Rare movie archives found covering death camps and Israel from ’47 to ’67


Monosson: Something Very Nice for a Very Hot Weekend in July

In the 1940s Fred Monosson was a wealthy American with a most rare device – a color movie camera. He started in Europe chronicling post-war devastation and Jewish refugees, moved to the detention camps of Cypress, and to pre-State Israel, including Israel’s Woodstock, the second folk dance convention at Kibbutz Dalia in 1947. In a country of 500,000 people, 25,000 were there to sing and dance under the stars and the eyes of the British army. Monosson kept the camera on for the destruction of Jewish Jerusalem, early independence, Operation Magic Carpet, the Sinai Campaign and the Six Day War. Then he went back to Boston, stowed the film, lived and died. His grandchildren, preparing to sell his house, found the archive in the attic.

Check out Israel’s Channel 2 report on the Monosson film. A longer film from the archives is in the works.

There is David Ben Gurion, Shimon Peres (who speaks movingly of Monosson and of the early days of the State in the clip) and a young Golda Meir. See café society in Tel Aviv and the grave of Theodore Herzl when there was nothing else on Mt. Herzl but that. But mostly, see in color the people – young and old, religious and secular, British soldiers and Palmachniks, Yemenite and Moroccan refugees joining Europeans who came only shortly before and the native Israelis who had been there for centuries, or who had never left at all. See folk dancing, farming, governing, building, walking, talking, eating and praying and building the State of Israel with hope, determination, joy and love.

July 17, 2010 | Comments »

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