Familiar face in old home movie leads to moving tale of Holocaust survival

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A recently discovered film, shot over 70 years ago, offering a rare glimpse at a Jewish community in Poland on the eve of the Holocaust was presented at an emotional event in Northbrook Tuesday night.
For one local family, it was more than a look back at a dark time in history, it is a chance to see their personal history brought to life.
The home movie was shot in August of 1938 in Nasielk, Poland – a primarily Jewish community wiped out by the Nazis almost exactly one year after this film was shot.
Paul Chandler and his family in Chicago stumbled onto the film online simply by chance. They recognized one of the young faces in the film to be Paul’s father.
Of the 3,000 Jews who lived in Nasielk, Maurice Chandler was one of less than 100 who survived.
The film was shot by writer Glenn Kurtz’s grandfather. He found it in an attic in 2009.
“The moment I saw these images, I knew that this was something that had to be preserved,” Kurtz said.  “We know something that the people in the film don’t.  The kids in the film, they’re happy to see the camera, they’re happy to see these Americans. But when we look at the film, we see people who are standing in the shadow Nazism.’
The Chandler family reached out to Glenn.  And the stories Maurice had been telling his kids their whole lives then took on a life of their own and are now a book, “Three Minutes in Poland.”
That three minutes of film has been donated to the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The book details what the 13-year-old boy in the film had to go through to stay alive and get to America.
Maurice’s family is hoping his story stands as another reminder and pays tribute to the victims of the Holocaust.

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