This week's Yizkor book excerpt on the JewishGen Facebook page #yizkorbooks


Bruce Drake
 

I never thought I’d encounter the word “discotheque” in a Yizkor book. But there it was in a section with the subhead “Vishnevets Discotheque” from a chapter in the Yizkor book of this Ukraine town titled “Vishnevets in a Trick Mirror.”
As you might have guessed, the author used the term to project back in time to what he considered to be the equivalent of a discotheque when he lived in Vishnevets.
“Properly speaking,” says M. Averbukh, “in those days no one had any concept of anything called a ‘discotheque,’ even in the most modern, avant garde countries in the world. In the early 20th century, God protect us, but according to the mode to this very day, in Vishnevets there was a place of amusement suited to that generation's tastes.”
I’ll leave it to the actual text to describe the pleasures of a discotheque-like place where young men and women gathered together after a week of work to satisfy their Sabbath rest. As a bonus, I’ve added a short excerpt from the “Book of Klezmer” that describes dances that were popular at the time, although it’s hard to summon up the vision of a discotheque of our era featuring a Klezmer band.
 
 

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Bruce Drake
Silver Spring, MD

Researching: DRACH, EBERT, KIMMEL, ZLOTNICK
Towns: Wojnilow, Kovel