In 2009, Glenn Kurtz stumbled across some old family films in a closet in his parents’ house in Florida. One of the films, shot more than 70 years earlier by his grandparents while on vacation in Europe, turned out to include footage of his grandfather’s hometown of Nasielsk in Poland, taken in 1938, a year before the Nazi occupation. Only approximately 80 of the 3,000 Jews living in Nasielsk in 1939 survived the war.
Glenn Kurtz quickly recognized the brief footage as a crucial link in a lost history. He gave it to the Holocaust Museum where it was digitized and made available on the Web. One day, Kurtz heard from a young woman who had watched the video on the Holocaust Museum’s website. As the camera panned across the faces of children, she recognized her grandfather as a thirteen-year-old boy. Moszek Tuchendler of Nasielsk was now eighty-six-year-old Maurice Chandler of Florida, and when Kurtz meets him, the lost history of Nasielsk came into view. Chandler’s laser-sharp recollections created a bridge between two worlds, and he helped Kurtz eventually locate six more survivors, including a ninety-six-year-old woman who also appears in the film, standing next to the man she would later marry.