Winner of the National Jewish Book Award
In 1921, photographer Alter Kacyzne was comissioned by the New York Yiddish daily, Forverts, to document images of Jewish life in the "old country." Kacyzne's assignment was to become 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 Otwock and Kazimierz. Candid and intimate, tender and humorous, Kacyzne's portraits-- of teeming village squares and primitive workshops, cattle markets and spinning wheels, prayer groups and summer camps-- tell the story of a way of life that is no more.
For the last sixty years, Kacyzne's Forverts photographs-- the sole fragment of his vast archive to survive World War II-- lay unseen. Now the work of this lost master is restored to the world in a volume of extraordinary force and beauty.