While in Ulanów: Tips & Descriptions
I visited Ulanów in 2003. In every place I visit, I ask local people if they have or know of someone who has jewish items/documents/photos/books etc. I did the same here and got great results.
I received a lot of help from a local man. First I went to the Jewish cemetery. The cemetery has about 150 tombstones. The earliest I could find was dated 1708.
In the center of town, many former Jewish houses are still found, including the bakery.
A local man helped me arrange a meeting with a man who renovates houses. In the garbage of one of the houses he renovated, he found lots of typed Hebrew and Yiddish documents dating from the 1930's. The documents were relating to AGUDAT ISRAEL and other zionist organizations in Ulanów. He also found 3 photos of people from the town named WERNER and BIRNBAUM. That's not all, this man had a 1905 Hebrew manuscript sent from a Hungarian rabbi to his student in Ulanów. Also found was a copper "MIGDAL BESAMIM" (this is a holder of BESAMIM, which we smell when doing "HAVDALA"). I took photographs of the Migdal Besamim and of the 3 photographs (the photos can be found on the Ulanów main page).
ANOTHER TIP: bring a good camera and, in cases like this, take not only 1 photograph of each item, but 5 or more. Take one photograph with a flash, the other without. Take a few more in different light and background conditions. Don't miss the chance to document everything clearly, even if it cost just a little more.
I also exchanged my email, address and phone number with this person and gave him money for photocopying + scanning + mailing me the paper documents. He didn't want to sell any items yet, but at least he was very kind and cooperative, allowing me to photograph it.
The person who helped me also said that his relatives are photographers and that their father was also a photographer before WWII. Since they might have old photos, he promised to check it out for me.
So here is the next tip: look for photographers or their families and ask for old photos!
This article was written with the kind permission of Tomer Brunner.
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