- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (27 Nov. 1986)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0140099158
- ISBN-13: 978-0140099157
- Product Dimensions: 29.5 x 1.2 x 29.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 359,371 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
A Vanished World Paperback – 27 Nov 1986
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Young, old, in-between are shown going about their ordinary lives, some already paying the price of the prevalent Eastern European anti-Semitism, virtually oblivious to what was coming their way.
You can't look at these pictures and not shudder: certainly no one in these pictures can still be alive, and it's not just because of the passage of time. Most of the people photographed here lived in the smaller villages, segregated in many cases from the Gentiles, wearing clothes that quickly and easily identified them to their destroyers.
Vishniac shot an estimated 16,000 pictures, but managed to get only about 2,000 out when he fled to the United States in 1940. We should be grateful for what he's given us, and mourn all that was lost.
We are shown grandfathers and babies, sages and porters, tzaddiks and merchants, women in the market, boys in cheder, children at play. While strife, anxiety, and resignation are seen on the faces in many of the photographs, there are also many smiling faces--some shy, some beaming at the camera. The most beautiful are those of small children--a girl returning home with a pot of soup and a bottle of milk for the family's dinner, so pleased; a small boy looking off at something his classmates do not see; a boy on a crowded street giving the photographer a friendly wave.
Also of great value are Vishniac's captions, printed at the front of the book. One hopes that some publisher will bring this valuable book back into print.
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