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Deportation Westerbork Film | 20210719

Deportation Westerbork Film – Edition 2021

SILENT FILM

Deportation 19 May 1944 from the dutch Westerbork transit camp, filmed by the German Jewish refugee and camp prisoner Rudolf Breslauer. Shortly thereafter 20 km north in the dutch town Assen, train cars are added from the Belgian Transport XXV (25) from transit camp Kazerne Dossin (Dossin barracks) in Mechelen, and the combined transport with Jews, Sinti and Roma, including Settela Steinbach, continues to the east…to the Bergen-Belsen and Auschwitz concentration camps.

Footage (original camera negative) filmed by Rudolf Breslauer 19 May 1944 in Camp Westerbork, Netherlands.

Film edited by Michel van der Burg (film grain noise reduction | reordering footage fragments | black bar removal) using as source : the digital display edition of the 2021 restored Westerbork film compilation – courtesy of the NIOD | Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid (Sound and Vision) – based on the newly discovered original camera negative film (canister E198). File ref: BUM20210719_01_19440519

Deportation Westerbork Film | 20210719 | Michel van der Burg | settela•com

Background

First Westerbork Film (RVD)

The full version of the Westerbork Film (RVD edition) was first published spring 2019 ( settela.com//2019/06/05 ) – 75 years after the German-Jewish camp prisoner Rudolf Werner Breslauer filmed his last scene in the Westerbork transit camp – the deportation train to Bergen-Belsen and Auschwitz, May 19, 1944 (REF 1).

That Westerbork Film – the so-called RVD edition – is a montage of raw film footage made in 1986 by the Dutch National Centre for Information (the Rijksvoorlichtingsdienst, RVD) in 4 parts (Acte 1-4). Though authentic documentary footage – all the reels of film used in the 1986 edition Westerbork Film, actually, are film copies. The fate of the camera-original film was not known.

New restored Westerbork film – 2021 edition

The renewed interest for the Westerbork Film with the Unesco Memory of the World Registration sparkled also interest at the dutch NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies in the restoration of the Westerbork Film and a new survey of all available film footage archives spring 2019 let to the discovery – by the dutch image researcher, historian, Gerard Nijssen and co-workers of the Sound and Vision institute (Beeld en Geluid) of 2 canisters with ‘camera-original’ footage.

One of these canisters contains the original camera negative footage of all known fragments of the May 19, 1944 deportation – canister E198 (labeled : Negatief origineel – Westerbork – Transport – 64 meter).
This news and a glimpse of the new high quality ‘camera-original’ footage was aired January 20, 2020 by the national dutch broadcaster NOS (REF 2).

Conservator Valentine Kuypers (Sound and Vision) on the restoration

Part of the new restored film premiered online 18 April 2021 during the Mediacafé conference ‘Westerbork, caught on film’ hosted by Valentine Kuypers (conservator, Beeld en Geluid) and Bas Kortholt (Camp Westerbork Memorial Centre).
The new 2021 Westerbork film is a compilation of the best quality footage of all unique scenes found on all archive film reels, with digital scanning and conservative restoration aiming at stabilization of the images and removal only of dust, scratches, and splices without damaging film grain. No efforts were done to correct bouncing images (a camera defect) , or sharpen the images.
In addition – after the restoration – a display copy of the archive film was made and that copy has been further adjusted by color grading and retiming to mimic the original playback speed of 16 frames per second. (REF 3).

The full film of the restored Westerbork compilation was presented May 18, 2021 in Camp Westerbork Memorial Centre and made available online that day via Sound and Vision. Work on the 2021 Westerbork film edition has been a joint effort of four dutch organizations : the Dutch media archive, Sound and Vision, Camp Westerbork Memorial Centre , the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, and the Jewish Cultural Quarter in Amsterdam.

May 18, 2021 Sound and Vision also published via their YouTube channel (Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid) the video ‘Gerestaureerde filmbeelden Westerbork (1944)’ – a 21 minute compilation of fragments of the new restored film footage of Westerbork, including half of the May 19, 1944 footage (REF 4).

New film findings in book “Kamp Westerbork gefilmd”

Dutch Westerbork film researchers Koert Broersma and Gerard Rossing also presented May 18, 2021 a new edition of their first in 1997 published book “Kamp Westerbork gefilmd”. For this new edition, the newly restored, cleaned and digitized version of the Westerbork Film allowed them to identify more passengers on the deportation train, including children who survived (REF 5, 6). In their book they noted that canister E198 – with the ‘camera-original’ footage of the May 19, 1944 deportation- unfortunately shows 3 splices – and showed an image of one of these splices.

