The most famous person with roots in the northeast corner of Slovakia is Andy Warhol, the late pop artist and avant-garde filmmaker whose parents came from the village of Mikova.
The most famous Jews in the area are Franz Kafka, Golda Meir, Albert Einstein.
They are among the 10 Jews in an exhibition of Warhol silkscreen prints, fittingly named “Portraits of Ten Jews,” at the Warhol Family Museum of Modern Art in Medzilaborce, a few miles from Mikova in the Subcarpathian foothills.
Only a few thousand Jews live in Utah, international center of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints, better known as the Mormons.
But, says a researcher in Salt Lake City, several thousand Jews are on the Mormon Church’s membership rolls — Jews who were posthumously baptized and converted into the Mormon faith.
Henreich Heine, the German-Jewish poet, wrote more than a century ago, ìder vorhang fallt, das stuck ist aus,î the curtain falls, the play is done. Then, in that tragic coda, the ax fell, too. Yet the drama goes on, a few German-Jews puttering around on a stage they refuse to leave, enchanted by that language.ìWir haben viel fur einander gefuhlt,î how deeply we were wrapped in each otherís lives, wrote Heine.
When Peter Barland was applying to medical schools 54 years ago, his choices were severely limited — most top universities still capped their Jewish admittances through strict quotas, and winning a seat at such coveted institutions as Harvard, Yale or Columbia was next to impossible.