Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A city in Belarus links Marc Chagall to lost Jewish culture

By Celestine Bohlen

NEW YORK---If it weren’t for Marc Chagall and his paintings of rabbis and fiddlers, goats and lovers floating above its rooftops and church spires, Vitebsk would be just an obscure provincial city in Belarus, a country that remains eerily frozen in a Soviet-era past. “I did not live with you, but I did not have one single painting that did not breathe your spirit and reflection,” he wrote in an open letter to Vitebsk, published in a New York newspaper on Feb. 15, 1944, just as the city’s Jewish past was being snuffed out. [link]