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Pre-war photograph of Jews taken clandestinely by Roman Vishniac

Object | Accession Number: 1991.222.9

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    Brief Narrative
    According to the catalog accompanying the photograph, Vishniac explained "In the little village in Carpathian Ruthenia, where such little biys studied in a tiny school, the teacher was not paid in money. He would get a little milk from one student. Another student would bring some wood to make a fire. A third would bring him a potato. But all this payment was not enough, not sufficient for his existence, for his wife and children."

    Original created by Roman Vishniac, 1938, Carpathian Ruthenia, USSR. Reproduced from original negative by Witkin-Berley Limited, 1977, Roslyn Heights, New York.
    Artwork Title
    Three Student School, Carpathian Ruthenia, 1938
    Series Title
    1 of 12 photographs in a boxed portfolio, number 33 from a limited edition of 50, entitled The Vanished World
    creation:  1938
    Credit Line
    Gift of Mara Vishniac Kohn, The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, University of California, Berkeley
    Photographer: Roman Vishniac
    Roman Vishniac was born in 1897 in St. Petersburg, Russia and was educated in the Universities of Moscow and Berlin. From 1933 to 1939, he traveled throughout eastern Europe--Russia, Poland, Rumania, Czechoslovakia, and Lithuania--photographing Jewish communities. He was arrested and imprisoned repeatedly by police who suspected him of photographing Jews. Of the sixteen thousand images he took, two thousand negatives still exist. Vishniac's photographs were made with a hidden Leica camera which he wrapped a handkerchief around and exposed the film as he wiped his brow. He also used a concealed Rollei or 2-1/4 x 2-1/4 camera. The Rollei was kept under his coat with the lens protruding through an enlargened button hole.

    Physical Details

    Physical Description
    Image of faces of three young boys; boy in near foreground looks directly at camera; other boys read books; all three wear caps and dark coats/jackets and sit in front of a wooden table with open books; there is a hanging lantern above them. Verso, printed label, "print No. 9 of portfolio 33, published in 1977 by Witkin-Berley, Ltd."
    overall: Height: 28.190 inches (71.603 cm) | Width: 22.130 inches (56.21 cm)
    overall : paper, gelatin silver print, ink

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Administrative Notes

    The photograph was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1991 by Mara Vishniac Kohn, the daughter of Roman Vishniac.
    Record last modified:
    2023-06-14 07:08:03
    This page:

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