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Only 13

 Digital Work
Identifier: ds_0027_only13qtd_01.mp4


  • Creation: 1990


"Only 13" is a poem about a Deaf Jewish young man and his hearing sister caught up in the Holocaust. This piece came out of an experience when Peter and I were housemates. Our landlords, Nathan and Sala Biron, were a Jewish couple who had survived the Holocaust. They told us their story the first night we moved into our apartment and then never spoke of the Holocaust again in the five years we lived in their apartment. We also read a dozen Holocaust memoirs to prepare for this piece, before molding it with Deaf Quebecois poets Serge Briere and Johanna Boulanger. Some of the ideas, we took directly from these books and from Sala and Nathan. This is a poem that seeks only to show the horrors of what happened in those death camps during World War II and convey them to the world. With each generation, the past is forgotten. We hope that this story keeps a little bit of that past alive. The rise of intolerance, white supremacy, and extreme nationalism in the current era is glaring. It makes this story more important.


413.38 Megabytes (mp4)


Sign Languages


General Note

This material was digitized as part of a CLIR Hidden Collections grant: "Sculptures in the Air: An Accessible Online Video Repository of the American Sign Language (ASL) Poetry and Literature Collections at the RIT/NTID Deaf Studies Archive (RIT/NTID DSA) in Rochester, NY." Original VHS recordings were transferred to mp4 format, captioned, and voiced, by the National Technical Institute for the Deaf Production Services department.

Processing Information

Kenny Lerner provided accurate sign language transcriptions of this video; voicing from ASL into English was provided by Miriam Lerner, performing arts interpreter. Kenny Lerner also prepared the notes.


Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA