A photo of Gloria Swanson

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To listen to this post in French, click below

Gloria Swanson
A movie star photo rescued from the past

Slonim, the shtetl where my mother was born (one year in Russia and the next in Poland, nowadays in Belarus), has disappeared, as it was before the war, to lgive way to a modern town which seems to have forgotten all about its Jews and interestingly enough, Judaism is not even mentioned as one of the religions in Belarus. But there is a Slonim business directory of 1918 which records my grandfather’s address both for his printer’s business and his cinema. The cinema is probably the origin of the suitcase full of photos of the famous cinema stars of the twenties and the thirties, which my mother ended up with. Practically all of them have been lost. Six years ago, I moved from my childhood flat and lost a huge number of photos, which makes me sorry now.
This card/photo of Gloria Swanson is one of the many photos I used to browse with my mother and she would tell me how in those times, movies were silent and as she wanted to become a famous pianist, her father would have her play the piano in his cinema. She would play while watching the movie on the screen above her. Somehow, I can almost hear the sound of that piano coming to my ears through the years…

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