Indiana University Bloomington

Welcome to AHEYM

The Archives of Historical and Ethnographic Yiddish Memories explores Jewish life in Eastern Europe before, during and after World War II. The archive consists of nearly 400 interviews, conducted primarily in Yiddish, and mostly in small towns throughout Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia. The interviews focus on language, religious customs and beliefs, songs, and Holocaust testimony and present a variety of perspectives on how ordinary Jews experienced the twentieth-century. Recorded in situ, or on the site of memory itself, these testimonies bring to life the story of those Jews who not only survived, but rebuilt their lives in the very places where some of the most tumultuous events of the 20th century occurred.

For curated video clips, explanations, and analysis of some of the collection highlights, see our Online Exhibits. You can search by person, location or subject.

The complete archive will soon be available for public access.

Quotes from the Interviews

“I wrote in Yiddish. I studied at a Yiddish school. I finished six grades, in Yiddish. I can write in Yiddish. I love Yiddish”

- Yosl Kogan born in Bershad,1927 | Watch Video

“Our children’s children’s children’s children must know”

- Moyshe Kupershmidt born in Bratslav,1914 | Watch Video

“And this is my autobiography”

- David Furman born in Berdychiv,1919 | Watch Video

“And Hitler took and murdered these people”

- Beyle Vaisman born in Berdychiv,1925 | Watch Video

Yosl Kogan performs the song "Aheym," about his hopes for the Jewish future. He explained that he wrote the song during World War II, when he was a prisoner in the Bershad ghetto under Romanian occupation.