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Gallery 8: Postwar Years, 1944 to the present

“In which language are you most comfortable when thinking and speaking?” Sociologist Sara Hurwic (Irena Nowakowska) included this question in her 1948 survey of Jews registered in Łodź, Dzierżoniów, and Warsaw. She concluded from the 817 responses that 84% of the respondents knew YiddishYiddishthe historic Jewish vernacular of Ashkenazi Jews, a fusion of German dialects, Hebrew and Aramaic, and Judeo-Romance and Slavic languages. The beginnings of Yiddish are in the Rhineland in the Middle Ages. About 13 million people spoke Yiddish before the Second World War., but that Polish was gaining ground. Read what the respondents had to say about Yiddish at the interactive presentation on Sara’s desk.