Deportation Westerbork Film | Edition 2021

This film shows all the known footage filmed by Rudolf Breslauer 19 May 1944 of the deportation from Camp Westerbork from the newly discovered original camera negative film (canister E198) made available in the digital display edition of the 2021 restored Westerbork film compilation – courtesy of the NIOD | Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid (Sound and Vision).
The film reel of canister E198 – though camera-original negative has 3 splices between film fragments not assembled in the order shot – i.e. starting with the deportation train leaving Westerbork.
The digital display edition of Sound and Vision shows no splices, but has 2 very short white transitions — and clearly no reordering was done for that archive film based copy.
In order to mimic the sequence of clips shot by Rudolf Breslauer, I reordered for the present film, those 4 fragments guided by both the route of one of the passengers, and the two white transitions in the digital display edition, as well as an image illustrating a splice shown by Koert Broersma and Gerard Rossing in their book “Kamp Westerbork gefilmd” .
The black bars of the widescreen source were trimmed, resulting in the standard format again.
Specialized software (Neat Video) was used for conservative reduction of film grain noise. No grading, sharpening etc was done.

In the film poster image, the train leaving Camp Westerbork – showing at the rear the freight car with vertical planks deporting 75 people including Settela Steinbach and her family to Auschwitz. That car actually is the fourth-last car of the train.

References

1. Westerbork Film (20190605) Michel van der Burg | Settela.com (accessed 2021 Jul 19) URL: https://wp.me/p91enH-1x

2. Nieuwe beelden van iconische Westerborkfilm gevonden (Jan 20, 2020) | NOS (accessed 2021 Jul 19) URL: https://bit.ly/3isIqTp

3. Restauratie Westerborkfilm (May 12, 2021) Valentine Kuypers | Beeld en Geluid (accessed 2021 Jul 19) URL: https://bit.ly/3kGteVs

4. Gerestaureerde filmbeelden Westerbork (1944) (May 18, 2021) Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid | Youtube (accessed 2021 Jul 19) URL: https://youtu.be/-zCmr6PSNcI

5. Kamp Westerbork gefilmd (May 2021) Koert Broersma, Gerard Rossing (editor Gorcum B.V., Koninklijke van) ISBN 9789023257622.

6. Children of the Holocaust Who Are Anonymous No More by Nina Siegal | The New York Times (May 18, 2021) (accessed 2021 Jul 19) URL: https://nyti.ms/2UQvAq5

TAGS #deportation #train #Westerbork #RudolfBreslauer #1Memo #MiraclesMedia #michelvanderburg #SettelaCom #Netherlands #Settela #Gemmeker #KazerneDossin #holocaust #CampWesterbork #Jew #Roma #Sinti #child #UNESCO #documentary #Mechelen #Auschwitz #BergenBelsen #film #diversity

NOTE

July 19, 2021 – The current video is shown via Vimeo.
A higher quality file has been uploaded to youtube , but is currently blocked etc by two copyright claims – this will take me probably 1(-4) weeks to deal with.

Jul 25, 2021  – Started today two content ID disputes (YouTube edition) , currently under review | Both submitted on Jul 25, 2021.

Jul 26, 2021 – One claimant (restricting monitization) released their copyright claim on the youtube video.

Jul 27, 2021 – Claimant #2 released restrictions (blocking views) for the remaining time of the dispute review proces.
I now replaced the embedded Vimeo video with the YouTube edition.

Aug 18, 2021 – After reviewing my dispute, Claimant #2 has decided to release their copyright claim on the YouTube video “Deportation Westerbork Film | 20210719” . The video is finally screening now on YouTube without restrictions.

Deportation Train


Deportation Train
Deportation train departure 19 May 1944 at the dutch Westerbork transit camp filmed by Rudolf Breslauer. Shortly thereafter 20 km north in the dutch town Assen, train cars are added from the belgian Transport XXV (25) from transit camp Kazerne Dossin (Dossin barracks) in Mechelen, and the combined transport with Jews, Sinti and Roma, including Settela Steinbach, continues to the east …

Filmed by Rudolf Breslauer 19 May 1944 in Camp Westerbork, Netherlands. From Westerbork film montage reel 1 (RVD cat.nr. 02-1167-01) courtesy of Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid | OpenImages.
BUM20200415_31_19440519 .
Deportation Train (20200414 v20200415) Michel van der Burg | Settela.com

Westerbork Film ~ full version (RVD)

Jun 7, 2019 Update | mettre à jour – section française – >> site Settela.com

The Westerbork Film – a silent film – is unique…the only authentic documentary footage filmed in a Nazi camp – a waiting room for death in the Netherlands for more than 100,000 Jews, and Roma, Sinti, and resistance workers. A documentary filmed 75 years ago, spring 1944, in the Westerbork transit camp, by the German-Jewish camp prisoner Rudolf Werner Breslauer, who had been working already some 2 years as a photographer in the camp. A ‘Kulturfilm’ commissioned by camp commander, SS-Obersturmbannführer, Albert Konrad Gemmeker, to convince the Gestapo headquarters of Westerbork’s vital production value.

