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.
Elementary Knowledge of Yiddish from Grandmother’s “German” Vocabulary
Gabriela von Seltmann, Polish artist who explores issues of memory and identity, describes her elementary understanding of Yiddish, and discusses the fact that she did not know that some of the words that her grandmother used were Yiddish.
This is an excerpt from an oral history with Gabriela von Seltmann.
This excerpt is in English and Yiddish.
This interview is part of the Yiddish and the Arts: musicians, actors, and artists series.
Other video highlights from this oral history
Elementary Knowledge of Yiddish from Grandmother’s “German” Vocabulary1 minute 22 seconds
Meeting Husband Uwe and Beginning to Uncover Her Past4 minutes 25 seconds
The First Hints of My Family's Jewish Background5 minutes 25 seconds
Growing Up in Communist Poland in the 1970s and 1980s3 minutes 10 seconds
Communist Education in Poland and Beginning to Ask Questions About Jewish Roots4 minutes 33 seconds
The Healing Power of Welcoming Jews Into Their Families' Former Homes3 minutes 10 seconds
Positive Effects of Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow on Jewish-Polish Relations1 minute 56 seconds
Visiting Auschwitz and Using It As a Lesson for the Future3 minutes 13 seconds
The Future of Yiddish in Poland2 minutes 41 seconds
Advice to Younger Generations and Yiddish as the Language of Love1 minute 38 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?