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Film | Accession Number: 1996.166 | RG Number: RG-60.5043 | Film ID: 3406, 3407, 3408, 3409, 3410, 3411, 3412, 3413, 4693, 4694, 4695, 4696, 4697

Lanzmann filmed the few surviving Jews of Corfou, Greece. Many are craftsmen who experienced deportation to Auschwitz and Birkenau. Some interviews take place in the synagogue and the cemetery. Additional reels of location filming show local merchants and shops.

FILM ID 3406 -- Camera Rolls #4-11A -- Armando Aaron -- 01:00:08 to 01:24:10
Surviving Jews of Corfu walk down a street in Corfu, Greece with Lanzmann. The four survivors walk towards the camera. 01:03:05 Armando Aaron explains (in French) that on June 9, 1944, the Jews of Corfu (numbering 1,650) were ordered by the Germans to gather near an old Venetian fort in the city. 01:03:55 Two more takes of the survivors walking along a city street towards the camera. 01:05:04 [CLIP 1 BEGINS] CR9 The survivors approach the camera again and Aaron explains the deportation order (filmed near the site). Christians gathered to watch out of curiosity. Jews who didn't report were shot. Aaron refers to the Rikanati brothers - Jews who helped the Germans - and the level of anti-Semitism in Greece at the time. Jewish property was stolen by the Germans and given to the Greek state. He and the other survivors describe the terrible boat transport to Haidari camp (near Athens) and then by rail to Auschwitz, which took nine days. Only 65 Jews remain in Corfu today. He says it was very difficult to return to Corfu after the war. [sound out at 01:17:03, camera focuses on survivors' tattooed arm] 01:18:41 CR11 Aaron suggests that Corfu's Jews became "entertainment". Lanzmann presses him to explain why he is so afraid, even today. Aaron doesn't really respond and instead briefly explains the processing at the fort during the deportation again. 01:22:21 Silent CUs of survivors. [picture in and out at times; sound is intact throughout]

FILM ID 3407 -- Camera Rolls #15-21 -- Moshe Mordu -- 02:00:08 to 02:21:59
Establishing shots of an alley in Corfu filled with workshops of silversmiths and woodcarvers [picture in and out]. 02:02:33 CR17 Moshe Mordu hammers a metal pot. CU of the camp tattoo on his arm. 02:03:18 CR18 Another take of Mordu in his workshop. He reads the number on his arm (in Italian). He relates his experience at Auschwitz, Birkenau, Buchenwald, Mauthausen, and Dachau. He is the only survivor of his family. He speaks with tears in his eyes. He chants in Hebrew. 02:11:19 Picture out. 02:11:44 Silent CUs of Mordu's tattoo and face. 02:14:00 No image through the end of the roll. There is some conversation, but it is not coherent.

FILM ID 3408 -- Camera Rolls #30-34 -- La synagogue, part 1 -- 03:00:08 to 03:08:10
Religious services in the Corfu synagogue, filmed from various angles with many cuts. CUs of rabbi and Holocaust survivors praying, gathered at entrance. [picture in an out at times; sound is intact throughout]

FILM ID 3409 -- Camera Rolls #30-34A -- La synagogue, part 2 -- 04:00:07 to 04:05:31
Religious services in the Corfu synagogue, filmed from various angles with many cuts. Holocaust survivors praying, CUs of their tattoos. Rabbi leads the services. [picture in an out at times; sound is intact throughout]

FILM ID 3410 -- Camera Rolls #35,36B -- La synagogue -- 05:00:09 to 05:22:46
[CLIP 2 BEGINS] In the synagogue, Lanzmann speaks with survivors, including the rabbi, Mr. Mordu, Mr. Levi, Mr. Osmo, and others. He asks the rabbi (through an interpreter in Italian and Hebrew) if the survivors believe in God, if their faith was shaken because of Auschwitz. The rabbi says that Israel was God's miracle. 05:07:42 Levi joins the conversation. 05:08:20 CR36 Levi says that he did not believe in God after seeing the gassing with his own eyes from where he worked at the camp. The men say that the Jews of Corfu were faithful before the Holocaust and that Jewish life was strong (at times talking over one another). 05:14:57 CR36 A survivor talks (in Italian) about his experience in Buna when the Germans abandoned hospital patients eight days before the Russians liberated them in January 1945. 05:21:47 Picture cuts out. 05:22:12 CUs, tattooed numbers.