The Westerbork camp had been set up by the Dutch government before the war in Holland, in 1939, as a central refugees camp for Jewish refugees from Nazi-Germany.
In 1942 , when the Nazi’s decided to start ‘Entjüdung’ of the Netherlands, they took over the camp and named it Polizeiliches Judendurchgangslager Westerbork , for use as central transit camp for deportation of mainly Jews, and Roma, Sinti, and resistance people to eastern Europe.

Rudolf Breslauer started filming March 1944 – around the same time the camp status changed to ‘Arbeitslager’.

This film on the daily life of the Westerbork prisoners was added in 2017 to the Memory of the World Register of Unesco.

Iconic is the image of Settela – the girl with the headscarf -between the wagon doors of the deportation train to Auschwitz.
These few seconds are shown in the 1 minute slow-motion film Settela at Settela.com.

Images of the deportation train have been used in many documentaries over the years – such as our 2012 documentary ‘Transport XX to Auschwitz’.

Actually , however, the Westerbork film has as yet not been presented online or elsewhere as a full film – only in parts : as either Acte 1 , Acte 2 , Acte 3 , or Acte 4 for download or for streaming separately , either in low quality, small format (and generally just Acte 1) or with a rough overall edit (color-exposure grading) resulting in loss of details.
I therefore decided to first present the full film , all 4 episodes , unedited except for cropping black bars, as the : Westerbork Film ~ Full version RVD…and later focus on adaptations.

What is known as the Westerbork Film , actually is a simple montage of the available raw film footage – 9 reels of film – handed over by the (Dutch) Filmmuseum in 1986 to the Dutch National Centre for Information (the Rijksvoorlichtingsdienst, RVD).
The RVD conservator glued together these available fragments – and this ‘product’ in 4 parts (Acte 1 , Acte 2 , Acte 3 , and Acte 4) has become known as the “Westerbork film”.
Reels number 1 and 2 were glued together in ‘Acte 1’, reels 3 and 4 in Acte 2, reels 5 and 6 in Acte 3, and reels 7, 8 and 9 in Acte 4 (see below).

Conservation of footage

In the early years after the war, the Westerbork film footage travelled via different routes, roughly, in part leaving the camp with ex camp commander Gemmeker, and another part ‘directly’ from the camp … to land partly in the nearby Drents Museum and partly in eg. the Department of Justice and next finally in a collection started in 1946 in the ‘RIOD’ Rijksinstituut voor Oorlogsdocumentatie (National Institute for War Documentation) – now ‘NIOD’ – Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies.
The RIOD glued fragments together probably, and fragments were extracted too, and lent for use eg. in the 1948 trial against Rauter, the trial against Gemmeker, and for use in the 60s dutch TV series ‘De bezetting’ (The Occupation) presented by Loe de Jong (journalist, historian, and RIOD director from 1945-1979). For conservation this ‘RIOD film’ went on loan in 1958 to the Filmmuseum (now EYE Film Museum), and in 1986 the footage went to the RVD.

The RVD did not receive all footage from the Filmmuseum – the fragments extracted by the RIOD for use in the trials and TV series were lacking and two reels just remained in the Filmmuseum vault.

Tracing extracted fragments , and the discovery of new images

Reel D1596 – The 1948 Dutch Polygoon cinema news extracts were not all assembled back in the Westerbork film reels – see the recent post 20190520 ~ Westerbork Film in ‘Proces Rauter’ 1948 at settela.com .
Also , not all footage given on loan for that ‘Polygoon news’ ended up in that news item. That ‘Polygoon’ footage copied onto 35 mm film – both the used and non-used fragments – were kept in the Dutch Filmmusuem on a so-called reel number D1596.

Research published in the 1997 Dutch book ‘Kamp Westerbork gefilmd’ by Koert Broersma and Gerard Rossing (editors Dirk Mulder and Ben Prinsen; ISBN 9023232658) – Reference 1 – traced the extracted film fragments, and further re-discovered film fragments with comparatively poorer quality on two reels – F1015 and F1014 :

Reel F1015 — F1015 (known till 1958 as reel 9a ; but actually the 10th reel of the Westerbork film) contains 9 scenes including 2 new scenes (not in the RVD Westerbork film): the religious service held March 5, 1944 in the Grote Zaal (Great Hall) and the scene of a woman on a ladder working on a signpost. This reel had remained in the Filmmuseum vault.

Reel F1014 seemed lost in the archives of the Filmmuseum and was denoted then ‘Afvalmateriaal/uitschot’ , that is ‘Trash’.

