A growing collection of in-depth interviews with people of all ages and backgrounds, whose stories about the legacy and changing nature of Yiddish language and culture offer a rich and complex chronicle of Jewish identity.
Voina and Holocaust
Michael Steinlauf recalls growing up listening to his parents' war stories, and the moment he realized these stories were part of a larger history.
This is an excerpt from an oral history with Michael Steinlauf.
This excerpt is in English.
Michael Steinlauf was born in Paris, France in 1947.
This interview is part of the Yiddish in the Academy: scholars, language instructors, and students series.
Other video highlights from this oral history
Voina and Holocaust1 minute 44 seconds
"I Don't Want to Just Be An Academic": Yiddish Beyond Academia1 minute 11 seconds
"I Love Yiddish": Professor Michael Steinlauf Reflects51 seconds
Growing Up in a Polish Jewish Household1 minute 49 seconds
Boredom on Yom Kippur1 minute 7 seconds
Father in the Warsaw Ghetto1 minute 35 seconds
"From Warsaw to Brighton Beach": Early Exposure to Yiddish1 minute 25 seconds
"I'm Not A Yiddishist"1 minute 30 seconds
Parents showing up at hunger strike1 minute 13 seconds
Peretz as an ideologue1 minute 40 seconds
"What is My Culture?": Reflections on Yiddish and My Connection to Poland2 minutes 55 seconds
"I'd rather teach the non-Jews"1 minute 28 seconds
Student Activism in the 1960s3 minutes 44 seconds
Cultural transmission over time2 minutes 11 seconds
Confinement of community2 minutes 45 seconds
The future of Yiddish2 minutes 11 seconds
"Yiddish eventually becomes yours"53 seconds
About the Wexler Oral History Project
Since 2010, the Yiddish Book Center’s Wexler Oral History Project has recorded more than 500 in-depth video interviews that provide a deeper understanding of the Jewish experience and the legacy and changing nature of Yiddish language and culture.
Tell Us Your Story
Do you (or someone you know) have stories to share about the importance of Yiddish language and culture in your life?