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The Wise Men of Chelm: Eastern European Jewry’s Favorite Folk Tradition and its Origins
Mar 5 2012


Ruth von Bernuth, Assistant Professor, Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, University of North Carolina

Yiddish stories describing the intellectual limitations of the Khelemer naronim, the fools, or, in the more common ironic formulation, the wise men of Chelm, made their debut in Eastern Europe in the 19th century. This talk explores the most significant editions of the tales, as well as the German Schildbürgerbuch as their precursor.

The Wise Men of Chelm Audio