Children of a Vanished World / Edition 1

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Overview

Between 1935 and 1938 the celebrated photographer Roman Vishniac explored the cities and villages of Eastern Europe, capturing life in the Jewish shtetlekh of Poland, Romania, Russia, and Hungary, communities that even then seemed threatened—not by destruction and extermination, which no one foresaw, but by change. Using a hidden camera and under difficult circumstances, Vishniac was able to take over sixteen thousand photographs; most were left with his father in a village in France for the duration of the war. With the publication of Children of a Vanished World, seventy of those photographs are available, thirty-six for the first time. The book is devoted to a subject Vishniac especially loved, and one whose mystery and spontaneity he captured with particular poignancy: children.

Selected and edited by the photographer's daughter, Mara Vishniac Kohn, and translator and coeditor Miriam Hartman Flacks, these images show children playing, children studying, children in the midst of a world that was about to disappear. They capture the daily life of their subjects, at once ordinary and extraordinary. The photographs are accompanied by a selection of nursery rhymes, songs, poems, and chants for children's games in both Yiddish and English translation. Thanks to Vishniac's visual artistry and the editors' choice of traditional Yiddish verses, a part of this wonderful culture can be preserved for future generations.

Earlier books of Roman Vishniac's photographs include To Give Them Light: The Legacy of Roman Vishniac (1995), A Vanished World (1983), and Polish Jews (1947).

A major exhibition titled "Children of a Vanished World: Photographs byRoman Vishniac" is scheduled at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York. The show will open to the public on March 7 and run through June 4, 2000.

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Editorial Reviews

Los Angeles Times Book Review
A lovely book, and one that elicits poignantly mixed feelings...the portraits in this book are so vivid, so communicative, so utterly unmasked as to call for some reciprocal gesture of response.
Independent on Sunday
Such a haunting record of life before Nazism is exceedingly rare, and to be treasured.
Dallas Morning News
That rare glimpse into a disappearing time.
Columbus Dispatch
The gentle moments Vishniac's camera captured are haunting.
Columbus Dispatch
"The gentle moments Vishniac's camera captured are haunting."
New York Post
Seventy magnificent photos...they break your heart, knowing how many of these smiling faces must have perished in the Holocaust.
Providence Sunday Journal
The images can be heartbreaking, the mix of image and song lifts the reader beyond sorrow and rage to true witnessing.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520221871
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 10/25/1999
  • Series: S. Mark Taper Foundation Imprint in Jewish Studies Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 156
  • Sales rank: 829,505
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Mara Vishniac Kohn is an educational therapist who has spent most of her professional life in private special education. Miriam Hartman Flacks, a Brooklyn-born native Yiddish speaker, seeks to preserve the rich tradition of Yiddish folksongs.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2000

    wonderful book!

    This is a very good book with an introduction by Roman's daughter and very good photographs I did not see in his other books. It is touching.

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