On Brick Lane

I returned to the streets my grandparents had willingly left to find the last of the elderly Jewish East Enders and to hear their stories. I spent my days talking with people in shops and old people’s homes and walking the streets where my grandparnts had walked.

Rachel Lichtenstein's On Brick Lane, Brick Lane, Whitechapel, Tower Hamlets, E1

Over time, I began to pick up traces left by other groups of people who had lived in the area. I learned that the Latin inscription ‘Umbra Sumus’ above the great mosque, which was once a synagogue and before that a church, translates as ‘We are Shadows’.

From Rachel Lichtenstein’s On Brick Lane (2007)

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