Professor Samuel Kassow asserts that world literature translated into Yiddish demonstrates that Yiddish served as a link to the wider world. Yiddish was the medium that allowed popular world literature to be accessed by Yiddish speaking communities.
Professor Samuel Kassow speaks about the power of Sutzkever’s poetry, which Sutzkever believed would outlive him and the destruction of World War II. Kassow sings one of Sutzkever’s most famous poems written in the Vilna ghetto, unter dayne vayse shtern (under your white stars) and was set to music by Avrom Brudno.
Professor Samuel Kassow considers the role that yizkor bikher, memorial books, played after World War II. Kassow reflects on nostalgia, memory, and portrayals of the communities post-war. The books serve as a way of connecting to and preserving the past.
Professor Samuel Kassow reflects on the significance of the Yiddish series Musterverk. For many Jews who left their homes in Eastern Europe, Kassow notes that using Yiddish was a way of remaining Jewish.
Professor Samuel Kassow describes the Yiddish literature written “in the ghettos, in the camps, in the gas chambers…” which were preserved underground and retrieved after the war. Collections such as the Ringelblum archive are prime examples of this wealth of literature.