Life in the Shtetl: Scenes and Recollections

By llex (Chaim) Beller

Ilex Beller (1914-2005) is a native of Grodzisko Dolne.   In April of 1983, at the age of 69, he returned to Grodzisko Dolne and found nothing there, everything had disappeared, except a headstone three- quarters buried, that by chance was the grave of his grandfather Aaron Yehuda Beller.   

He returned to Paris and decided to preserve his memories of the shtetl by painting scenes he remembered from his youth in Grodzisko Dolne.

Below we display a collection of photos of his paintings with the kind permission of his son Bernard Beller.




My Hometown 

A Beautiful Winter's Day


The Birth of Jeremia


Old Lady and the Crib

To Cheder on a winter's day

At the Cheder

Potato Soup

Water Carrier in Winter

The Shtetl in Summer

The Schoolmaster

Ladies in the Veranda

My Grandfather Aaron Yehuda


A piece of herring for two groshen [pennies]

Off to School

Sleep my baby

The Festival of Purim


The Melamed and the Talmudim

Lag - Baomer

Couple in Love

A Wedding


A Mitzvah Dance

Miriam's Birth


To Town in time for Shabat

Blessing the Shabat Candles

To Shul on Friday Evening

A poor man invited as Guest for Shaba

A Poor Shabat

The Shabes Goy

Reb Duvidl Goes to Shul

The Craftsmen Praying

In Shul After Prayers

Tikkun Chatzot (Midnight Prayers)

Shabat Afternoon

The Farmers at the Rabbi's (for a letter translation)

Muddy Street

Itze, the Village Fool

The Street of the Craftsmen

Meyer the Coachman

Old Friends

Two Traders (Dealers)

Binem the Carrier

Traders With No Goods

Before the Judge

Traveling Trader

Buy a Radish

Buy a Bagel

A Wagon with Potatos

The Farmers

Sholem the Smith

Moredechai the Taylor

Israel the Shoemaker

Yankel the Knife Sharpener

Abraham the Milkman

Simon the Carpenter

Departure to New Horizons

The Socialist Bund

Zionist Youth  

The Communists

Saying Goodbye

Remaining Alone

A Letter From America

The Shamash: Waking People for Slichot

Gathering Brushwood

The Grandfather Blessing the Grandson

Rosh Hashanah

Simchat Torah

Dancing Chassidim


When the Messias Will Come 

Blessing the New Moon


Angst - Fear

A Funeral

At My Grandfather's Gravesite

Shoah Holocaust


Click on the pictures for a full size version. However, these are large pictures. They may take a while to load.

Copyright 2017 Kolbuszowa Region Research Group. All rights reserved.

Back to Grodzisko Dolne Shtetl Home Page