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Title:JEWISH THANKSGIVING SERVICE AT BELSEN [Allocated Title]
Film Number:A70 337-3
Summary: Unedited footage showing British Army Rabbi Leslie Hardman conducting an open-air religious service for Jewish survivors of Belsen concentration camp.
Description: Shots filmed on a tripod with wide-angle and telephoto lenses on a bright spring day showing a large number of survivors from Belsen concentration camp gathered in a circle for a Jewish religious service in the grounds of Belsen No. 2 camp, formerly used by the German army as a panzer training school and now converted into a hospital by the British. The majority of the ex-Belsen inmates appear to be women. British Army Rabbi Leslie Hardman is seen leading the service and holding the Torah scrolls. He is assisted by two camp survivors, and Polish Rabbi B Goldfinger (who is clean-shaven) and Yugoslav Rabbi H Helfgott; they are all wearing prayer shawls or 'Tallitot' over British Army uniforms. The curtain seen behind them (used to screen the container for the Torah scrolls) was stolen from a Sicilian Jewish community by the Nazis. Shots showing individual women in the congregation and Rabbi Helfgott holding up a Torah scroll.
A shot filmed from one of the barrack blocks overlooking the area of ground where Jewish inmates from Belsen concentration camp are arranged in a circle as they attend a religious service held by Rabbi Hardman; a procession of children arrives to take their places at the centre of the congregation. A shot of Jewish children - two girls and three boys - attending the service with the adults. The mood among those present is sombre; one woman is seen weeping profusely. Rabbi Hardman, prayer book in hand, is seen conducting the service.