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A gripping revisionist history that shows how ordinary Italians played a central role in the genocide of Italian Jews during the Second World War In this brief history of Italy's role in the Holocaust, Simon Levis Sullam presents an unforgettable account of how ordinary Italians actively participated in the deportation of Italy's Jews between 1943 and 1945. While most historians have long described Italians as relatively protective of Jews during this time, The Italian Executioners tells a very different story, recounting in vivid detail the shocking events of a period during which Italians set in motion almost half the arrests that sent their Jewish compatriots to Auschwitz. With a historian's rigor and a novelist's gift for scene-setting, Levis Sullam dismantles the seductive myth of the "good Italians" who sheltered Jews from harm. In collaboration with the Nazis, and with different degrees of involvement, the Italians were guilty of genocide.
This interdisciplinary text brings together perspectives from leading psychoanalysts and modern Jewish philosophers to offer a unique investigation into the dynamic between the fundamental trust in the self, other persons, and the world, and the devastating force of emotional trauma. Chapters examine the challenges of witnessing and acknowledging suffering; trust in God; and the traumatic effects of the Holocaust. The result is a deeper understanding of the fundamental relationality of humans, the imperative of responsibility for the Other, the fragility of meaning, and the metaphorical powers of religious language. Authors representing two standpoints, the psychological/ psychoanalytic and the religious/ philosophical, provide key insights. Erik Erikson, Jessica Benjamin, Judith Herman, and Bessel van der Kolk support the psychological discourse, while Franz Rosenzweig, Martin Buber, and Abraham Joshua Heschel present the Jewish philosophical discourse. This book is written for professionals and advanced students in psychoanalysis, philosophy, and Jewish and religious studies. Its accessible and engaging style will also appeal to general readers with an interest in philosophical, psychological, and religious perspectives on some of the most elemental human concerns.
Architectural design can play a role in helping make the past present in meaningful ways when applied to preexisting buildings and places that carry notable and troubling pasts. In this comparative analysis, Rumiko Handa establishes the critical role architectural designs play in presenting difficult pasts by examining documentation centers on National Socialism in Germany. Presenting Difficult Pasts Through Architecture analyzes four centers - Cologne, Nuremberg, Berlin, and Munich - from the point of view of their shared intent to make the past present at National Socialists' perpetrator sites. Applying original frameworks, Handa considers what more architectural design could do toward meaningful representations and interpretations of difficult pasts. This book is a must-read for students, practitioners, and academics interested in how architectural design can participate in presenting the difficult pasts of historical places in meaningful ways.
Based on never previously explored personal accounts and archival documentation, this book examines life and death in the Theresienstadt ghetto, seen through the eyes of the Jewish victims from Denmark. "How was it in Theresienstadt?" Thus asked Johan Grun rhetorically when he, in July 1945, published a short text about his experiences. The successful flight of the majority of Danish Jewry in October 1943 is a well-known episode of the Holocaust, but the experience of the 470 men, women, and children that were deported to the ghetto has seldom been the object of scholarly interest. Providing an overview of the Judenaktion in Denmark and the subsequent deportations, the book sheds light on the fate of those who were arrested. Through a micro-historical analysis of everyday life, it describes various aspects of social and daily life in proximity to death. In doing so, the volume illuminates the diversity of individual situations and conveys the deportees' perceptions and striving for survival and 'normality'. Offering a multi-perspective and international approach that places the case of Denmark into the broader Jewish experience during the Holocaust, this book is invaluable for researchers of Jewish studies, Holocaust and genocide studies, and the history of modern Denmark.
