The Glass Plates of Lublin: Found Photographs of a Lost Jewish World

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Edited by Aaron Lansky, Piotr Nazaruk, and Lisa Newman

This gorgeous and haunting book contains black and white photographs recovered from glass plate negatives discovered in a pile of rubble in an attic at Rynek 4, Lublin, Poland. The photographs depict scenes of a vibrant Jewish community that was destroyed and irretrievably lost during World War II.

For centuries Lublin was home to one of Europe’s most distinguished Jewish communities. These portraits, which date from around 1913 to the 1930s, showcase the diversity of the city and its Jewish community. In them we see signs of different political parties and members of various social classes; the construction and opening of the Yeshivat Chochmei Lublin, soon to be the largest yeshiva (Talmudic academy) in the world; and groups of left-wing and secular Jewish youngsters, such as members of Bund-affiliated youth groups.

The images show the changes in prewar fashions, which reflect increasing Jewish secularization. Many of the pictures were taken in the Saxon Garden, Lublin’s “Central Park,” and in the nearby villages and towns of Nowodwór, Motycz, and Nałęczów, where Lublin residents used to go for vacation.

Hardcover book

White Goat Press, 2022