web analytics
August 4, 2015 / 19 Av, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


They Called Me Mayer July: Painted Memories Of A Jewish Childhood Before The Holocaust

         Most memoirs written by former Jewish citizens of Poland talk in detail of the Shoah, such as the book I wrote about last week, The Zoo Keeper’s Wife. But as I have said many times in the past, “The Jewish history in Poland consisted of nearly a thousand and not just the six years of the Shoah.”

 

 




Picking Up the Shabbat Chulent From The Baker, p.210.


 

 

         They Called Me Mayer July, is a memoir of Jewish life in Poland, by Mayer Kirshenblatt, born in Apt in 1916, who left Poland at the age of 18 in 1934, before the German invasion and the start of the Shoah. Memories of his early years are very vivid, full of colorful characters, places and events. There is an old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words and Mr. Kirshenblatt uses his skill in painting to tell the story of a way of life that has all but disappeared.

 

 



Yom Kippur Eve in front of the synagogue of Apt, p.54.


 

 

        Though the events depicted in the paintings took place more then 70 years ago, the memories were kept in Mr. Kirshenblatt mind as he only started to paint them at the age of 73 at the urging of his daughter and co-author Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett. Each of the paintings is accompanied by a story, the memory from which the painting sprouted.

 

 



The Hunchback’s Wedding, p.274.


 

 

         There is the story of the hunchback’s wedding, the kleptomaniac, birth and death, religious and secular events all of which made up the life of Jews in Pre-War Poland. Mr. Kirshenblatt also added a few paintings of events that occurred during the Holocaust as told to him by survivors of Apt. “You cannot talk about Jewish life in Poland, Mr. Kirshenblatt said, “without mentioning the final sad chapter.”

 

 



The Tombstone Carver, p.153.


 

 

         Mr. Kirshenblatt has been traveling the world with his book and paintings. I first met him at the last Krakow Jewish Festival, explaining his mission to show future generations how the Jews lived in Poland “lest they learn more about how they died, than how they lived.” An exhibit of his paintings is planned for the Jewish Museum in N.Y. for 2009.


 

 



In The Sukkah, p. 244.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “They Called Me Mayer July: Painted Memories Of A Jewish Childhood Before The Holocaust”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Tourist injured by Muslim mob on Temple Mount on August 4, 2015
Arabs Beat Up Tourist on Temple Mount [video]
Latest Sections Stories
South-Florida-logo

An impressive group of counselors and staff members are providing the boys and girls with a summer of fun and Torah learning and a lifetime of wonderful memories.

South-Florida-logo

Rabbi Sam Intrator recently led a summer program in Williams Island, located in Aventura. The event focused on how to find spiritual joy in Judaism. The rabbi cited biblical and Talmudic teachings, ancient Temple rituals, and the words of prayers to establish the role that love and positive thinking have in Torah values. Rabbi Intrator […]

South-Florida-logo

The Iranian deal was sealed on July 14, four and a half months after Netanyahu’s visit. The details of the agreement were shocking and worse than anyone had imagined.

There are so many toys available for newborn to age 5, but how do you choose?

In 1939, with life getting harder for Jews, she and several friends decided it was time to make aliyah, and applied at the Palestina Amt for permits.

I am not sure how many of you readers have had this experience, but I did and it truly tested the limits of my sanity!

Aside from my own 485-page tome on the subject, Red Army, I think Jamie Glazov did an excellent job at framing things in United in Hate: The Left’s Romance with Tyranny and Terror.

We studied his seforim together, we listened to famous cantorial masters and we spoke of his illustrious yichus, his pedigree, dating back to the famous commentator, Rashi.

Jews who were considered, but not ultimately selected, include Woody Allen, Saul Bellow, David Ben-Gurion, Marc Chagall, Anne Frank, and Barbra Streisand.

More Articles from Shmuel Ben Eliezer
Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Lauder receiving a special album from Rabbi Maciej Pawlak, director of the Lauder-Morasha school in Warsaw.

In 1989 he hosted a dinner for 157 young Jews with the late Rabbi Chaskel Besser and the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation in Poland was born.

Part of the reconstructed Gwozdziec Synagogue.

The Polin Museum of the History of Polish Jews is designed to tell the whole thousand-year story of the Jews in Poland.

I REMEMBER WHEN I first started working at the Jewish Press 18 years ago, Arnie who was in charge of the newsroom, took me under his wing…

The official beginning of World War II was September 1, 1939. On that day German soldiers invaded Gdansk after bombarding the city with a military warship. As part of the Polish Government’s official series of events marking seven decades since the start of World War II, Poland’s Jewish community and the Jerusalem-based “Shavei Israel” organization held a special ceremony yesterday in the Gdansk synagogue to commemorate the outbreak of the war, which paved the way for the Holocaust.

The official beginning of World War II was September 1, 1939. On that day German soldiers invaded Gdansk after bombarding the city with a military warship. As part of the Polish Government’s official series of events marking seven decades since the start of World War II, Poland’s Jewish community and the Jerusalem-based “Shavei Israel” organization held a special ceremony yesterday in the Gdansk synagogue to commemorate the outbreak of the war, which paved the way for the Holocaust.

September 1, 1939 is the date on which Germany invaded Poland, starting WWII. While it should be said that the start of the war was not the start of the Shoah, which actually began with the rise of Nazism in 1933, it was a major milestone in the annals of the Holocaust. Within the first few days of the war, Germany had conquered and/or bombed much of Poland, including the capital, Warsaw.

September 1, 1939 is the date on which Germany invaded Poland, starting WWII. While it should be said that the start of the war was not the start of the Shoah, which actually began with the rise of Nazism in 1933, it was a major milestone in the annals of the Holocaust. Within the first few days of the war, Germany had conquered and/or bombed much of Poland, including the capital, Warsaw.

In September 1939 the Germans started establishing ghettos in the occupied territory of Poland. Ghettos played an important role in the Jewish extermination policy. They were filled with Polish and Western European Jewish deportees. The ghettos differed in times of existence, size, internal organization, and living conditions. The Germans called them ” death boxes” (Todeskiste). The city of Lodz belonged to the Wartheland District and the Germans changed its name into Litzmannstadt.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/they-called-me-mayer-july-painted-memories-of-a-jewish-childhood-before-the-holocaust/2008/04/30/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: