Remembering Luboml   Images of a Jewish Community

Synopsis of the documentary film  LUBOML: MY HEART REMEMBERS

We see two men walking. We hear their voices as they stand before a memorial stone, reciting the Jewish prayers for the dead. They light candles. The words MASS GRAVE OF LUBOML'S JEWS appear on the screen. We hear the men speak, in voice over, as they continue to pray. We hear one man, Abe Getman, tell us he was born in Luboml in 1926. The other man, Aaron Ziegelman, tells us he was born in there in 1928. We hear other voices and see other Lubomlers who talk of Luboml as it once was; a vibrant Jewish shtetl (market town).

Abe Getman and Aaron Ziegelman honoring
the dead with prayers at the memorial at the
site where their townspeople were executed.


We dissolve to old photographs of Luboml. Now we bring the town back to life, beginning with the marketplace. Fade in the sounds of voices, clatter, chatter, mooing of cows, whinnying of horses, and music. We see the busy marketplace at full roar on a market day in 1926. We use it as the centerpiece of our documentary, as it was the centerpiece of the life of the shtetl.

Market Square in Luboml
on a market day in 1926.

Aaron and Abe appear at the site of the former marketplace and at locations around town. Throughout the film, people share their memories on camera and in voice over remembering the shops, streets, the Great Synagogue, the buildings that surrounded the market square and its great rush of excitement. Market day ends.  Daylight fades. Night falls as we follow the Lubomlers of old back to their homes.

The Great Synagogue, with shtiblekh
(small prayer houses). 1930.

We move out into the new day. We see what the fathers did as they go to work, the businesses and stores, factories and workshops. We meet those who made shoes, the water carrier, the doctor, the printer, those who worked in the distillery, the rich merchants and the poor laborers. We return to pick up the children's day and follow them to school. We see young boys in cheder (a Jewish school), the older children in public school. We meet the Jewish teachers who taught them. We hear about their belief, so strong in the Jewish world, that to teach children, especially Torah, was a duty of the heart.

Next we look directly at the Jewish life of the town. Attention is paid to The Great Synagogue, the Sabbath rituals and holidays like Passover, Hanukah and Yom Kippur. We follow the Lubomlers as they remember passages that meant something to them personally like Bar Mitzvahs, weddings and funerals. We see the regular, everyday social life of Luboml. People are seen in the streets, boys and girls playing games, riding bicycles and going off to the movies.

Aaron and Abe reminisce
about their vibrant Jewish childhood.

Times grow dangerous. Anti-Semitism, which was always present, gives birth to the Nazi threat. The Lubomlers able to leave begin to leave. In 1939, World War II descends on Luboml. We have seen the town at play, at work, at prayer. We have come to know their stories, hopes, dreams and fears. Now we see their end.

A time of rapidly impending doom begins. The Germans first create a ghetto with small killing actions ... then, a massacre. In October 1942, 4,000 Jews of Luboml are marched to pits in a killing field on the edge of town and murdered. We come up at the monument. Aaron and Abe finish reciting their prayers. Evening shadows fall. Aaron and Abe and the Luboml landsmen recall the heart and soul of the town and the claim it still holds on them. We see this as they look at the faces of people lost. Aaron and Abe turn and leave. We watch them walk together into the fading light of dusk. Before credits roll, we learn only 51 Jewish citizens of Luboml survived the Holocaust. Luboml is one of thousands of shtetlach destroyed in the same way.

Not one Jew lives in Luboml today.


Luboml: My Heart Remembers was funded by the Aaron Ziegelman Foundation and produced by independent film company Douglas/Steinman Productions, founded in 1996 by Eileen Douglas and Ron Steinman.

(from left) Abe Getman and Aaron Ziegelman with producer Ron Steinman. On location in Luboml. July 2001

 For a conversation with Aaron Ziegelman,
"What would you like people to feel after they have seen the film?"
click here.

Top of Page

Home     Luboml     Luboml Archive     Virtual Exhibit     Documentary Film      Resources