Never-before-published, luminous photographs of Polish Jewish life in the 1920s by an undiscovered master.
In 1921, photographer Alter Kacyzne was commissioned by the New York Yiddish daily, the Forverts, to document images of Jewish life in "the old country." Kacyzne's assignment became a ten-year journey across Poyln (as Poland's three million Yiddish-speaking Jews called their home), from the crowded ghettos of Warsaw and Krakow to the remote villages of Ostrog and Brisk. His candid and intimate views of teeming village squares and rustic workshops, cattle markets and spinning wheels give us a privileged view of a world that is no more.
For more than sixty years, Alter Kacyzne's Forverts photographs-the sole fragment of his vast archive to survive World War II-lay unseen. Now, for the first time, the work of this lost master is restored to the world in a volume of extraordinary poetic force. At once ter and humorous, Poyln tells the story of a way of life and recalls the warmth and spirit of a community on the edge of destruction.
Poyln is sure to stand with Roman Vishniac's A Vanished World as a rare treasure, an indispensable portrait of a people.