Updated with new pictures. Beardless rabbis and yeshiva students in stylish Western European clothes, hasidim riding bicycles, and nothing much looking like the myth wrongly perpetuated by Fiddler on the Roof.
Originally published at 8:18 pm CDT 8-3-11.
Polish Council of Rabbis (undated but before WW2):
Gateshead, England Yeshiva in the early 1930s:
The Mir Yeshiva after it escaped to Shanghai:
The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, circa 1930:
Satmar Rebbe in Israel, 1959:
Pressburg Yeshiva , 1931:
Surany, Slovakia yeshiva students, Summer 1932:
Dunaszerdahely, Hungary, Winter 1935, Yeshiva students:
Zbaszyn, Poland, a group of refugee rabbis, 3-6-1939:
Piestany, Czechoslovakia, Rabbi Issachar Shlomo Teichtal, the Eim HaBanim Semeicha, with student:
Nemetkeresztur, Hungary, A group of students of the "Tzahalim" Yeshiva:
Paks, Hungary, 1936, Yeshiva students:
Munkatch, Hungary March 1933. Following after the wedding party of the Munkatcher Rebbe's daughter:
Here's another picture from Munkatch in 1933, a heder teacher and his students. Note that almost all of the students and the teacher are wearing Western European clothes:
Watch the video of Munkatch in 1933 posted below and you'll see even more clearly that most of the Jews dressed in Western clothes. Many of the men shaved. And almost the only people dressed in stereotypical hasidic clothes are the Munkatcher rebbe, his sons, and his aides – and this is a wedding party, which is a formal occasion:
There are more pictures of very modern looking haredi rabbis and yeshiva students floating around the web. If you know of one, send me a link to it and I'll post it.
[Hat Tips: Gateshead, Nahum; Mir, Dan; Hungary/Slovakia, OMG.]