All footage is now kept at the Netherlands Institute of Image and Sound .

Below list of shots of the Westerbork Film (Ref. 2) :

Westerbork (Reel 1), (cat.nr. 02-1167-01), 16 mm, mute, 21’05 “

– 1. Inbound transport from Amsterdam, March 1944: 1 min 37 sec.
– 2. Inbound transport from Vught, March 20, 1944: 2 min 09 sec.
– 3. Outbound transport to Bergen-Belsen and Auschwitz, 19 May. 1944: 4 min 41 sec.
– 4. In and around the aircraft dismantling workshop, April / May 1944: 11 min 23 sec.

Westerbork (Reel 2), (cat.nr. 02-1167-02), 16 mm, mute, 21’41 “

– 5. Disassembly of old batteries and manufacture of new batteries, April / May 1944: 1 min 22 sec.
– 6. Separation of different layers of aluminum foil, April / May 1944: 1 min 22 sec.
– 7. Clothing Company, April / May 1944: 2 min 51 sec.
– 8. Toy factory, April / May 1944: 3 min 28 sec.
– 9. Manufacture of furniture, April / May 1944: 2 min 14 sec.
– 10. Metalworker / Forge worker, April / May 1944, 2 min 47 sec.
– 11. Manufacture of brushes, April / May 1944: 43 sec.
– 12. Shoe repair, April / May 1944: 1 min 38 sec.
– 13. Manufacture of handbags, April / May 1944: 1 min 09 sec.
– 14. Manufacture of soles and gloves, April / May 1944: 33 sec.
– 15. Weaving and repairing stockings, April / May 1944: 1 min 25 sec.

Westerbork (Reel 3), (cat.nr. 02-1167-03), 16 mm, mute, 18’03 “

– 16. Cufflinks Factory, April / May 1944: 1 min 16 sec.
– 17. Clothing, April / May 1944: 32 sec.
– 18. Laundry / ironing, April / May 1944: 1 min 18 sec.
– 19. Medical Laboratory, April / May 1944: 45 sec.
– 20. Dental Clinic, April / May 1944: 25 sec.
– 21. Unloading equipment for the construction of barracks / unloading trucks with bricks, April / May 1944: 1 min 33 sec.
– 22. Construction / installation of greenhouse and watering plants in greenhouse, April / May 1944: 1 min 46 sec.
– 23. By narrow gauge at Oranjekanaal / construction of jetty / unloading cargo ship with bricks / truck loading / return to camp, April / May 1944: 4 min 33 sec.
– 24. Visit to the farm, April / May 1944: 4 min 39 sec

Westerbork (Reel 4), (cat.nr. 02-1167-04), 16 mm, mute, 21’30 “

– 25.Visit on the farm (continued), April / May 1944: 2 min 30 sec.
– 26. Return / visit agriculture / plowing and planting potatoes, April / May 1944: 4 min 20 sec.
– 27. Return to camp / unloading truck bricks, April / May 1944:
– 28. Construction of the purification plant, April / May 1944:
– 29. Slaughtering and harvesting trees near Assen, April / May 1944: 4 min 50 sec.
– 30. Religious Service in the Great Hall, March 5, 1944: 6 sec.
– 31. Football match at the venue, April / May 1944: 2 min 04 sec.
– 32. Female gymnastics, April / May 1944: 1 min.
– 33. Gala evening and cabaret Bunter Abend in the Great Hall, April / May 1944: 4 min 05 sec.

Rudolf Breslauer and family

Rudolf Breslauer (1904-1944) was in Westerbork for over two and a half years with his wife Bella Weismann, daughter Ursula, and sons Mischa and Stephan.
In Sep 1944 they were transported to Auschwitz via Theresiënstadt, and murdered in the gas chamber, except Ursula who survived the war and went to Israel in 1948, where she and her husband Chaim Moses set up their own company. Her name has since been Chanita Moses – she has children and many grandchildren.

References

1 ‘Kamp Westerbork gefilmd’ by Koert Broersma and Gerard Rossing (editors Dirk Mulder and Ben Prinsen; ISBN 9023232658
2. Gerard Rossing and Koert Boersma, Kamp Westerbork Gefilmd (1997), pp. 86-88.

Credit

‘Westerbork Film’ , montage of the Westerbork reels 1-4 (RVD cat.nrs. 02-1167-01, 02-1167-02, 02-1167-03, 02-1167-04 courtesy of Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid | OpenImages). Footage filmed by Rudolf Breslauer in 1944 , Camp Westerbork, Netherlands. Westerbork Film (20190605) Michel van der Burg | Settela.com – CC BY 4.0 .

Updates

20190605 – Updates including the other footage and more information will follow in both this post and new posts on the Settala.com site.