Three Minutes in Poland: Discovering a Lost World in a 1938 Family Film

Three Minutes in Poland Discovering a Lost World in a Family Film Named one of the best books of by NPR The New Yorker and The Boston GlobeWhen Glenn Kurtz stumbles upon an old family film in his parents closet in Florida he has no inkling of its historical

  • Title: Three Minutes in Poland: Discovering a Lost World in a 1938 Family Film
  • Author: Glenn Kurtz
  • ISBN: 9780374276775
  • Page: 453
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Named one of the best books of 2014 by NPR, The New Yorker, and The Boston GlobeWhen Glenn Kurtz stumbles upon an old family film in his parents closet in Florida, he has no inkling of its historical significance or of the impact it will have on his life The film, shot long ago by his grandfather on a sightseeing trip to Europe, includes shaky footage of Paris and the SwNamed one of the best books of 2014 by NPR, The New Yorker, and The Boston GlobeWhen Glenn Kurtz stumbles upon an old family film in his parents closet in Florida, he has no inkling of its historical significance or of the impact it will have on his life The film, shot long ago by his grandfather on a sightseeing trip to Europe, includes shaky footage of Paris and the Swiss Alps, with someone inevitably waving at the camera Astonishingly, David Kurtz also captured on color 16mm film the only known moving images of the thriving, predominantly Jewish town of Nasielsk, Poland, shortly before the community s destruction Blissfully unaware of the catastrophe that lay just ahead, he just happened to visit his birthplace in 1938, a year before the Nazi occupation Of the town s three thousand Jewish inhabitants, fewer than one hundred would survive.Glenn Kurtz quickly recognizes the brief footage as a crucial link in a lost history The longer I spent with my grandfather s film, he writes, the richer and fragmentary its images became Every image, every face, was a mystery that might be solved Soon he is swept up in a remarkable journey to learn everything he can about these people After restoring the film, which had shrunk and propelled across the United States to Canada, England, Poland, and Israel and into archives, basements, cemeteries, and even an irrigation ditch at an abandoned Luftwaffe airfield as he looks for shards of Nasielsk s Jewish history.One day, Kurtz hears from a young woman who had watched the video on the Holocaust Museum s website As the camera panned across the faces of children, she recognized her grandfather as a thirteen year old boy Moszek Tuchendler of Nasielsk was now eighty six year old Maurice Chandler of Florida, and when Kurtz meets him, the lost history of Nasielsk comes into view Chandler s laser sharp recollections create a bridge between two worlds, and he helps Kurtz eventually locate six survivors, including a ninety six year old woman who also appears in the film, standing next to the man she would later marry.Painstakingly assembled from interviews, photographs, documents, and artifacts, Three Minutes in Poland tells the rich, harrowing, and surprisingly intertwined stories of these seven survivors and their Polish hometown I began to catch fleeting glimpses of the living town, Kurtz writes, a cruelly narrow sample of its relationships, contradictions, scandals Originally a travel souvenir, David Kurtz s home movie became the most important record of a vibrant town on the brink of extinction From this brief film, Glenn Kurtz creates a poignant yet unsentimental exploration of memory, loss, and improbable survival a monument to a lost world.

    • Three Minutes in Poland: Discovering a Lost World in a 1938 Family Film - Glenn Kurtz
      453 Glenn Kurtz
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      Published :2019-05-12T05:10:44+00:00

    2 thoughts on “Three Minutes in Poland: Discovering a Lost World in a 1938 Family Film

    1. Glenn Kurtz Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Three Minutes in Poland: Discovering a Lost World in a 1938 Family Film book, this is one of the most wanted Glenn Kurtz author readers around the world.

    2. I first read about this book in The New Yorker. After reading just a brief blurb, I knew I had to have it. After reading the book itself, I couldn't even talk for a while. The longer version of my thoughts about this book is here. David and Liza Kurtz returned from a six-week European vacation in 1938. Seventy-one years later, their grandson Glenn discovered some old film cans in his parents' closet. Luckily, some of those films had been transferred to video, and Glenn starts to watch one labele [...]

    3. Description: Glenn Kurtz discusses his book, “Three Minutes in Poland,“ inspired by a three minute film that his grandfather had made in a predominantly Jewish town in Poland one year before WWII broke out. The book consists of interviews, photographs, documents, and artifacts that tell the stories of seven survivors that lived in this town.Everything you need to know here.Sobering, those three minutes of ghosts. Unrateable.

