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[Basement metal workshop and one-room apartment, Warsaw]

Date ca. 1935-38
Location Warsaw Poland
Dimensions Other: 9 3/4 x 7 3/4 in. (24.8 x 19.7 cm)
Other: 10 x 8 in. (25.4 x 20.3 cm)
Print medium Photo-Gelatin silver

In this cellar cubicle, a workman was hammering on metal while his young son watched. The man's face was troubled, and as we talked I found out why. His brother died the year before, and his sister-in-law and her children came to stay with them. Another in-law had already been living with them for six years. The bed on the right slept five; the one of the left, four. Behind me was the kitchen stove. The previous week this man worked in a factory: that ended when three examiners of the anti-Semitic National Democratic Party discovered that he was a Jew. The boss had to fire him, but he tried to give him some work to do - at home, of course - at lesser pay. Now the union workers had found out and threatened to kill him if he worked for less than union rate.
What should he do? What would I do?
- Roman Vishniac
Vishniac, Roman, A Vanished World / Roman Vishniac; with a foreword by Elie Wiesel, New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1983, plate 41.
Variant of 86.1974


© Mara Vishniac Kohn

Credit line

Museum Purchase, International Fund for Concerned Photography, 1974

Feedback Accession No. 87.1974