Three Minutes in Poland

Three Minutes in Poland

Discovering A Lost World in A 1938 Family Film

Book - 2014
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"The author's search for the annihilated Polish community captured in his grandfather's 1938 home movie. Traveling in Europe in August 1938, one year before the outbreak of World War II, David Kurtz, the author's grandfather, captured three minutes of ordinary life in a small, predominantly Jewish town in Poland on 16 mm Kodachrome color film. More than seventy years later, through the brutal twists of history, these few minutes of home-movie footage would become a memorial to an entire community--an entire culture--that was annihilated in the Holocaust. Three Minutes in Poland traces Glenn Kurtz's remarkable four-year journey to identify the people in his grandfather's haunting images. His search takes him across the United States; to Canada, England, Poland, and Israel; to archives, film preservation laboratories, and an abandoned Luftwaffe airfield. Ultimately, Kurtz locates seven living survivors from this lost town, including an eighty-six-year-old man who appears in the film as a thirteen-year-old boy. Painstakingly assembled from interviews, photographs, documents, and artifacts, Three Minutes in Poland tells the rich, funny, harrowing, and surprisingly intertwined stories of these seven survivors and their Polish hometown. Originally a travel souvenir, David Kurtz's home movie became the sole remaining record of a vibrant town on the brink of catastrophe. From this brief film, Glenn Kurtz creates a riveting exploration of memory, loss, and improbable survival--a monument to a lost world"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780374276775
Branch Call Number: 943.804 KURTZ
Characteristics: x, 415 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm


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Jun 11, 2015

Fantastic book. Unbelievable story. Makes me want to do some more research of my relatives from Poland.

Jun 02, 2015

A captivating account of the author's efforts to identify the Jewish people shown in the 3 minutes of amateur movie film taken by his great-grandfather during a visit to his great-grandmother's birthplace in rural Poland a year before the outbreak of World War 2 and the mass extermination of European Jews. The sleuthing moves along and takes unexpected diversions until the final 50 pages when the author gets bogged down in repetition, genealogy, and process. The book is illustrated with frames from the movie; and a map of Poland shows towns named in the book. The endnotes provide links to some incredible pre-war movies.


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