This question is fairly technical, but I've run into a dead-end and the historians whom I have asked have been unable to help me. If anybody can direct me to something on this subject, I would very much appreciate it.
I’m trying to find out some more information about the infamous synagogue scene in Der Ewige Jüde: the 1940 propaganda movie directed by Fritz Hippler. According to Shimon Huberband, it was filmed in the Vilker shul in Lodz, and the cantor was Oszer Winograd. All of that was fairly easy to verify, with the aid of online sources. What I have been unable to verify is Huberband’s claim that the Torah reader started by calling out, “Today is Tuesday!” While the day of the week is sometimes called out in this fashion, the Torah gets read on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays only, and this was supposedly a subtle way of indicating to any Jews who might be watching that the scene was filmed under duress.
My source for the foregoing is Shimon Huberband, Kiddush Hashem: Jewish Religious and Cultural Life in Poland During the Holocaust (trans. David Fishman; New York, 1987), 322-323. This claim, that the reader called out "Today is Tuesday!", gets repeated now by other historians – most notably Saul Friedländer, The Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939-1945 (New York, 2007), 21-22.
Having watched the scene a dozen-or-so times, I can verify that nobody says this line. Maybe it got cut, or maybe it is drowned out by the German audio-commentary, … or maybe Huberband was wrong? He was in Warsaw at the time, and he doesn’t say who told him. Yehoshua Moshe Aronson, on the other hand, was present in the synagogue and he doesn’t seem to mention it – instead, he claims that his suggestion at the time was that the reader read from the “curses”: a section of text, found in either Leviticus or Deuteronomy, that speaks of violent calamity brought by God against the Israelites. Aronson does not say whether or not the reader did this, and due to the poor quality of the recording it is impossible to verify from the film itself.
Aronson wrote a book about his experiences called Alei Merorot. I have thus far been unable to get my hands on it, so my source for the foregoing information is Esther Farbstein, Hidden in Thunder: Perspectives on Faith, Halachah and Leadership During the Holocaust (2 vols; trans. Deborah Stern; Jerusalem, 2007), 31-32.
I would very much like to know if either of these subtleties was actually adopted by any of the people officiating at this faux-service. Any further information that could be provided as regards the production of this scene would be much appreciated. Thank you.