Photograph of a Jewish Housewife by Roman Vishniac
A housewife, ca. 1935–1938. Vishniac’s images, while profound and moving, offer only a limited portrayal of the Jewish population in pre-World War II Europe. They helped to shape images of eastern European Jews as poor and traditional.
Photographer: Roman Vishniac. Credit: Mara Vishniac Kohn
Sara, sitting in bed in a basement dwelling, with stenciled flowers above her head, Warsaw, ca. 1935–1938. One of Vishniac’s best-known photographs, this image was printed on charity tins and circulated throughout France to collect donations. Some of Vishniac’s famous images were staged to evoke sympathy.
A photograph by Roman Vishniac (1897–1990), ca. 1935–1938. This and similar photographs taken by Vishniac are among the few visual testimonies to the life of Jews in eastern Europe during this period. The vast majority of the millions of Jews who lived in eastern Europe perished during the Holocaust.
Jewish schoolchildren, ca. 1935–1938.Vishniac took this photograph during a visit to a Jewish education center in Mukačevo in southwest Ukraine. Mukačevo, like many other towns in the former Pale of Settlement, had a large Jewish population; in many of these towns, Jews constituted the majority.