    4. This will probably be my favorite book of the year. It starts as a historical detective tale - the author finds a homemade travel film made by his grandfather in 1938 that includes 3 minutes of film shot in the village of Nasielsk, Poland. These three minutes portray a small slice of life of the Jewish population that by the end of WWII will be reduced by the Holocaust to 100 people out of the town's 3,000 Jewish inhabitants.The author begins a quest to figure as much as he can about the film an [...]

    5. David and Lena Kurtz, two Jewish Americans whose families had emigrated from Poland in the late nineteenth century, returned to their homeland while on a European vacation in 1938, a little over a year before Hitler invaded Poland. David Kurtz, now a successful businessman, had purchased a video camera for the trip and recorded three minutes of their stay in Nasielsk, Poland, where David had been born. The footage fragments, shot in colour and black-and-white, shows a small town full of children [...]

    6. I read this book when I was asked to created the 1938 map frontispiece for the book. This is history up close. Glenn Kurtz folds time, forward and backwards, in many small stories told within the larger story of the second world war. A wonderful book.

    7. If you're at all interested in genealogy, particularly Eastern European (particularly Polish, Jewish) diaspora/holocaust survivorship, this seems like required reading. It's an impressive, highly detailed, personal journey (nay, quest), made accessible to the reader, and - if that's what you're looking for - I expect you'll find the experience hugely gratifying.Personally, I thought the book was worth reading, but my (individual) frustrations with it made it less than fully satisfactory.First - [...]

    8. I love this book! I first heard about it on NPR & when I went to LA a few weeks later in November 2014, I had planned to attend a reading with Kurtz in the Wilshire District, but I didn't make it. After reading the book, I wish that I had met the author. Kurtz's grandparents and their friends made a voyage to Europe in 1938, just before the start of World War II. They visited his grandfather's hometown, Nasielsk, Poland, where David Kurtz filmed three minutes of footage with a 16 mm home mov [...]

    9. The author discovered in a closet, old reels documenting his grandfather's own journey to Europe in 1938. Of these reels, three minutes documented his time spent visiting his childhood home town of Nasielsk, Poland. That the journey took place just before the town was taken over by Nazi's, and ultimately most of the Jewish residents killed, makes this documentation particularly relevant. The author began a search for the few survivors, most in their late eighties and nineties. Not only were thes [...]

    10. This was an amazing story! I must admit that I found the writing to be a bit tedious but I think that's because the author was very dedicated in documenting everything that he was told by the people whose stories he was listening to. The girl recognizing her grandfather's photograph when he was 13 years old was unforgettable. I also enjoyed watching the author discuss this book on YouTube.

    11. Glenn Kurtz discovers a family film taken in 1938, as his grandparents documented their holiday to Europe with friends. Within that movie, is three minutes of film taken in one of their home towns showing local people and businesses. Little did they know that most of the populations seen on the movie would be killed shortly in the next few years.So Glenn sends the film to the Holocaust museum and is contacted by several people from that village, some of whom appear on the film as youngsters seve [...]

    12. The author finds three minutes of film, documenting his grandparent's visit to a small village in Poland in the late 1930s. Within a few years, nearly everyone was murdered by the Nazi Germans. If handled ineptly, this book could have been boring or depressing, but the execution is marvelous. The stories of the survivors themselves are engaging, but the book also raises bigger questions. How is your own existence documented? What are the limitations of some of our current forms of documenting a [...]

    13. if judging by the fact that I cried six times, this book blew my mind. I loved every moment of the book, even while crying.

    14. Een boeiend boek, verteld door Glenn Kurtz. Hij is de kleinzoon van de joodse David Kurtz. Hij vertelt over de toevallige ontdekking van drie minuten film die zijn grootvader in 1939 opgenomen heeft in een Pools stadje. Nadat de film bewerkt is, zodat in ieder geval de inhoud van de film bewaard blijft, gaat de kleinzoon op zoek naar de achtergrond van de mensen die gefilmd zijn. Het blijkt om bewoners te gaan van de stad Nasielsk, de geboortestad van zijn grootvader. Glenn gaat op zoek naar ove [...]

    15. An American tourist, in 1938, while visiting the small Polish town, Nasielsk, 35 miles northwest of Warsaw, shot three-minutes of 16 mm Kodachrome movie film. Those few moments show details of this small-town about a year before the Nazi blitzkrieg. The author's grandfather was the filmmaker. As it is, movies of pre-war Poland are rare, especially of this particular town. Seventy years after its making, the film made using a base of cellulose diacetate plastic had deteriorated and required exten [...]

