Refugees in Caldas da Rainha



To see the film shot in 1942/1943, click here


The author: «Isaac Margosis is the father of the Museum survivor-volunteer Michel Margosis. Isaac Ben-Seef Margosis was born in Odessa on December 5, 1889 and studied under the foremost Hebrew poet of the day, Chaim Nachman Bialik. He became an active Zionist and settled in Brussels where he edited and published two weekly papers, the Jewish "Yiddishe Voch" and the French "Notre Opinion". Isaac was in Switzerland covering the World Zionist Congress when war broke out in September 1939. Isaac attempted to get visas in Marseilles and Vichy, but the efforts failed. As a journalist his life was most in danger since he had been publishing editorials denouncing fascism and despotism. Isaac escaped to Portugal, settled in Caldas da Rainha, and did not see his family again for several years. Isaac came to the United States in 1946.»

The film: «Shot of Caldas da Rainha (30 miles from Lisbon), residence for all refugees living in Portugal, many of whom were Jewish. VS of cattle fair. 02:45:32 Refugee works garden, woman spreads wash. EXT of Cafe Boccage, then packed INT [cafe is meant to replicate artists' cafe in Montparnasse, "La Rotonde"]. INT of Hotel Lisbonse where refugees meet to talk, play cards, sit on sofas, and chat. At 02:46:14 is a side view of Isaac Margosis at the extreme right in the glasses talking to the people playing cards. VS. Quick EXT shot of Jews leaving improvised synagogue as young boy looks at doorway.»


The source: National Archives & Records Administration (NARA)