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In December 2007 the VYI launched an expedition to Latvia. The project called Last Moment in History: The On-site Survivor Videography Project in Eastern Europe succeeded to locate, organize and videograph twenty-eight (mostly extensive) interviews in central and eastern Latvia (Daugavpils, Ludza and Riga) with elderly survivors who came to maturity in Eastern Europe before the Holocaust and still live in or near their prewar homes. An additional intensive day was dedicated to videographing Yiddish scenes and speech from a number of pivotal locations in Vilnius, Lithuania where the old Lithuanian Jewish milieu still thrives among the oldest survivors (the synagogue, the Jewish Community Center, the Judaica section of the national library, etc.). All interviews were conducted in Yiddish, with encouragement for a maximal extent of “free speech” during which informants could tell of their biography, wartime experiences and world views, in addition to providing invaluable data for Yiddish (and prewar East European forms of Hebrew), dialectology, folklore and oral history of the twentieth century. The perspectives offered by informants ranged from deeply religious (from both the misnagdic and hasidic traditions of Latvian Jewry) to deeply secular (including Zionist, socialist, communist and more).
The Vilnius Yiddish Institute expresses deep gratitude to the project sponsor - the Rothschild Foundation Europe.
We invite the visitors of the website to “meet” the survivors from Latvia on the website’s Photo Gallery.
|2005 VILNIUS YIDDISH INSTITUTE. Solution: Neosymmetria|