    16. This is an interesting story- the author discovered old film footage that his grandparents took while on vacation in Europe shortly before the start of WWII, and some of it captured life in a Polish town where the vast majority of the Jews were killed in the Holocaust, leading him to connect with the town's survivors to identify the people in the film. But the book is a lot longer than it needs to be, and there are a lot of boring details about film restoration that I had to skim.

    17. This superb book is not only a recounting of the amazing detective work by the author to identify the Polish town and people caught in three minutes of home movie footage shot by his grandfather in 1938--but a moving reconstruction of an entire world, lost 75 years before.

    18. I started out liking this book, it's interesting and well-written, but it got bogged down in too many details and became tedious.

    19. My great-great grandmother was an estranged sibling of Louis and Essie Malina, so it was fascinating to read more about where she came from.

    20. Author Glenn Kurtz discovered a few minutes of home movie footage that his grandfather filmed in 1938 while visiting the Polish town of Nasielsk. The film has a poignancy that Kurtz's grandfather couldn't have anticipated, because just months later the Germans would invade and most of the happy smiling faces in the film would face a horrific fate that would have been unimaginable to them at the time.Kurtz then does an impressive amount of research and manages to track down some survivors from Na [...]

    21. In summer of 1938, Liza and David Kurtz and three companions took a trip to Europe from their home in the United States. They toured central Europe and several of the places they visited were in Poland. Both had emigrated from small villages in Poland years before - David from Nasielsk and Liza from Berezne. While traveling, David Kurtz took film of their various stops, including three minutes in one of the Polish villages they visited. This film, along with other family photos and albums follow [...]

    22. From my own interest in discovering what I could about a couple uncles and an aunt and the circumstances of their lives, I had lots of interest in Kurtz's own efforts to unravel the people, places and relationships in a small town that his grandfather filmed during a visit from America in August 1938. Nasielsk was predominately Jewish and a year later those people were being murdered. Improbable as it is that Glenn found this film in a closet at his parents' when it was nearly disintegrated, eve [...]

    23. I admit to getting a bit overwhelmed with all the names, but it was worth it! I also first heard about this book on NPR and hunted it down through our library. I held onto it thinking that I would take a quick browse, but once I began reading I couldn't put it down!To say I "enjoyed" the book is as uncomfortable as "liking" someone's posting on Facebook about something horrible that happened to them, so I will instead say that the book was was an incredible piece of work! My husband's grandfathe [...]

    24. This book was really incredible. The author discovered that a family film shot during his grandparents' European holiday in 1938 depicts roughly 3 minutes of the Jewish quarter in a Polish town which was decimated during the war. He donated it to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, who sent the film away for preservation and put a digital copy of the film online. It was seen by a woman who recognized her grandfather in the film, and from there the author was able to identify many other people in t [...]

    25. The first half is slow, and filled with names of people and places that are confusing and unrelatable. Even to me, whose family comes from near the town the author is talking about in Poland, and who has an interest in Jewish genealogy. It's really in the second half that the book becomes more compelling on both the literal mystery level--what can we find out about the 3-minute film shot in Nasielsk in 1938?--but also on the human level. It's here that Kurtz's storytelling gets bigger and more r [...]

    26. Als mensen sterven, sterft een wereld met hen. De grootvader van de schrijver filmde in 1938 drie minuten in het Poolse stadje Nasielsk. Enkele jaren later zijn er van de oorspronkelijke 3000 Joodse inwoners maar een fractie meer in leven. Decennia later vindt de schrijver de familiefilm terug, en gaat hij op zoek naar de mensen die de camera heeft vastgelegd. Door te spreken met overlevers slaagt hij erin om een verdwenen, verwoeste wereld toch voor even terug tot leven te wekken. Je krijgt een [...]

    27. A friend recommended this knowing about my background in film preservation and interest in Holocaust studies. This book covered both of those topics perfectly and Kurtz philosophy on memory made it that much more insightful. I also really enjoyed Kurtz detailed narratives on the survivors' stories. They added more depth to this already well developed book and gave a very touching personal touch. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in Holocaust studies, film preservatio [...]

    28. September 1, 1939 was a Friday. To us now, it is a DATE. But to the three thousand Jewish residents of a small Polish town, it was just a Friday. By Sunday, Nazi tanks and troops were coming down the main street. In two years, most would be dead.And yet, we have three minutes. Three minutes of people going about an earlier Friday in 1938. Except some Americans came to town. With a camera.With patient and meticulous research, Glenn Kurtz is able to match names with faces, seventy four years after [...]

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