Lives Remembered: Photographs of a Small Town in Poland 1895-1939
The 2007 IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy will have a first! A photographic exhibit that has been at The Jewish Historical Institute, Warsaw, The Museum of Jewish Heritage, New York, Holocaust Museum, Houston and other venues: Lives Remembered:Photographs of a Small Town in Poland 1895-1939. While the photographs are of Szczuczyn, Poland, they are reflective of shtetl life in much of Eastern Europe.
What is remarkable is that the photographs show a vibrant, modern, secular
day-to-day family life, in addition to activities centered around the town's Jewish institutions. There are pictures of weddings, bicycle clubs, families swimming, and scouting groups as well as those of the cheder, Synagogue, and the town's many Zionist activities. And there are pictures of families leaving Poland and arriving in new lands.
The great majority of today's Jews are descended from families in small and mid size towns much like Szczuczyn. This exhibit shows a new generation a realistic look at life in these towns and the faces of those who were killed in the Holocaust.
The person who put together the exhibit is Mike Marvins, a fourth generation photographer and Jewish genealogist. Mike lives in Houston, Texas.
He has spent years collecting photographs his grandfather, Zalman Kaplan, took as the Szczuczyn photographer 1895-1939. He contacted people who immigrated from the town in 1900's-1939, and those who were living in other parts of the world who had received photographs of their family and friends who lived in Szczuczyn. His grandfather's archives were destroyed in the holocaust.
For more about the photographs and Szczuczyn go to: http://www.szczuczyn.com/kaplan.htm.