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Famous performers visit Italian rest homes, 1948

Film | Digitized | Accession Number: 2019.562 | RG Number: RG-60.7108 | Film ID: 4476

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    Famous performers visit Italian rest homes, 1948


    Silent black and white footage from a JDC morale-boosting tour of famous performers to DP camps, convalescent homes, and hachsharot (vocational training collectives for those planning to settle in Israel) in Italy.

    01:00:03 EXT path lined with hedges and trees at an Italian rest home for refugees from Romania and Poland (repatriated from Russia after the Holocaust en route to Palestine) - possible locations include Preventorio anti-tubercolotico, the children’s convalescent home at Monte Mario, Grottaferrata Rehabilitation Center and ORT Vocational Training Center (outside Rome), and DP camps in Fermo, Sennigalia and Jesi. Buildings and surrounding landscape. CU musician plays trumpet; two men sing and play the accordion. Teenage boys and girls in costume perform, acting out a dramatic performance in a clearing surrounded by trees. Seated audience (refugees) watch, shielding their eyes from the sun. 01:01:49 Band (most likely Omanut, a refugee orchestra from a JDC Hachsharah near Rome, which toured Italian DP installations) stands behind podium painted with palm trees. Girls dance in a circle. The dance team and couple, Fred Berk and Katya Delakova, who fled Nazi-controlled Austria and married in America, take center stage. (They performed modern interpretative dance based on Jewish themes, Israeli, Hasidic and folk dances, gave workshops for DP audiences, and organized resident children’s pageants on Jewish themes.) The audience applauds. CU of young refugee watching from a blanket. CU man holds baby against his shoulder. Fred Berk and Katya Delakova continue to perform, fountain in the BG. A group dances in circles and lines. Man plays accordion as performers dance in a line before him. LS performers come out from among the trees carrying bundles of branches which they set on the ground and walk about. 01:04:56 Large group dances while holding each other's arms, some of the refugees have joined in. CU, little girl in a light colored sweater and dress walks towards the camera, smiling. More dancing. People listen to the accordion player and sing along. A young couple walks by the fountain on the path. LS, landscape in Italy, the trees sway in the breeze and hillside. HAS of the town.
    Event:  June-July 1948
    Accessed at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) Archives

    Physical Details

    B&W / Color
    Black & White
    Image Quality
    Time Code
    01:00:03:00 to 01:06:36:00

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    You do not require further permission from the Museum to access this archival media.
    American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
    Conditions on Use
    This film can be licensed from the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) Archives (

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Film Provenance
    The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum jointly preserved this film from the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee Archives in early winter 2020 and obtained digital scans of the film in April 2020.
    In order to possibly identify the musicians, check YIVO's Leo W. Schwarz Papers, especially Subseries 6: Education and Cultural Activities Department, Folder 423: Tour of Della Kova and Berk, 1948 ( The Schwarz collection includes correspondence, programs, photos and even ID cards of performers who toured DP camps for the JDC.

    Fred Berk (initially Fritz Berg) and Katya Delakova were born in Vienna and both studied modern dance (Ausdruckstanz) with Gertrud Kraus in Vienna. Fred Berk left Austria after the Anschluss through Switzerland, England, and Cuba where he stayed in Havana until 1941 giving many dance recitals. Katya Delakova waited until the last moment in Vienna (with her Yugoslavian passport as a married/divorced woman) and was able to travel to New York thanks to part of her family who was already in America. Fred and Katya met in New York and got married in 1946. They took part in the artistic postwar tours organized by the JDC in the DP camps in Europe.
    Copied From
    16mm, B&W Reversal, No Sound
    Film Source
    American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
    Record last modified:
    2024-02-21 08:05:08
    This page:

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