The lost neighborhood: the image of the Jewish shtetl in the memories of non-Jews Cover Image

Утраченное соседство: образ еврейского местечка в воспоминаниях не евреев
The lost neighborhood: the image of the Jewish shtetl in the memories of non-Jews

Author(s): Olga Belova
Subject(s): Christian Theology and Religion, History, Cultural history, Jewish studies, Theology and Religion, History of Judaism, Biblical studies
Published by: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego
Keywords: Jewish-Christian relations; Jewish ethnography; oral history; intercultural dialogue; ethno-cultural stereotype

Summary/Abstract: The paper presents some results of the study of the image of the Jewish town (shtetl), as it appears in the oral tales of the non-Jewish locals. The presentation is based on the folklore and ethnographic data collected in 2012 during the field research in Western Belarus and in Bessarabia. The oral stories of local old residents from the settlement Zheludok (Grodno region, Belarus) and the village Vertiujeni (Floreshti district, Republic of Moldova) will be analyzed to show the mechanism of “Jewish history” reconstruction of former Jewish settlements where the Jewish population is now missing. The only evidence of Jewish heritage are the monuments of material culture (houses, synagogue, Jewish cemetery), and the only source of information – the memories of local residents about their neighbors – the Jews. As the collected material shows, the text about the “Jewish past” broadcasting by and among the non-Jews, combines ethnographic details and myth-making, and largely reflects the ethno-cultural stereotype of the Jew, characteristic to the folk tradition.

  • Issue Year: 43/2015
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 259-270
  • Page Count: 12
  • Language: Russian