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October 17, 2014

20 Amazing Black and White Photographs of Jewish Life From the 1930s

Born in 1897 to a wealthy Russian-Jewish family, Roman Vishniac immigrated to Berlin in 1920 in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution. As an amateur photographer, he took to the streets with his camera throughout the 1920s and ’30s, offering astute, often humorous visual commentary on his adopted city and experimented with new and modern approaches to framing and composition. Here's a collection of amazing black and white photographs show daily life of Jewish people in the 1930s.

Boy with kindling in basement dwelling, Krochmalna Street, Warsaw, ca. 1935–38.

Roman Vishniac's daughter, Mara, posing in front of a shop specializing in instruments that measure the difference in size between Aryan and non-Aryan skulls, Berlin, 1933.

Travelling salesmen returning home for the Sabbath, Mukacevo, c. 1935–38.

Youngsters adopted cattle as friends, Carpathian Ruthenia, c. 1935–38.

A German family walking between taxi-cabs in front of the Ufa-Palast cinema, Berlin, ca. 1930s.

Sunlight streaming into a railway station, probably the Bahnhof Zoo terminal in Charlottenburg, Berlin, ca. 1930s.

People behind bars at Berlin Zoo in the early 1930s.

Woman washing windows above Mandtler & Neumann Speditionen (Mandtler & Neumann Forwarding Agents), Vienna, ca. 1930s.

A salesman sleeps on a bench to save on lodging, Eastern Europe, c. 1935–38.

Nazi Storm Troopers marching next to the Arsenal in front of the Berlin Cathedral, ca. 1935.

Interior of the Anhalter Bahnhof, a railway terminus near Potsdamer Platz, Berlin, ca. 1930s.

Street scene with swastika flag in background, Berlin, ca. 1935–36.

Children with shaved heads at the Cemach Szabad Colony for Frail Children, near Wilno, c. 1935–38.

Students standing outside a yeshiva, Mukacevo, c. 1937–38.

At the end of October, 1938, thousands of Polish Jews in Germany were forcibly repatriated by the Nazis and housed in military barracks in Zbaszyn, Poland.

Exhausted. A carrier of heavy loads, Warsaw, ca. 1935–38.

Girl in plaid dress, Mukacevo, Ukraine ca. 1935–38.

Jewish schoolchildren, Mukacevo, Ukraine ca. 1935–38.

Zionist youth learning construction techniques while building a school and foundry, Werkdorp Wieringen, The Netherlands, 1939.

An elder of the village, Vysni Apsa, Carpathian Ruthenia, c. 1935–38.

Students sharing books in heder, Brod, c. 1935–38.

She would rather have it for her own family!, Uzhorod, Carpathian Ruthenia, c. 1935–38.

Grandfather and granddaughter, Warsaw, c. 1935–38.

(Photos: Roman Vishniac/© Mara Vishniac Kohn, courtesy of International Center of Photography)


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