VIDEO: Avrom Karpinovitch, Writer, Remembers Jewish Criminals In Vilna
This article originally appeared in the Yiddish Forverts.
Vilna writer Avrom Karpinovitch dedicated his life to describing the colorful personalities of the lower class and criminal element of his city on the eve of the Holocaust.
In this video he tells us about Tall Tamara, the Jewish streetwalker; Avrom Mosevski, the glutton; and Gedalke the Mad Cantor, who used to sing Jewish melodies into a teakettle to preserve them till Passover.
“The Vilna Gaon will be written about, researched and dissertated, and Dr. Max Weinreich is immortalized in the history of the Yiddish language,” Karpinovich says. “But what about Tall Tamara, who stood up to the Nazis at the extermination pit in Ponar? She expressed her dissent by being the only one not to take off her clothes. The Nazis murdered her still wearing her dress. That was the only protest she could express. With that one act she rescued the honor of all Jewish women. Why should Tamara be forgotten?‟
This documentary is one of ten in which acclaimed Yiddish writers of the pre-war generation speak openly about their lives. The films, in Yiddish with English subtitles, were directed by award-winning writer and former Forverts editor Boris Sandler and produced through the Forward Association as a DVD series called “Monologues of Yiddish Writers”.