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.

"He Burned Them All... He was That Scared": Burning Communist Books in fear of Anti-Semitic Persecution during the McCarthy Era and The Red Scare

Watch now:

  • Patricia Barbanell—Civil Rights activist and art teacher—describes herself as a "red diaper baby" - a child of communists. She remembers watching her father burn their family's communist books in the wake of the Rosenberg execution.

This is an excerpt from an oral history with Patricia Barbanell.

This excerpt is in English.

Patricia Barbanell was born in New York, New York in 1943.

About the Wexler Oral History Project

A photograph of two men

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

An illustration of a woman

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