Book "Neighbourship lost. Jews in the Cultural Memory of Contemporary Latgale"


The openning of the book "Neighbourship lost: Jews in the Cultural Memory of Contemporary Latgale" took place on 9 July 2013 in Moscow.

This book represents the results of expeditions to Latgale (Eastern Latvia) organized by the museum "Jews in Latvia" and “Sefer” Center in 2011–2012. The main subject of the research is the image of Jews from the point of view of their non-Jewish neighbors. The expeditions were carried out in those towns where Jews represented a significant part of the pre-WWII population, and where they played a significant role in the cultural and economic life: Preili, Kraslava, Daugavpils, Rezekne and others. A large number of interviews were conducted with the older representatives of the local population (Russians, Latvians (Latgalians), Belorussians and Poles). The goal of the interviews was to obtain an image of the towns (which can be called shtetls), as reflected in the stories of the locals. “Oral history”, memories of ethnic neighbors, the idea of the Jew as “the Other”, non-Jews’ view of Jewish traditions, language, appearance, religion and places of worship — all this helps to construct a model of a multi-ethnic society in the first half of the XXth century.


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