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Hand-colored glass slide

Object | Accession Number: 2003.214.101 | RG Number: RG-10.479

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    Brief Narrative
    Photographer Julien Bryan comforts a ten-year-old Polish girl named Kazimiera Mika, whose older sister was killed in a field in Warsaw during a German air raid. In the words of photographer Julien Bryan, "As we drove by a small field at the edge of town we were just a few minutes too late to witness a tragic event, the most incredible of all. Seven women had been digging potatoes in a field. There was no flour in their district, and they were desperate for food. Suddenly two German planes appeared from nowhere and dropped two bombs only two hundred yards away on a small home. Two women in the house were killed. The potato diggers dropped flat upon the ground, hoping to be unnoticed. After the bombers had gone, the women returned to their work. They had to have food. But the Nazi fliers were not satisfied with their work. In a few minutes they came back and swooped down to within two hundred feet of the ground, this time raking the field with machine-gun fire. Two of the seven women were killed. The other five escaped somehow. While I was photographing the bodies, a little ten-year old girl came running up and stood transfixed by one of the dead. The woman was her older sister. The child had never before seen death and couldn't understand why her sister would not speak to her... The child looked at us in bewilderment. I threw my arm about her and held her tightly, trying to comfort her. She cried. So did I and the two Polish officers who were with me..." [Source: Bryan, Julien. "Warsaw: 1939 Siege; 1959 Warsaw Revisited." Warsaw, Polonia, 1959, pp.20-21.]
    1939 September
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Julien Bryan Archive
    Photographer: Julien H. Bryan
    Julien Hequembourg Bryan (1899-1974) was an American documentarian and filmmaker. Bryan traveled widely taking 35mm film that he sold to motion picture companies. In the 1930s, he conducted extensive lecture tours, during which he showed film footage he shot in the former Soviet Union. Between 1935 and 1938, he captured unique records of ordinary people and life in Nazi Germany and in Poland, including Jewish areas of Warsaw and Kraków and anti-Jewish signs in Germany. His footage appeared in March of Time theatrical newsreels. His photographs appeared in Life Magazine. He was in Warsaw within days of Germany's invasion of Poland in Sept. 1939 and remained throughout the German siege of the city, photographing and filming what would become America's first cinematic glimpse of the start of World War II. He recorded this experience in both the book, "Siege" (New York: Doubleday, Doran, 1940), and the short film, "Siege" (RKO Radio Pictures, 1940), nominated for an Academy Award in 1940. In 1946, Bryan photographed the efforts of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Agency in postwar Europe.

    Physical Details

    Object Type
    Lantern slides (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    Handcolored glass lantern slide; centered medium view of Bryan holding camera and comforting 10-year-old Kazimiera Mika. Inscribed with "EDWARD VAN ALTENA/71-79 W. 45TH ST. N.Y.C." on mat on either side.
    overall: Height: 3.200 inches (8.128 cm) | Width: 4.000 inches (10.16 cm)
    overall : glass

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    Sam Bryan transferred the copyright for the Julien Bryan Archive to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in April 2020. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum places no restrictions on use of this material and you do not require further permission from the Museum to reproduce or use this film footage.

    Administrative Notes

    The lantern slide was acquired by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2003.
    Record last modified:
    2022-07-28 17:50:08
    This page:

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