|The caption reads "Ashkenazi|
(German Jews)." Were they
really actors? (1876)
|The original picture of "Polish Jews" (Courtesy|
of the Palestine Exploration Fund)
Hundreds of photos in the Library of Congress collection show Jewish men and women (and here), Arab men and women, the Maronite patriarch, Bedouins, Samaritans, Armenian monks, Druse, etc. in their native and ritual clothing.
|A group portrait of "real" Jews (1900)|
We thank our reader "Yoni" for submitting the following comment, adding to his startling revelation that the photo of the "Ashkenazi Jews" was fake.
The photo "Ashkeanzi Jews" was taken by Sergeant Henry Phillips, R.E, the photographer of the Palestine Exploration Fund’s expedition led by explorer Lieutenant Charles Warren R.E.
There are other versions of this picture with the "actors" dressed differently and in different locations, such as the photo published in Warren's "Underground Jerusalem."
|Armenian priests or are they actors?|
Are they the same people in the
"Ashkenazi picture?" (Courtesy of
the Palestinian Exploration Fund)
The full story will be available with the publication of the Book.
As Yoni pointed out, Mark Twain and his colleagues stayed at the same Mediterranean Hotel in the Old City of Jerusalem as the Palestine Exploration Fund's explorers.
A question for Yoni: Were the actors' pictures taken in 1876, as per the Library of Congress caption, or in 1867 when Warren undertook his expedition to Jerusalem? Both Twain and Warren may have been at the same Mediterranean Hotel at the same time. Click here to see possible pictures of Twain's colleagues in Jerusalem.
An Yoni's response: The Original photo was taken in 1867 by Sargent Howard Philips and the Library of Congress date mentioned is in reference to the publication of Warren's "Underground Jerusalem in 1876. as in the bibliography:
Illus. in: Underground Jerusalem: an account / Charles Warren. London : Richard Bentley and Son, publishers in Ordinary to her Majesty the Queen, 1876, oppos. p. 359.
It does seem that the photographer did not have people of faith to represent the diversity of Jewish, and Christian Orthodox in the city and therefore used actors /extras, and dressed them in the different costumes. I would not call this a "Fraud" but rather creative posing to tell the story.