Sunday, March 8, 2020

Purim in Senkevychivka, 1934 -- Before the Ghetto

My grandmother Sonia Diamond rescued some photos from the ruins of the Senkevychivka Ghetto after its October 1942 destruction.  One of them is particularly applicable this time of year, with Purim coming up this week.
Senkevychivka Purim Play?

Purim is a holiday that commemorates the Jewish people being saved in Persia, as told in the Book of Esther (details here).  It's usually a lot of fun, with plays, songs, and lots of food.

I'm pretty sure that this is a photograph of a Purim play (particularly given the Adar date on the photo), that was performed by the Tarbut group's Senkevychivka branch--and I believe it says it's "dramatie," so perhaps drama/play.  The date given is in Adar 5694, which was February/March 1934.  It's hard to make out the exact date, but if it is י"ב אדר, that is today's exact date.

I only know who two of the people in this photo are.  In the back row, fourth from the left, is my grandmother's first cousin, Chaiky Wollich Chechman.  In the back row, fourth from the right (with a cigarette in his mouth) is Chaiky's husband Mendel.  Both Chaiky and Mendel were murdered in the Holocaust.  Likely most of the others in this photo were as well, although it's possible that this photo includes some survivors.

Does anyone recognize anyone else in this photo?

Happy Purim to all!

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