“PUSHING THE ENVELOPE OF THE DOCUMENTARY FORM”: FIRST EDITION OF VOROBEICHIC’S EIN GHETTO IM OSTEN, WILNA, 1931
VOROBEICHIC, Moshé (aka VER, Moï). Ein Ghetto im Osten (Wilna). Zurich and Leipzig: Orell Fussli, (1931). Slim crown octavo, original half orange cloth, orange & black photographic boards. $2200.
First edition of Vorobeichic’s influential pre-WWII photo-essay on Lithuanian Jews, with 64 halftone images and photomontages of ghetto life.
“Vilna,… to your grandchildren your bonnet, mended like the roof of an old synagogue, appeared loftier than the golden helmets of mighty towers. How often you dried our tears with a tattered apron embroidered with lions and crowns, like a holy Torah curtain” (translated by Renne Brun). Lithuanian-born photographer Moshé Raviv-Vorobeichic trained at the Bauhaus in the 1920s and after studying at the École de Photo Ciné in Paris, “returned to visit his family and photographed life in the Jewish community of Vilnius… His use of the book format as a progression of pictures to be leafed through is unique with regard to the reportage style that was just carving a niche for itself at the time” (Open Book, 18). “Pushing the envelope of the documentary form… Vorobeichic also introduced cinematic cutting and montaging techniques… A poignancy has been added in hindsight: it was made at the beginning of a desperately traumatic time for European Jewry” (Parr & Badger, 130). With preface by poet Zalman Chnéour in both Hebrew and German; captions in both Hebrew and German.
Interior near-fine, with only a few stray spots of foxing. Light rubbing to original boards.