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New Historic Films Show Warsaw Ghetto, Dead Sea Settlements

Two historic films uploaded to the Spielberg Archive show the Warsaw Ghetto and the building of the first Dead Sea settlements in Israel.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 11/7/2011, 6:01 PM

Two new films have been uploaded to the virtual cinema site of the Spielberg Archive -- one depicting scenes from the Warsaw Ghetto, and the second showing the agricultural development of the first settlements along the Dead Sea that followed its destruction.

Von Horvot Bis Zum Heimland, "From Ruins Till Destruction" tells the tale of the ghetto in which some 450,000 Jews were forced by the Nazis to live from November 1940 until its liquidation in the spring of 1943.

Israeli songwriter, poet and writer Chaim Hefer, born in 1925, joined the Palmach fighters in 1943. He participated in smuggling "illegal immigrants" through Syria and Lebanon into the Holy Land, and was their chief songwriter.

The Palmach fighter, who later became the assistant director of Promise to Masada and narrator of numerous other films, was awarded the Israel Prize in 1983.

Promise to Masada, the second film uploaded to the Spielberg Archive, depicts the agricultural development of settlements located in the Judean Desert and along the Dead Sea.

Each film is about 20 minutes long.

The Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive, located at Jerusalem's Hebrew University on Mount Scopus, was founded in the late 1960s by Professor Moshe Davis and other historians at the university. It was named for the famed Jewish American film director in 1987 after he donated a generous sum to the archive. The archive's first donor, and whose name it originally bore, was Iranian businessman Abraham F. Rad, who supported the project for a number of years.