Shtetl

Paintings of Jewish Shtetl before WWII

A shtetl was a small town or village with a primarily Jewish population that existed in Eastern and Central Europe before the Holocaust. Shtetls were typically located in rural areas and were characterized by their tight-knit communities and unique cultural traditions. Many shtetls were founded in the 18th and 19th centuries as Jewish communities were forced out of larger cities and towns due to religious persecution. The residents of shtetls were mostly poor and worked as merchants, artisans, and farmers. The shtetl way of life was largely destroyed during the Holocaust, when most of the Jewish residents of these communities were killed by the Nazis and their collaborators.
Today, very few of these communities still exist, and the vibrant culture and traditions of the shtetls are largely lost.

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