Chaim Kapłan’s Diary

The observer standing on the balcony, looking at the crowd strolling in festive atmosphere is beginning to have mixed feelings.

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(Second day of the holiday of Pesach of the year 5700, evening) The observer standing on the balcony, looking at the crowd strolling in festive atmosphere is beginning to have mixed feelings. Over time, everyone gets used to the misery, life goes on and everyone would like to taste it. The Jewesses, who previously wore only head-scarfs, now put on hats, lipsticks, as if there was nothing going on around and the old, peaceful times were back. Sure thing that women are the first ones to dress up. It is not like that with men. The majority of them even during holidays wear casual clothes, not willing to draw attention.[...]

The synagogues are closed, but in every home there is a makeshift one, in which a cantor is beautifying prayers with his singing. It resembles, to some extent, times of the Spanish Inquisition and Marans.

Chaim Kapłan, 24th April, 1940, Warsaw

Ch. Kapłan, “The Chronicle of Life”, JHI’s Bulletin no. 1–2, 1963; part 2 no. 2, 1964; diary from JHI’s collections; Translated from Hebrew by A. Rutkowski and A. Wein

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