16 April 2009

San Francisco: Minsk Ghetto, April 22

If Minsk, Belarus is on your list, you'll be interested in a reading and talk by Barbara Epstein on "The Minsk Ghetto 1941-1943: Jewish Resistance and Soviet Internationalism," at 7.30pm, Wednesday, April 22.

Co-sponsored by the San Francisco Bay Area JGS and the Holocaust Center of Northern California, the program will take place at the Jewish Community Library 5 Ellis Street, San Francisco.

My Yiddish poet ancestor, Leib Borisovich TALALAY, was killed in the Minsk ghetto uprising in 1941. The Library of Congress (Washington, DC) has his first two small books of Yiddish poetry, which they kindly copied and sent to me.

Little has been written in English about the Minsk Ghetto, the underground and local population cooperation with Jews in Nazi-controlled Belarus.

Epstein's book - "The Minsk Ghetto 1941 – 1943: Jewish Resistance and Soviet Internationalism" - draws on interviews with Jewish ghetto survivors and partisan fighters. The story is in contrast to what happened in much of Eastern Europe, where non-Jews turned their backs on the ghettos of Warsaw, Kovno, and Vilna.

She will talk about the ghetto and the ordinary citizens, Jews and non-Jews, who risked their lives to create an alliance against the Nazis.

A professor in the Department of History of Consciousness at University of California Santa Cruz, Epstein is the author of "Political Protest and Cultural Revolution: Nonviolent Direct Action in the Seventies and Eighties," among other books.

For more information, email the Jewish Community Library.

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