THE YIDDISH BOOK CENTER'S
Wexler Oral History Project

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.

How Our Vilna School Assignments were Accidentally Saved Through WWII by the Nazis

Watch now:

  • Benjamin (Binyomen) Harshav, z"l - professor emeritus at Yale University - tells how he realized that the Germans gathered books from the school where his mother taught because a story he wrote at age seven wound up in the collection.

This is an excerpt from an oral history with Benjamin (Binyomen) Harshav.

This excerpt is in English and Yiddish.

Benjamin (Binyomen) Harshav was born in 1928 in Vilna, Lithuania. Benjamin (Binyomen), z"l, died in 2015.

This interview is part of the Yiddish in the Academy: scholars, language instructors, and students series.

More information about this oral history excerpt

Themes in this oral history excerpt:

  • Benjamin Harshav
  • Binyomen Harshav
  • Vilna
  • Vilnius
  • Vilne
  • Lithuania
  • YIVO Institute for Jewish Research
  • Childhood
  • Holocaust
  • World War Two
  • Education
  • Books
  • Eastern Europe

About the Wexler Oral History Project

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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

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Do you (or someone you know) have stories to share about the importance of Yiddish language and culture in your life?