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Faivel Ziegelbaum

Film | Accession Number: 1996.166 | RG Number: RG-60.5072 | Film ID: 3882, 3883

The story of Szmuel (Artur) Ziegelbaum through his brother, Faivel. Faivel reads his brother's letters and occasionally offers his own reflections. This interview took place in Tel Aviv.

FILM ID 3882 -- Zygielbojm Camera Rolls 1-11
In Israel, in several takes, Faivel Zygielboim reads a letter which his brother, Szmuel (Artur) Zygielboim wrote, preceding his suicide. In the letters, Artur describes the powerlessness and guilt he feels at the conditions his family and thousands of others live in back home in Europe. After Artur wrote letters to Churchill and other leaders of Allied countries to no avail, he committed suicide. One of the last letters Artur received came from Jan Karski, begging for help from the rest of the world. Artur tried to convince those in positions of power to help, and even made a radio broadcast over the BBC, but his appeals fell on deaf ears. His last words were a plea to the collective human conscience. The last cable sent to Artur graphically describing the events of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, was likely never read by him as he committed suicide the night it was written on May 11-12, 1943. Faivel reads his brothers suicide letter. In his letter, he accuses the Allied countries for not making enough effort to help the Jews, and through passive observation labels them as accomplices. His suicide was in protest to the mass indifference of the world. At a family reunion in 1969, Faivel and his family found a photograph of Artur's daughter and wife after they had been murdered, possibly in Treblinka.

FILM ID 3883 – Zygielbojm Coupes
Silent shots of Faivel Zygielbojm in his apartment in Tel Aviv, Israel. CU on bookshelf; mostly books in Hebrew. Highlights Adam Czerniakow’s Warsaw Ghetto Diary. Pan of spines on bookshelf, across to picture frames of different drawings and family photographs. The camera stops on a black and white portrait of Szmul Zygielbojm. Zoom outwards to capture the entire wall, with Faivel seated on a couch in front of the wall, looking through a book. Surrounding him on the couch are his brother’s letters and other manuscripts. He looks up at the bookshelf and smokes a cigarette pensively. He looks over the book, open on the couch next to him. He smokes and flips through the book. Image cuts out at 3:26 and comes back at 3:35. CU on Faviel’s face as he reads. CU on his hands, flipping through letters from his brother. CU on face reading. Pan down to the letter in his hands. Faivel smokes and reads the letter to himself. CU on a handwritten letter from Szmul, dated April 6, 1941 from New York. Pan of the letter. CU on portrait of Szmul. Fuzzy image of a hand covering the camera lens. Image cuts out at 6:18.

Event:  September or October 1979
Production:  1985
Tel Aviv, Israel
Created by Claude Lanzmann during the filming of "Shoah," used by permission of USHMM and Yad Vashem
Record last modified: 2021-06-03 12:48:01
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