A Traveling Tombstone “Tevat Paul”: visiting Boston & Cambridge, MA

“I will soon be in Boston for a documentary film about the Armenian Genocide that I ́ve been asked to participate in.” – Paul A. Levine, correspondence, April 2019.

“… our visit to the Boston Public Library was of even more personal interest to me because of Irwin [Hoffman][1].” – Paul A. Levine, correspondence, April 2019.

A Traveling Tombstone “Tevat Paul“, series: “Zweisam”; Sculptor: Robert Schmidt-Matt. Material: Diabas, 10 x 10 x 12 cm. Engraved: “Responsible irresponsibility – Paul A. Levine”.

Visiting Boston & Cambridge MA

As easily as Tevat Paul turned all its six diabas-facets towards the United States, not needing a visa as such, it once again attracted much attention from the authorities on both sides, crossing the next border in a mesmerizing flight over the lakes of New England.

The Tevat Paul sculpture, accompanied by the author of these lines, has arrived at its destination: on a sunny day…

Paul Levine arrived in Boston in September 2019, on his last business trip to the United States. On that trip for the last time, he should have met his relatives living in the area[2]

…Quite unique was, that in Boston–as was discovered several years ago–a part of my own family has been found, the “lost family tribe”, the branch of the family disconnected since World War II. Being on the road with the Tevat Paul project, currently on the North American continent, I received an invaluable gift for Pesach Sameach: the opportunity to meet my “lost” family. And so, I did!

My grandmother’s niece, Ninotchka, born in Lviv in 1939, who survived WW2 as a child (in her book I will later learn the history of her parents and siblings during and after the war), and her mishpucha shared with me family warmth, and a memorable Pesach Seder evening, which I was fortunate to be a part of. Our gathering was not only imbued with love of family, but it also became a source of new ideas and meetings in connection with the project.

The meeting with Professor Omer Bartov, in Cambridge MA, and my introduction of the project Tevat Paul to him, was truly the icing on the cake of my trip to Boston. Historian Omer Bartov was one of the first to support the initiative. Also, together with Professor Alvin H. Rosenfeld, Bartov participated in the memorial international meeting dedicated to Levine in 2020, where the historians contributed their names and talks to the idea of ​​the Initiative “Paul A. Levine Library”. Now, for the hexahedral sculpture Tevat Paul to be held in the hands of the historian and friend Omer Bartov is highly symbolic.

Tevat Paul – A Traveling Tombstone – visiting Boston and Cambridge MA, 2022.

Prof. Omer Bartov holding the sculpture TEVAT PAUL in memory of the Holocaust historian Paul A. Levine.

I express heartfelt thanks to everyone who made these two significant meetings possible, and with deep gratitude provide several photographs capturing some historical moments.

Do you too feel connected to Professor Paul A. Levine and his work, and would you like to meet Tevat Paul, a Traveling Tombstone dedicated to the star-historian as well?

Drop me a note 📩  @CONTACT and let us schedule a meeting.

[1] The American painter Irwin D. Hoffman, who was related to Paul A. Levine, sent, as some believe, to General Israel Orphans Home for Girls in Jerusalem "a violin each year and bequeathed money for an auditorium in his mom's name and the Trustees of the Public Library of the City of Boston…"
"My mother gave me several of his [Hoffman] etchings... which are achingly beautiful…” – From Levine’s correspondence, April 2019, Paul A. Levine Library.
[2] Meeting the president of Latvia Vikes-Freibergas at the release of the Latvian translation of “Tell Ye Your Children”, in 2001, and giving his talk in a magnificent room in Riga, Levine spoke about his grandfather and grandfather’s brothers departing Riga and arriving on the Chelsea Boston docks. – Levine, P. A., notes summer 2018.

Elena Medvedev

P. S. : Read more about the project “A Traveling Tombstone”

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