Ekaterina Kuznetsova

When West Met East: Reading Sholem Aleichem’s Story A frier pesakh


22 August 2019, 7pm

Sholem Aleichem
Sholem Aleichem, source: Wikimedia

In the early 20th century, after pogroms in the Russian Empire, many Ostjuden escaped to the West, where they encountered the completely different type of Jews. Eastern and Western European Jews differed drastically by their appearance, traditions, and even language. Yiddish that once appeared in Germany was already not spoken there in the 19th century. The relationships between Ostjuden and Westjuden were problematic and complicated, mixed with mutual distrust, resentment and even fear. Sholem Aleichem’s short story A frier pesakh tells about one fictional case of a refugee from Eastern Europe coming to a German Jewish community. Behind typical for the author humour and irony there are serious questions to the society which are also important today. How do we relate to strangers? What is the definition of tolerance? And how can newcomers react to the unfriendly environment?

The languages of the event will be EN | YI.

Admission free – donations welcome!

Ekaterina Kuznetsova
Ekaterina Kuznetsova, photo: private

Ekaterina Kuznetsova was born in Moscow and now lives in Berlin. She got her MA degree in the field of Yiddish Studies in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Currently she works on the PhD project about translations from Yiddish into Russian in the Soviet Union. Her research focus is cultural exchange, relationships between Jews and their neighbors, translation theory.