FILM ID 3411 -- Camera Rolls #46-50 -- Marco Osmo -- 06:00:09 to 06:04:57
Establishing shots of an alley in Corfu filled with workshops of silversmiths and woodcarvers. Camera follows a man (Marco Osmo?) pushing a wheelbarrow delivering supplies. Multiple takes of the delivery man walking in the alley with the wheelbarrow, passing spectators and shoppers. 06:03:40 The camera focuses on Samuel Levi, another craftsman and survivor. There is no interview.

FILM ID 3412 -- Camera Rolls #67-73A -- Samuel Levi -- 07:00:08 to 07:30:13
Establishing shots of an alley in Corfu filled with workshops of silversmiths and woodcarvers. CUs of a woman setting up her metal shop in the alley. 07:02:56 [CLIP 3 BEGINS] CR69 Samuel Levi explains to Lanzmann (in Italian) the photographs of Dachau and his family members which are posted in his workshop. Levy talks about the loss of his family and working in Dachau's crematorium. He explains the process of poisoning victims in the gas chambers, of becoming sick with the odor of hair that burned, and how the Germans used ashes in their cannons. 07:07:14 CR70 Levi describes the experiences of family members and the crematorium at Birkenau. 07:12:30 CR72 He says that the Greeks were forced by the Germans to steal Jewish property. 07:17:10 Lanzmann asks about a letter convincing the Greeks to take Jewish property posted in his workshop, and Levi says that he put it there for the Greeks to remember what happened. A younger man reads the letter. 07:19:47 Silent CUs of the photographs and letter posted in Levi's workshop. 07:27:28 Silent CUs of Lanzmann in Levi's workshop.

FILM ID 3413 -- Camera Rolls #76-79B -- Armando Aaron -- 08:00:08 to 08:27:50
In a different location, Aaron explains (in French) that many Jews arrived at the roundup because they were afraid the villagers would denounce them. Lanzmann is in the frame; Aaron is the only survivor interviewed on this tape. All Jews gathered - the women, the sick from the hospital, and the insane too - which frightened Aaron who feared for the life of the whole Jewish community. [CLIP 4 BEGINS] Some civilian Greeks and Greek police assisted with the roundup. They were shut in an Old Venetian fort without food and water overnight for days. The Jews were then shipped by sea to Haidari, a camp near Athens, by way of several small ports. Many were terrified by the Gestapo guards. 08:11:20 CR77 Aaron reads the German declaration to the people of Corfu that justified the deportation, transferred commerce to the people of Corfu, and spread terror. 08:13:58 CR78 Aaron explains the dreadful boat trip and his escape to the mountains. He did not want to be killed before his parents. He reads the declaration again. 08:20:16 CR79 Aaron describes the proclamation and explains the extent of the plundering of Jewish property by the Greeks and the Germans that he observed upon return to Corfu in March 1945. Only 30 or 35 Jewish survivors live in Corfu today. 08:24:11 Sound ends, picture continues with silent shots of Lanzmann and Aaron talking. Greek flag in the BG of one shot. CUs of Lanzmann smoking.

FILM ID 4693 -- Corfu 37-43 Le Cimetiere Auschwitz
Moshe Mordu scrapes something off a tombstone while another man stands beside it. A woman walks over and points him to another grave. A group of survivors gather around one tomb. Some kiss their hand and then touch the stone. They converse with each other while waiting for filming to start. Crew sets up. Clapperboard: “Aleph Holocauste. Lanzmann-Glasberg. Cor 38” then "Bob 166”. Clapperboard clicks again for Take 39. MS, the walkway into the Auschwitz cemetery in Corfu, pan to the group of survivors. 00:04:15 CR 40 Armando Aaron, President of the Jewish community in Corfu, talks with Claude Lanzmann. He explains that the cemetery they are currently standing in opened in 1968. The cemetery that used to be there was destroyed after the German occupation. There is now a tomb within the cemetery to commemorate all those who were killed in Birkenau or other places in Poland and Germany; noone is actually buried there. Aaron goes on to explain how the Greek people that occupied their city after they were deported destroyed the cemetery in order to take the marble, pan over the survivors. 00:08:20 CU, the number tattooed on a woman's arm. The sound goes out for a few seconds. 00:08:48 CR 41 A woman starts telling her story. She was a nurse for a dentist and describes the order that came for all Jews to present themselves for deportation to Germany. She traveled by boat and was on a train for 22 days. She continues to talk about her arrival to the camp, being sent to the snowy mountain to work, and trying to survive the cold. Other survivors of the camp interject and correct certain statements the woman makes. Dialogue is heard but the picture runs out [orange]. 00:14:25 Cor 42 The woman sitting in the middle, Esther, describes her experience. She talks about the train car, being separated from her brother, and losing the rest of her family. 00:20:55 A man enters the frame and mimics the Nazis, making everyone laugh. The woman sitting on the right speaks about how the Greeks attacked Jewish people in the ghetto. The woman sitting on the left continues to describe witnessing and questioning the smoke/fire from the gas chamber, where her mother was murdered. She describes her ignorance and an encounter with another prisoner who encourages her to survive. 00:25:12 The woman sitting on the right begins to speak, but the camera cuts. COR 43 She speaks on how the camp was like a “blockade” and they were treated like animals. She remembers it like a bad dream. She speaks about people praying in line at Birkenau and questioning God. She maintained her faith in the camp. 00:28:46 Lanzmann asks the woman in the middle, Esther, if she believes in God and she responds no. She explains why, but the woman on the right begins to debate with her a bit. They continue to converse back and forth. The woman on the right begins to talk about her younger sister and eventually helping her out of a hospital. She explains their transfer to Saltzweger, in Germany, and a sympathetic Obersturmführer. 00:36:50 Picture cuts out, audio continues with the Corfu survivor sharing that her sister lives in Tel Aviv.

