Zdjęcia w artykule: Andrzej Rudiak
StElimelekh i Tamar Landau. Fot. Yad Vashem
connect with Jewish history. Much of this priceless original material had never before been available to the general public.”
“Beba Epstein lived through extraordinary times, but as her autobiography shows, she was also a regular fifth-grader who loved her summer holidays and spending time with her family. By making her firsthand account and other rare contemporaneous materials available to viewers with the click of a mouse, we hope to inspire empathy and instill understanding that discrimination can alter the course of a single life and whole communities’ fate, and no one is immune from it,” said Karolina Ziulkoski, Chief Curator, YIVO Bruce and Francesca Cernia Slovin Online Museum.
Beba Epstein: The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Girl was developed from its inception as a digitally native project. Rather than following an object-based approach, the exhibition is divided into ten chapters that span Beba’s life, using interactive storytelling to unite over 200 artifacts from YIVO’s archives. Within the exhibition, users are able to explore various depths of information at their own pace.
Beba Epstein’s autobiography, the centerpiece of the exhibition, was written as a submission to an autobiography competition held by YIVO in the 1930s to understand and document the lives of Jewish teens across Eastern Europe.
Beba produced her autobiography when she was a fifth-grader, before the start of World War II. It was discovered in May 2017 at the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania among 170,000 pages of previously unknown YIVO materials thought to have been destroyed by the Nazis. These materials are now part of the Edward Blank YIVO Vilna Online Collections project, a major initiative launched in 2015 through the generosity of Edward Blank and Family.