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Essays, interviews, listicles, podcasts, and much more, covering all aspects of Yiddish culture.

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Briv funem arkhiv: A Memoir in Four Acts: Moyshe Klaynman and Survival at Treblinka

Moyshe Klayn­man’s remark­able 1943 man­u­script relates his ten-month impris­on­ment at the Tre­blin­ka II exter­mi­na­tion camp, his escape dur­ing the August 2, 1943 pris­on­er revolt, and much more. There is only one oth­er known sur­vivor source writ­ten so ear­ly, and there are no oth­er known Tre­blin­ka sur­vivor mem­oirs avail­able only in the orig­i­nal Yiddish.

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Briv funem Arkhiv: Yehoash Signs the Hotel Klibitsky’s Guestbook

Yid­dish poet and trans­la­tor Yehoash lived at the famous Hotel Kli­bit­sky in Rehovot for almost four months in 1914; the hotel fea­tured fre­quent­ly in his pub­lished trav­el­ogue. This note in the hotel’s guest­book, now in the city archive, marks his stay.

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Briv funem Arkhiv: A Haphazard Yiddish Invoice from the Musterverk Series

Rachelle Gross­man digs up a reveal­ing cler­i­cal mix-up in the dis­tri­b­u­tion of Shmuel Rol­lan­sky’s 100-vol­ume Muster­verk series — a moment both fun­ny and trag­ic at the end of the series’ long run.

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Briv funem Arkhiv: A Grave in the Baker Street Jewish Cemeteries

Michael Shapiro takes us to the Work­er’s Cir­cle sec­tion of Boston’s Bak­er Street Jew­ish Ceme­ter­ies, where he encoun­tered a mov­ing Yid­dish poem.

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Briv funem Arkhiv: The Eiffel Tower Heads to the Suburbs

On this 1933 fly­er for a Kul­tur-lige pariz event, a walk­ing, talk­ing Eif­fel Tow­er exclaims, All of Paris is going to the Kultur-lige’s excur­sion to Garch­es, and you want me to stay here?

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Briv funem Arkhiv: An Appeal From Buczacz, 1935

In 1935, New York’s Bucza­cz-Amer­i­can Benev­o­lent Sick and Aid Soci­ety received this appeal — in Yid­dish and Pol­ish— from the Jew­ish Relief Com­mit­tee in Bucza­cz, Poland. One of the sig­na­to­ries was my grand­fa­ther, Moses Wolfthal.

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Briv funem Arkhiv: 1987 Poster Announcing Pilgrimages to Lezajsk (Lizhensk)

Posters like this one for spe­cial events, grad­u­a­tions, sales of Hasidic gar­ments, com­put­ers, new books, videos and more are still pop­u­lar in the Hasidic neigh­bor­hoods of Brook­lyn. How­ev­er, in recent years the inter­net has changed the business.

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Briv funem Arkhiv: Di Korbones fun "Vaysn Sam"

This 1939 arti­cle and pho­to­graph in a War­saw Yid­dish week­ly — depict­ing a typ­i­cal female cocaine addict [kokain­istke] with a crazed expres­sion in the eyes,” accord­ing to the cap­tion — point to the spread of recre­ation­al drug use with­in the Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty and its emer­gence as a sub­ject of inter­est in the Yid­dish press.

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Briv funem Arkhiv: Letter from Itzik Manger to Sholem Asch

Is there a more extra­or­di­nary and self-lac­er­at­ing let­ter in all of Yid­dish lit­er­a­ture than this air­mail from its most beloved poet to its most cel­e­brat­ed novelist?

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Briv funem Arkhiv: Letter from Sylvia Schneiderman to Itche Goldberg

Josie Naron gives us a glimpse into the pres­sures felt by the chil­dren of Jew­ish left­ists tar­get­ed by McCarthy­ism and the role of Yid­dish sum­mer camps at the height of the Red Scare.

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