The gripping memoir of 98-year-old Jewish Holocaust survivor Justus Rosenberg, who risked everything to join the French Resistance and smuggle people out of Nazi territory during World War II. In 1937, as the Nazi Party tightened its grip on the city of Danzig (now Gdansk, Poland), Justus Rosenberg's parents made the wrenching decision to send their son to Paris, where he would have the hope of finishing high school and going on to university in safety. He was sixteen years old, and he would not see his family again for sixteen years more. Even after war broke out in 1939, life in France was peaceful for a time-but when the Nazis pushed toward Paris in the spring of 1940, Justus was forced to flee south to Toulouse. There, a chance meeting put Justus in contact with Varian Fry, the American journalist who ran a refugee network that aided several thousand Jews in escaping Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. With his German background, understanding of French cultural, and fluency in several languages, including English, Justus was ideally positioned to thrive in Fry's network, coming to master an underworld of counterfeit documents, whispered passwords, black market currency, opportunistic gangsters, and clandestine mountain passes. Justus would spend the rest of the war working for Fry and later the French Resistance, helping to provide safe passage for many intellectuals and artists on the run from the Nazis, among them Hannah Arendt, Marc Chagall, Andre Breton, and Max Ernst. Along the way, he would have a number of close scrapes of his own: on one occasion, he was rounded up to be sent to a labor camp in Poland, and had to make a daring escape to save his life; on another, he narrowly survived after his jeep hits a landmine. An epic saga of survival, with the soul of a spy thriller, The Art of Resistance is also an uplifting story of personal triumph. (Several years after the war, Justus was finally able to track down his family, who he feared had died at the Nazis' hands.) As Justus writes, "I survived the war through a rare combination of good fortune, resourcefulness, optimism, and, most important, the kindness of many good people."
Anne Frank's The Diary of a Young Girl is among the most enduring documents of the twentieth century. Since its publication in 1947, it has been read by tens of millions of people all over the world. It remains a beloved and deeply admired testament to the indestructible nature of the human spirit. Restored in this Definitive Edition are diary entries that were omitted from the original edition. These passages, which constitute 30 percent more material, reinforce the fact that Anne was first and foremost a teenage girl, not a remote and flawless symbol. She fretted about and tried to cope with her own sexuality. Like many young girls, she often found herself in disagreements with her mother. And like any teenager, she veered between the carefree nature of a child and the full-fledged sorrow of an adult. Anne emerges more human, more vulnerable and more vital than ever.
"We will be judged in our own time and in the future by measuring the aid that we, inhabitants of a free and fortunate country, gave to our brethren in this time of greatest disaster." This declaration, made shortly after the pogroms of November 1938 by the Jewish communities in Sweden, was truer than anyone could have forecast at the time. Pontus Rudberg focuses on this sensitive issue - Jewish responses to the Nazi persecutions and mass murder of Jews. What actions did Swedish Jews take to aid the Jews in Europe during the years 1933-45 and what determined their policies and actions? Specific attention is given to the aid efforts of the Jewish Community of Stockholm, including the range of activities in which the community engaged and the challenges and opportunities presented by official refugee policy in Sweden.
This is a unique, eye-witness account of everyday life right at the heart of the Nazi extermination machine.
Slomo Venezia was born into a poor Jewish-Italian community living in Thessaloniki, Greece. At first, the occupying Italians protected his family; but when the Germans invaded, the Venezias were deported to Auschwitz. His mother and sisters disappeared on arrival, and he learned, at first with disbelief, that they had almost certainly been gassed. Given the chance to earn a little extra bread, he agreed to become a 'Sonderkommando', without realising what this entailed. He soon found himself a member of the 'special unit' responsible for removing the corpses from the gas chambers and burning their bodies.
Dispassionately, he details the grim round of daily tasks, evokes the terror inspired by the man in charge of the crematoria, 'Angel of Death' Otto Moll, and recounts the attempts made by some of the prisoners to escape, including the revolt of October 1944.
It is usual to imagine that none of those who went into the gas chambers at Auschwitz ever emerged to tell their tale - but, as a member of a 'Sonderkommando', Shlomo Venezia was given this horrific privilege. He knew that, having witnessed the unspeakable, he in turn would probably be eliminated by the SS in case he ever told his tale. He survived: this is his story.
Published in association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Providing diverse insights into Jewish-Gentile relations in East Central Europe from the outbreak of the Second World War until the reestablishment of civic societies after the fall of Communism in the late 1980s, this volume brings together scholars from various disciplines - including history, sociology, political science, cultural studies, film studies and anthropology - to investigate the complexity of these relations, and their transformation, from perspectives beyond the traditional approach that deals purely with politics. This collection thus looks for interactions between the public and private, and what is more, it does so from a still rather rare comparative perspective, both chronological and geographic. It is this interdisciplinary and comparative perspective that enables us to scrutinize the interaction between the individual majority societies and the Jewish minorities in a longer time frame, and hence we are able to revisit complex and manifold encounters between Jews and Gentiles, including but not limited to propaganda, robbery, violence but also help and rescue. In doing so, this collection challenges the representation of these encounters in post-war literature, films, and the historical consciousness. This book was originally published as a special issue of Holocaust Studies.
