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Finding her roots

Top, a pitcher in a museum of shtetl possessions, Mir (Karelitski), Belarus; bottom, Ann Karelitz Laff’s pitcher in her Salem Home.

JUNE 21, 2018, BELARUS – Visiting Mir, a village in Belarus, we stopped at a private museum, teeming with possessions that Jews left behind during the Holocaust. I snapped a picture of a small pitcher that resembled one I had received from my grandfather, whose family came from Prussia.

Modern technology, specifically GPS mapping of pictures on iPhones, showed me this museum actually was in a very small village called Karelitski. Given that my grandfather’s name was Karelitz, I think I had stumbled upon a part of my Jewish heritage, which was my original purpose for this trip.

One photo is of the pitcher in the private museum in Karelitski; the other is from my home in Salem.

– Ann Karelitz Laaff

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