FILM ID 4694 -- Corfu 1-3. 79A Vue du Bateau (30:50)
Bob 154 Clapperboard: “Aleph Holocauste. Lanzmann-Glasberg” COR 3 Silent shots from a boat that slowly moves toward the city of Corfu. 00:02:15 Same shot from farther away. 00:07:32 Boat moves closer to land, people walk and ride their bikes along the cliffs. 00:10:55 CUs, buildings. 00:14:16 Bob153 COR 2 Closer to the cliffs again. 00:15:57 An old fort, probably the Old Venetian Fortress. 00:29:28 Bob 159 COR 1 More shots of the fort and the town of Corfu from an overlook. More shots from the boat, picture missing from 00:26:10 to 00:28:51. Waves and sunset on Corfu.

FILM ID 4695 -- Corfu 12, 22-29 Le Fiacre (14:00)
Clapperboard: “Aleph Holocauste. Lanzmann-Glasberg" COR 12 Streets of Corfu. A group of women pass by. One waves to the camera. 00:01:13 COR 22 Horse and carriage. COR 23 COR 24 The carriage takes the road along the water. COR 25 CU, decoration on the back of the carriage. COR 26 A similar shot. COR 27 CUs, the horse. Bob 162 COR 29 00:13:48 End.

FILM ID 4696 -- Corfu Commersants (Matelassiers, Ferblantiers) (24:40)
Clapperboard: “Aleph Holocauste. Lanzmann-Glasberg” COR 13 One of the survivors seen earlier sits in the doorway of a shop. Armando Aaron stands to the side with a woman. Bob 158 COR 14 People pass by the store front. 00:05:28 Locals and a crew-member walk through an alleyway. Run-down building. 00:06:50 COR 50 CUs, merchants. A woman shows the tattooed number on her arm. 00:08:24 COR 52 A woman sews and a man weighs the product. COR 53 The woman sews, CUs of the number on her arm. 00:11:49 COR 55 Men (possibly a rabbi) look down the street. A man performs a traditional dance, a crew member joins him, and he grabs a woman from the small crowd to dance. COR 57 COR 58 Men set up merchandise. COR 62 A survivor stands outside her store (refer to Film ID 4693 to listen to her story). She speaks but there is no audio. 00:18:45 COR 64 COR 65 A different woman is seen in the doorway of a shop. Lanzmann directs her to stand in a specific spot and she hangs a bird in a cage on a hook. Several shots of the street and the shop. A note inside the film canister includes names of individuals who may be pictured in this camera roll: Felice MATAVIA, Gerson and Esteher MATAVIA, Sabtai MATZA, Eliezer LEVI, Perla SUSSI, Anna MORDOU.

FILM ID 4697 -- Corfu La Ville L'Ancien Cimetiere (18:17)
Lanzmann walks down the lane. A couple passes on a scooter. More shots of the streets and buildings in Corfu. Sounds goes in and out. Rooftops and alleyways. 00:10:35 Construction behind some apartment buildings. More scenes of streets and buildings in and around Corfu. 00:17:52 People sit at the entrance of the old fort.

Event:  September 1978
Production:  1985
Corfu, Greece
Created by Claude Lanzmann during the filming of "Shoah," used by permission of USHMM and Yad Vashem
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 22:05:24
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