The first comprehensive account of the evolution and exploitation of the Judeo-Bolshevik myth, from its origins to the present day. For much of the twentieth century, Europe was haunted by a threat of its own imagining: Judeo-Bolshevism. This myth-that Communism was a Jewish plot to destroy the nations of Europe-was a paranoid fantasy, and yet fears of a Jewish Bolshevik conspiracy took hold during the Russian Revolution and spread across Europe. During World War II, these fears sparked genocide. Paul Hanebrink's history begins with the counterrevolutionary movements that roiled Europe at the end of World War I. Fascists, Nazis, conservative Christians, and other Europeans, terrified by Communism, imagined Jewish Bolsheviks as enemies who crossed borders to subvert order from within and bring destructive ideas from abroad. In the years that followed, Judeo-Bolshevism was an accessible and potent political weapon. After the Holocaust, the specter of Judeo-Bolshevism did not die. Instead, it adapted to, and became a part of, the Cold War world. Transformed yet again, it persists today on both sides of the Atlantic in the toxic politics of revitalized right-wing nationalism. Drawing a worrisome parallel across one hundred years, Hanebrink argues that Europeans and Americans continue to imagine a transnational ethno-religious threat to national ways of life, this time from Muslims rather than Jews.
Under the legal and administrative system of Nazi Germany, people
categorized as Fremdvolkische (literally, "foreign people") were
subject to special laws that restricted their rights, limited their
protection under the law, and exposed them to extraordinary legal
sanctions and brutal, extralegal police actions. These special
laws, one of the central constitutional principles of the Third
Reich, applied to anyone perceived as different or racially
inferior, whether German citizens or not.
Heart-rending meditation on people, stories and human history lost during the Second World War, from the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature Patrick Modiano 'Missing a young girl, Dora Bruder, 15, height 1.55m, oval-shaped face, grey-brown eyes, grey sports jacket, maroon pullover, navy blue skirt and hat, brown gym shoes. All information to M. and Mme Bruder, 41 Boulevard Ornano, Paris.' Patrick Modiano stumbles across this notice in a December 1941 issue of Paris Soir. The girl has vanished from the convent school which had taken her in during the Occupation, at a time of especially violent German reprisals. Moved by her fate, the author sets out to find all he can about her. He discovers her name in a list of Jews deported to Auschwitz in September 1942 and what further fragments he is able to uncover about the Bruder family become a meditation on the immense losses of the period - people lost, stories lost, human history lost. Modiano delivers a moving survey of a decade-long investigation that revived for him the sights, sounds and sorrowful rhythms of occupied Paris. And in seeking to exhume Dora Bruder's fate, he in turn faces his own family history. 'Absolutely magnificent' Le Monde
Described as one of the greatest mass-murderers in history, Rudolf Hoss, was born in Baden-Baden, on the edge of Germany's Black Forest region, on 11 December 1901\. As a child, his aim was to join the priesthood, but in his early youth he became disillusioned with religion and turned instead to the Army. Hoss joined the 21st Regiment of Dragoons, his father's and grandfather's old regiment, at the age of just 14\. He served with the Ottoman Army in its fight against the British, serving in Palestine and being present at the Siege of Kut-el-Amara. During this period, he was promoted to the rank of Feldwebel, becoming, at that time, the youngest Non-commissioned officer in the German Army. He was also decorated, receiving among other awards the Iron Cross, First and Second class. In the midst of the political upheavals in post-war Germany, Hoss was drawn to the hard-line philosophies of Adolph Hitler, joining the Nazi Party in 1922\. His ruthless commitment to the Nazi cause saw him convicted of participating in at least one political assassination, for which he spent six years in prison. Predictably, Hoss joined the SS and in 1934 became a Blockfuhrer, or Block Leader, at Dachau concentration camp. His ruthless dedication led to him becoming the adjutant to the camp commandant at another concentration camp, Sachsenhausen. Then, in May 1940, Hoss was given command of his own camp near the town of Auschwitz. In June 1941, Hoss was told that Auschwitz had been selected as the site for the Final Solution of the Jewish question. Hoss set about his task with relish, and a determination to kill as many Jews as quickly and efficiently as possible. By his own estimation, he was responsible for the deaths of at least 3,000,000,000 individuals. Justice caught up with Hoss after the German surrender when he was arrested on 11 March 1946, after a year posing as a gardener under a false name. He was found guilty of war crimes and was hanged on 16 April 1947.
