile farmlands and rooting out malaria in the process. Views of a settlement under construction: building, plowing, planting, harvesting, etc. The narrator scoffs at the stereotype that Jews aren't good farmers. Shots of a field with cattle and a new road. Bucolic shots of a settlement named after Leon Blum, the former French premier who was imprisoned by the Nazis.

01:15:42 Views of lakes and rivers while the narrator compares Jewish settlers to those who settled the American West and quotes Walt Whitman. Jews row boats on an inland lake. The Hatikvah plays over shots of fisherman at work. Women make fishing nets. Goat herding, bee-keeping. The narrator states that those Jews who were lucky enough to live in Palestine were spared the fate of the European Jews. Shot of corpses at the liberation of Nordhausen. More shots of Jews working the land which has been provided by the Jewish National Fund.

01:21:25 The narrator then turns his attentions to the cities. Views of the bustling city of Tel Aviv, the modern metropolis that appeared almost overnight. Shots of men at work on boats in the port of Haifa, the ancient city which has been thoroughly modernized and industrialized. Jerusalem, a center of progressive, modern, democratic learning and culture with an ancient heritage. Shot of the Jewish Agency building. Children arriving at school, as the narrator describes the revival of the Hebrew language. The Hebrew University is world-renowned, and Israeli hospitals are among the finest in the world.

01:24:29 Cut from the cities to the country. Infants, toddlers, and older children play outside. The narrator emphasizes Israeli children as the future that the Jews are creating for themselves.

Film Title
Land of Hope
Event Date
Haifa, Palestine
Jerusalem, Israel
Tel Aviv, Palestine
Nordhausen, Germany
Accessed at US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of The Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archives of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Expand all
Record last modified: 2018-04-26 13:44:31
This page: