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.

The First Hints of My Family's Jewish Background

Watch now:

  • Gabriela von Seltmann, Polish artist who explores issues of memory and identity, discusses growing up without knowing that she was Jewish and her "accidental" discovery of her Jewish roots. She describes the connection that she felt to Judaism early on, and shares some of the early hints about her family's background, including her neighbors calling her father "the Jew" and her grandmother yelling at her grandfather for mixing milk and meat.

This is an excerpt from an oral history with Gabriela von Seltmann.

This excerpt is in English.

This interview is part of the series.

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?