Holocaust Narratives: Trauma, Memory and Identity Across Generations analyzes individual multi-generational frameworks of Holocaust trauma to answer one essential question: How do these narratives change to not only transmit the trauma of the Holocaust - and in the process add meaning to what is inherently an event that annihilates meaning - but also construct the trauma as a connector to a past that needs to be continued in the present? Meaningless or not, unspeakable or not, unknowable or not, the trauma, in all its impossibilities and intractabilities, spawns literary and scholarly engagement on a large scale. Narrative is the key connector that structures trauma for both individual and collective.
What are you willing to do to survive? What are you willing to endure if it means you might live? 'Achingly moving, gives much-needed hope . . . Deserves the status both as a valuable historical source and as a stand-out memoir' Daily Express 'A story that neads to be heard' 5***** Reader Review Entering Terezin, a Nazi concentration camp, Franci was expected to die. She refused. In the summer of 1942, twenty-two-year-old Franci Rabinek - designated a Jew by the Nazi racial laws - arrived at Terezin, a concentration camp and ghetto forty miles north of her home in Prague. It would be the beginning of her three-year journey from Terezin to the Czech family camp in Auschwitz-Birkenau, to the slave labour camps in Hamburg, and finally to Bergen Belsen. Franci, a spirited and glamorous young woman, was known among her fellow inmates as the Prague dress designer. Having endured the transportation of her parents, she never forgot her mother's parting words: 'Your only duty to us is to stay alive'. During an Auschwitz selection, Franci would spontaneously lie to Nazi officer Dr Josef Mengele, and claim to be an electrician. A split-second decision that would go on to endanger - and save - her life. Unpublished for 50 years, Franci's War is an astonishing account of one woman's attempt to survive. Heartbreaking and candid, Franci finds the light in her darkest years and the horrors she faces instill in her, strength and resilience to survive and to live again. She gives voice to the women prisoners in her tight-knit circle of friends. Her testimony sheds new light on the alliances, love affairs, and sexual barter that took place during the Holocaust, offering a compelling insight into the resilience and courage of ordinary people in an extraordinary situation. Above all, Franci's War asks us to explore what it takes to survive, and what it means to truly live. 'A candid account of shocking events. Franci is someone many women today will be able to identify with' 5***** Reader Review 'First-hand accounts of life in Nazi death camps never lose their terrible power but few are as extraordinary as Franci's War' Mail on Sunday 'Fascinating and traumatic. Well worth a read' 5***** Reader Review
'If we had held one minute's silence for each of the six million Jews who were murdered, we would have remained silent for twelve years.' Blanche Major. In Time's Witnesses: Women's Voices from the Holocaust, Major and nine other Jewish women testify about their horrific experiences in Auschwitz, Theresienstadt, Bergen-Belsen and other Nazi camps.This book tells of humiliation, hunger, death and despair, but also of dignity, unity and hope-and an indomitable will to live. Each woman's experience is unique; yet their reflections share a common hope for reconciliation and understanding. They are a testament to the Nazi atrocities and a caution for the future. Theirs are stories the world must never forget.
In this pioneering biography of a frontline Holocaust perpetrator, Alex J. Kay uncovers the life of SS Lieutenant Colonel Alfred Filbert, responsible as the first head of SS-Einsatzkommando 9, a mobile killing squad, for the murder of more than 18,000 Soviet Jews - men, women and children - on the Eastern Front. He reveals how Filbert, following the political imprisonment of his older brother, set out to prove his own ideological allegiance by displaying particular radicalism in implementing the orders issued by Hitler, Himmler and Heydrich. He also examines Filbert's post-war experiences, first in hiding and then being captured, tried and sentenced to life imprisonment. Released early, Filbert went on to feature in a controversial film in the lead role of an SS mass murderer. The book provides compelling new insights into the mindset and motivations of the men, like Filbert, who rose through the ranks of the Nazi regime.
