When he first saw the films, the director couldn't believe his eyes. The dozens of hours of color films contain footage of many significant events in the history of Israel, events that had never before been seen in color. People easily identifiable on these color films include a very young Shimon Peres, Yitzhak Rabin, Golda Meir, Yitzhak Tabenkin (head of the Palmach), as well as British Mandate soldiers walking the streets of Jerusalem.
Monosson filmed dozens of historic events, many of which apparently were never filmed by anyone else. Not only was Israel's revolution filmed, but so were pre-revolutionary scenes from the Western Wall. His movies also show British soldiers in the Port of Haifa while they were capturing illegal immigrants and forcing them onto a deportation ship to Cyprus. Much, much more was recorded as well.
Besides filming these events in Israel, Fred Monosson traveled to Europe and filmed the Red Army in Berlin tearing down ruined buildings shortly after the end of World War II, the Reichstag building still smoldering, and death camp survivors in the displaced persons camps. He also traveled to Dachau and Auschwitz and took movies in color, probably the only color films of those places known to exist. In one scene, containers of Zyklon B, the deadly gas, can be seen neatly stacked next to Crematorium 1.
Monosson continued to film many events in Israel through the 1950s and 1960s. Shortly after the Six Days' War of 1967, Fred Monosson returned to his home in Boston with his films and remained there the rest of his life. To the knowledge of the grandchildrem, no one else ever saw the films until now.
The Israeli Friday News Magazine created a documentary, "I Was There in Color," which was aired on Israeli Public Television late last year. A news report of that documentary, complete with many scenes from Monosson's films, can be seen at http://www.blip.tv/file/2915188
My thanks to Janet Isenberg for telling me about this moving video.