Home » Online History Camp 2020 » Zent ir nisht fun Vitebsk? (Aren’t you from Vitebsk?)

Zent ir nisht fun Vitebsk? (Aren’t you from Vitebsk?)

broken gravestone on the ground

This content was developed during the Online History Camp 2020 “Don’t Look Back in Anger! Coping with Painful Pasts”. This youth encounter brought together 18 participants from Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The event was an integral part of the project “History Competitions in Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine 2”

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This project is about my hometown Vitebsk and about the Jews who used to live here for several centuries. I will show you how this ethnic group was treated in my hometown in the past and whether the memory of these community is preserved now.

Project Description

The project “Zent ir nisht fun Vitebsk?” (translated from Yiddish: “Aren’t you from Vitebsk?”) is a research project about the memory on the Jewish community in Vitebsk in the format of an interactive photo. One of the tags contains the link to the video with the painting of Marc Chagall called “Blue House”. In my opinion, Marc Chagall with his warm feelings towards Vitebsk city is the epitome of Jewish life in Vitebsk. The poet Robert Rozhdestvensky wrote a poem about Marc Chagall and his beautiful and melancholic love towards his city. One of the lines in the poem reads “Aren’t you from Vitebsk?”. I borrowed this line and translated it to Yiddish as the name of the research and creative project. The project provides a glimpse to Marc Chagall and his relation to Vitebsk, some traces of the Jewish community in the city as well as the complex attitude of other locals towards Jews.