Introduction


This exhibition tells the story of what happened to the Jewish population of Novogrudek, a shtetl in Eastern Europe during the interwar and wartime years.

In the 1931 Alexander Harcavy returned to the town of his birth bringing with him a photographer and cinematographer from Warsaw. His photographs are a window to a world that has disappeared, to the rich variety of Jewish life that existed in a town where more than half of its inhabitants were Jews.

After he left, and Novogrudek fell under German occupation, the towns’ Jewish community, resident for over five hundred years, was destroyed by the Nazis through massacres and labour camp deprivation as part of the Holocaust. This virtual exhibition uses photographs, documents and testimony to show what happened to the town, and how one citizen of Novogrudek, Jack Kagan, survived the Holocaust by escaping from a labour camp to safety with the Bielski Brothers, a group of Jewish partisans in the dense forests of the area.