Suwalki street scenes, orphanage, and cemetery
Lottie Bland at the Suwalki cemetery. Ritual washing house [Taharah] by the entrance of the cemetery, plaque on wall with Biblical verses recited during the ritual washing, the washing table. Locals gather around the Bland family's car. Zlotke poses for the camera with a family member. Scenes on Kasciuszko Street, crowds. Suwalki city hall. A man collecting for the Talmud Torah. Harold pumps water at a well while his father Herman helps him. Two peasant women with a cart. Dr. Erdreich's apothecary store on Kosciuszko Street. Women wash clothes on a canal off of the Czarna Hancza River. Scenes of Make Ratsk, the poor section of town.
01:07:17 At the orphanage for the poor [Bet Yetomin], Lottie holds an orphan boy the Blands considered adopting but did not. 01:08:05 Orphanage administrators include Mr. Motzman (left), and Mrs. Ivry (far right). The orphans sing, the orphan boy stands in front of his peers and sings. Dancing the Hora. Children and staff eat a meal donated by the Blands. Buildings in Suwalki, including the Bas-Midrash with Star of David in the window.
01:16:03 Home for the Jewish Aged in Suwalki. The elderly exit building. Harold and Herman stand outside the Bikur Holim/Linas HaTzedek. A group of prominent members of the Jewish community of Suwalki, including Mordechai Weisberg, property owner and president of the Bicher Holim, Mr. Eilender, lumber merchant and member of the Jewish Council, and Mr. Gladstein, the watchmaker, stand outside the building. Desecrated grave erected a few days previously in Suwalki cemetery by the Blands. Grave stones for Lipsky, Zemansky, Grodzinsky, and Alexander Abramsky (who's uncle lived in Chicago at the time).
Record last modified: 2021-06-03 12:46:28
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Also in Bland Family Collection
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.
Country road. Lottie poses with locals and relatives, probably in Suwalki, including Peretz Lansky and his wife Razel, Nahum Lansky (01:00:10), Zawel Borodowski (man with cane), next to Labe Hirsch Borodowsky (man with hat), next to Rivka Borodowsky with her children David and Eliyahu Vinizky at 01:00:16, and Rachel and Shlomo Quint at the end of the group (cousins); some children, probably Avraham and Binyamin Borodowsky, hide behind Zawel. A different group poses for the camera on cobbled streets. The countryside around Filipow, LS of town square. The American Blands arrive in a horse-drawn wagon. Cemetery of Filipow, distant view and close-ups of several head stones. Rabbi and the gates of the cemetery. The front of the synagogue in Filipow. CU of horse cart displaying required license for the butcher, Zawel Borodowski. The Americans walk through town. 01:08:20 Bland relatives in Filipow with worn shoes and some with bare feet. The young woman at the top of the stairs is Rachel Lea Borodowsky (01:08:26). Harold drives a horse-drawn cart, and rides a horse. 01:09:43 Digging and transporting peat from peat bogs. Filipow from below. Young children play in bogs and ponds. CUs of town buildings made of stone, mud and wood, including a synagogue. 01:15:51 COLOR Farm houses in Filipow, pan of town. Unknown man stands with Herman. Road leading out of Filipow with local children.
INTs, the Blands socialize with friends and their families, possibly in Warsaw as can indicates. Bland relatives pose for the camera outside, probably in Suwalki. They attempt to get their dog to pose with them. More family and friends posing. 00:11:45 Harold chases ducks, Herman apprehensively visits a wooden outhouse in Suwalki. More family portraits and close-ups.
The Jewish quarter of Suwalki including Schul Gasse, the Big Synagogue of Suwalki. Market and Wesola streets with locals. The bi-weekly outdoor market in Suwalki. 00:03:02 Harold Brenner in dark jacket and hat holding birds with another young man. Pan, good CUs. 00:06:32 Herman, Lottie and Harold stand underneath the fishermen's stalls, conversing with the locals. Farmers bring in goods for the market by horse and wagon. An ice cream vendor's machine and a market stall containing horse shoes, wooden wash tubs, peat and logs for heating. 00:09:41 Livestock market scenes outside of Filipow. Herman claims to have traded horses here when he was twelve or thirteen. 00:10:06 COLOR Herman and Harold pet a goat.