NEIGHBORSHIP LOST: Jews in the Cultural Memory of Contemporary Latgale / Ed. S. Amosova. Sefer Center, Moscow, 2013.

This book represents the results of expeditions to Latgale (Eastern Latvia) organized by 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.
The book consists of two parts. The first part is composed of annotated publications of the expedition materials, in which the texts of the interviews are published with authorial comments. The second part contains articles based on oral, archival and literary sources, dedicated to the history of Jews in Latvia in the XXth century, to the image of Jews in literature, etc.
The research was carried out by folklorists, social anthropologists and historians specialized in the study of ethnic stereotypes, cultural contacts and transformation of the traditional community in the face of modernization. The research team included students and research fellows from the State Republic Center of Russian Folklore (Moscow), the European University at Saint-Petersburg, the University of Tartu, Daugavpils University and the University of Latvia (Riga).

Editorial Board:

Svetlana Amosova (Ed.-in-chief, Sefer Center for University Teaching of Jewish Civilization, Institute of Slavic Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow)

Ekaterina Kuznetsova (Sefer Center for University Teaching of Jewish Civilization)

Ilia Lensky (Museum Jews in Latvia, Riga)

Anna Shaevich (Sefer Center for University Teaching of Jewish Civilization)

ISBN 978-5-98604-388-3

Content

Preface

I. Publications

Mikhail Alekseevsky. Ethno-Cultural Stereotypes of Jewish Character in Contemporary Latgale Daria Tereshina. Many Jews... were Tradesmen: Memories of Jewish Shops and Itinerant Peddlers in Latgale before WWII

Svetlana Amosova, Yulia Andreeva, Vladislavs Ivanovs. Jewish Religion, Religious Practices and Synagogues in the Stories of Elderly Latgalians

Mikhail Alekseevsky. The View of the Jewish Funeral Ceremony in the Stories of Latgalians Viktors Andruškevičs, Marina Geht. Narratives about Jewish Holidays

Svetlana Amosova. They will Catch, Kill, Remove the Blood and Put it in the Matza: Stories about Blood Libel in Latgale

Yulia Andreeva, Mariya Vyatchina. Kosher Cooking and Khazer in Memories of the Non-Jewish Population of Eastern Latvia

Svetlana Prosina. Clothes, Appearance, Smell: Common Characterizations of Jewish Appearance

Marina Geht. The Perception of Jewish Languages

Vladislavs Ivanovs, Mariya Vyatchina. About the Jew-Kolhoznik, Nix Fershtein and the Russian Folk Consort: Jokes about Jews in Latgale

II. Articles

Inese Runce. The Governments Attitude to the Jewish Communities in Lativa in the 1920s and 1930s

Karīna Barkane. Observance of Jewish Traditions in Latgale in the Soviet Period (Second Half of the 1940s Beginning of the 1960s): Between Archive Documents and Memories

Elīna Vasiļjeva. Images of Jews in Latvian Literature

Didzis Bērzinš. Social Memory of the Holocaust in Popular Literature of the Latvian SSR: Analysis of Some Striking Examples

Valentins Lukaševics. Image of Jew in Latgalian Lore

III. Reference materials

List of Cited Interviews

List of Interviewees

About the Authors

Summary