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Synagogue in Moscow, Jews praying

Film | Digitized | Accession Number: 2014.534 | RG Number: RG-60.1824 | Film ID: 4167

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    Synagogue in Moscow, Jews praying


    A crowd of people gather for the High Holidays. A woman places something into a man’s palm. The crowd continues to move around. Men and women exit the Moscow Choral Synagogue en masse. A group of men stand together listening to something. Men and women exit the synagogue. Four men and one woman stand still, looking at the camera. A young boy smiles at the camera, and then a bearded man. People keep walking past, some look up and smile at the camera. Others just glance. Some stop and stare. Men exit, some wearing prayer shawls. Stained glass eight-point star above the doorway. Four women and one man sit on a bench and stare at the camera. Multiple different shots of people of all ages looking at the camera, all in the area of the Moscow Choral Synagogue (the backyard of the synagogue, the back entrance, and the main entrance). Another man wearing a tallit (Jewish prayer shawl). Two men exit the synagogue, the first is wearing a tallit and holding a prayer book. Two other men in prayer shawls walk down the street. Many people exit through the main entrance, two wide open doors. 01:10:48 A sign in Hebrew is posted on the side of a building. People gather outside of the entrance with a classical style façade, waiting to enter. 01:11:25 Men sitting wearing Jewish prayer shawls. More people standing around, other sitting on the curb. People walking up the street.
    Event:  Fall 1934
    Moscow, Soviet Union
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, gift of Peter Gessner
    Camera Operator: Robert J. Gessner
    Robert Gessner was born on October 21, 1907 in Escanaba, MI. He obtained a B.A. from the University of Michigan in 1929 and a M.A. from Columbia University in 1930. He started teaching at New York University in 1930. He married Doris Lindeman on May 27, 1938 and had two children, Peter and Stephen. Mr. Gessner was a screen playwright and the author of several books, including "Massacre" (1931); "Broken Arrow" (1933); "Some of My Best Friends are Jews" (1936); "Treason" (1944); "Youth is the Time" (1945). He was a pioneer educator in motion pictures as an art form. Gessner founded the Motion Picture Department (now Cinema Studies) at NYU in 1941, the first four-year film curriculum leading to a B.A. degree in motion picture studies in the United States. He finished his book "The Moving Image, A Guide to Cinematic Literacy" before he died in June 1968.

    Physical Details

    B&W / Color
    Black & White
    Image Quality
    Film Format
    • Master
    • Master 4167 Film: positive - 16 mm - b&w - A-wind - print - Gevaert
      Master 4167 Film: positive - 16 mm - b&w - A-wind - print - Gevaert
      Master 4167 Film: positive - 16 mm - b&w - A-wind - print - Gevaert
      Master 4167 Film: positive - 16 mm - b&w - A-wind - print - Gevaert

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    You do not require further permission from the Museum to access this archival media.
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Conditions on Use
    The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum places no restrictions on use of this material. You do not require further permission from the Museum to reproduce or use this film footage.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Film Provenance
    Robert Gessner was a Jewish American screenwriter and author of several books. He traveled to several European countries in 1934 and took films and photographs of his trip. His son, Peter, donated the collection to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in November 2014.
    Robert Gessner published a book in 1936 about his overseas travels called "Some of my Best Friends Are Jews"

    See RG-60.1832 and RG-60.1833 for more footage of the Moscow Choral Synagogue.
    Film Source
    Mr. Peter Gessner
    Record last modified:
    2024-02-21 08:00:35
    This page:

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