They are exquisitely ordinary family snapshots: six young men and women on the beach, playfully arranged in a pyramid; a bourgeois family flaunting its Sabbath best of fur-lined topcoats and rakishly angled hats; a dark-haired Orthodox mother with an infant cradled in her arms and her five children, three barefoot, lined up stiffly in front of a tumbledown shack.
There are dozens of other photographs just as posed and stilted, and strangers scanning them might barely pause for a second glance — except for one fact. Almost all these Polish Jews, rich and poor alike, would be dead within a few years, massacred in the Nazi camps or ghettoes or consumed by the war. One woman in the beach pyramid, a caption says, perished in the Soviet Union, searching for her husband as they fled the Nazis.
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“And I Still See Their Faces” continues through June 24 at the Yeshiva University Museum, in the Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, Flatiron district; (212) 294-8330, yumuseum.org.