Jewish women do their laundry in the river near a bridge. Alter Kacyzne (1885-1941), photographer and Yiddish writer. Born in Vilna, Kacyzne was a photographer by profession who also wrote poetry, drama, essays and fiction. In 1921 he was commissioned by the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) to document the plight of Jews desperate to leave Poland. When these images came to the attention of Abraham Cahan, editor of the New York Yiddish newspaper, the Jewish Daily Forward, Cahan contracted with Kacyzne to photograph Jewish life throughout Poland. For the next ten years Kacyzne traveled the country photographing both the rich and the poor and the surroundings in which they lived. The images appeared regularly in the Forward's Sunday supplement called 'The Art Section.' During World War II Kacyzne was beaten to death by Ukrainian collaborators at a Jewish cemetery in Tarnopol in 1941. His wife died in the Belzec death camp. Kacyzne's photographic collection was lost save for the 700 prints that he had sent to the Forward. These are now housed in the YIVO Archives. Kacyzne's daughter, Sulamita Kacyzne-Reale, survived the war in hiding. She later married an Italian diplomat. [Source: Ronen, Meir. 'Images of a Lost World,' The Jerusalem Post, December 17, 1999 http://www.jpost.com/Archive/17.Dec.1999/Article-16.html (9 November 2003).] Photo Credit: USHMM, courtesy of YIVO Institute Date: 1921 - 1930

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CopyrightcopyS;Howard Orenstein, 2021