In this episode, originally broadcast on November 28, 1965, Dr. Marvin (Mikhl) Herzog interviews Dr. Florence Guggenheim-Grünberg on Western Yiddish. Recorded examples of native speakers of Western Yiddish are featured, with the discussion in English. Among Guggenheim-Grunberg’s publications are “Horse Dealers’ Language of the Swiss Jews in Endingen and Lengnau” in Uriel Weinreich, ed., The Field of Yiddish (New York: Publications of the Linguistic Circle of New York, 1954.)
Earlier that year, on June 10-13, YIVO and the Culture Atlas of Ashkenazic Jewry co-sponsored a Conference on Yiddish Dialectology in New York. As Wita Ravid (a member of the Staff of the Language and Culture Atlas of Ashkenazic Jewry, Columbia University) wrote in The Linguistic Reporter, The Journal of the Center for Applied Linguistics in August 1965: “A considerable part of the conference was devoted to Western Yiddish. F. Guggenheim-Grünberg of Zurich, who has recently expanded her studies of Swiss Yiddish to include other Western varieties, reported on her work among rural Jews in Switzerland and southwestern Germany, and played examples of taped folklore materials.”
From 1963-1976, YIVO had its own program on WEVD, the radio station established by the Socialist Party of America in 1927 (its call letters stand for the initials of American socialist leader Eugene V. Debs), which was purchased by the Jewish Daily Forward in 1932 and became a major venue from Yiddish programming.
YIVO used its spot on WEVD for Yiddish-language interviews and discussions with leading New York Yiddish cultural figures, as well as for reporting on its own scholarly and cultural work.
A new podcast of this program in the order in which it was originally broadcast will be posted here every two weeks.
Presentation of series curated by Matt Temkin, YIVO Sound Archives.
Listen to the program [in Yiddish].