'The last great, untold story of WWII... highly compelling' Daily Mail Fleeing Nazi persecution for America in the 1930s, the young German-born Jews who would come to be known as The Ritchie Boys were labelled 'enemy aliens' when war broke out. Although of the age to be inducted into the U.S. military, their German accents made them distrusted. Until one day in 1942, when the Pentagon woke up to the incredible asset they had in their ranks, and sent these young recruits to a secret military intelligence training centre at Camp Ritchie, Maryland. These men knew the language, culture and psychology of the enemy better than anyone, and had the greatest motivation to fight Hitler's anti-Semitic regime. And so they were trained and sent back into the belly of the beast, Jews returning to the frontlines of battlefields across Nazi-occupied Europe to defeat the enemy that persecuted them and their families. In an epic story of heroism, courage, and patriotism, bestselling author Bruce Henderson draws on personal interviews with many surviving veterans and extensive archival research to finally bring this never-before-told chapter of the Second World War to light. Previously published as Sons and Soldiers
A writer's search for his family's tragic past in World War II becomes a remarkably original and riveting epic, brilliantly exploring the nature of time and memory. 'The Lost' begins as the story of a boy who grew up in a family haunted by the disappearance of six relatives during the Holocaust - an unmentionable subject that gripped his imagination from earliest childhood. Decades later, spurred by the discovery of a cache of desperate letters written to his grandfather in 1939, Daniel Mendelsohn sets out to find the remaining eyewitnesses to his relative's fates. The quest takes him to a dozen countries and forces him to confront the wrenching discrepancies between the histories we live and the stories we tell. Finally, he goes back to the small Ukrainian town where his family's story began, and where the solution to a decades-old mystery awaits him. Deftly moving between past and present, interweaving a world-wandering odyssey with memories of a vanished generation, 'The Lost' transforms the story of one family into a profound and morally searching study of our fragile hold on the past. Deeply personal, grippingly suspenseful and beautifully written, this literary tour de force illuminates all that is lost, and found, in the passage of time.
This recent government publication investigates an area often
overlooked by historians: the impact of the Holocaust on the
Western powers' intelligence-gathering community. A guide for
researchers rather than a narrative study, it explains the archival
organization of wartime records accumulated by the U.S. Army's
Signal Intelligence Service and Britain's Government Code and
Cypher School. In addition, it summarizes Holocaust-related
information intercepted during the war years and deals at length
with the fascinating question of how information about the
Holocaust first reached the West.
Like every totalitarian regime, Nazi Germany tried to control intellectual freedom through book censorship. Between 1933 and 1945, the Hitler regime orchestrated a massive campaign to take control of all forms of communication. In 1933 alone, there were 90 book burnings across 70 German cities, declared by a Ministry of Propaganda official to be "a symbol of the revolution." In later years, the regime used less violent means of domination, pillaging bookstores and libraries, in addition to prosecuting uncooperative publishers and dissident authors. Guenter Lewy deftly analyzes the various strategies that the Nazis employed to enact censorship and the government officials who led the attack on a free intellectual life. Harmful and Undesirable paints a fascinating portrait of intellectual life under Nazi dictatorship, detailing the dismal fate of those who were caught in the wheels of censorship.
In March 2010, twenty-seven Britons who took matters into their own hands to protect Jews from the Nazis during one of the darkest times in human history were formally recognised as 'Heroes of the Holocaust' by the British Government. The silver medal, inscribed with the words 'In the Service of Humanity', was created to acknowledge those 'whose selfless actions preserved life in the face of persecution'. Gordon Brown described the medal's recipients, who risked their lives to save those of Jewish friends, or complete strangers, as, 'true British heroes and a source of national pride for all of us. They were shining beacons of hope in the midst of terrible evil because they were prepared to take a stand against prejudice, hatred and intolerance.' Some, like Frank Foley, a British spy whose cover was working at the British embassy in Berlin, took huge risks issuing forged visas to enable around 10,000 Jews to escape Germany before the outbreak of World War 2. Others, like the ten British POWs who hid and cared for Hannah Sarah Rigler as she escaped from a death march, showed great humanity in the face of horrendous cruelty and suffering. All the recipients of the award were ordinary people, acting on no one's authority but their own, who found they could not stand idly by in the face of this great evil. Heroes of the Holocaust collects for the first time the remarkable stories of the recipients of the medal. Written by acclaimed Holocaust historian Lyn Smith, it is a moving testament to the bravery of those whose inspiring actions stand out in stark relief at a time of such horror.
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