Chapter 01

Chapter 1 – 1: Map of Podlaskie Voivodship

Mendel was born in a little town, the shtetl Jedwabne, which lies in the Podlaskie Voivodship not far from Łomza and Białystok

Chapter 1 – 2: “Remembering Moishe”

As he recounted the day Moishe died, my father seemed to transport 80 years, back to his home in Jedwabne.

MW = Michael Waterston, AW = Alisse Waterston, author.

Chapter 1 – 3: “A Fragment”

ch1-2It’s strange how something that seems unimportant—a torn scrap of paper—can come back at some later time to have so much meaning.

Chapter 1 – 4: Sunrise Sunset

“When I die,” my father told me in 2003, “I don’t want any religion or rabbis. Nobody should cry. Just take me to the grave and have someone play Sunrise, Sunset, and that’s it.”

Chapter 1 – 5: “Fiddler on the Roof”

ch1-3This is the cover of the program for the feature film Fiddler on the Roof that my father kept amongst tons of other paper items—personal writings, magazines, financial papers, legal documents, photographs—mementos of his life. The Fiddler on the Roof booklet was more than just a movie program; it signaled something significant that I would need to explore.

Chapter 1 – 6: Sefer Jedwabne: History and Memorial Book

Stories in the Jedwabne’s history and memorial book (Sefer Jedwabne) affirm my father’s memories of displacement and dispossession.” The book is available online:

Chapter 1 – 7: Chopin’s Poloniase in A Flat Major, Op. 53 ‘Heroic’

In Poland, certain cultural symbols informed the development of Polish national identity. Specific tropes were invoked, including those developed by nineteenth-century Romantic writers and composers. The mazurkas and polonaises by Chopin, for example, became “quintessentially” Polish.