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'Moving - at times almost unbearably so - and fascinating' Antonia Fraser A family's story of human tenacity, faith and a race for survival in the face of unspeakable horror and cruelty perpetrated by the Nazi regime against the Jewish people. Growing up in the safety of Britain, Jonathan Wittenberg was deeply aware of his legacy as the child of refugees from Nazi Germany. Yet, like so many others there is much he failed to ask while those who could have answered his questions were still alive. After burying their aunt Steffi in the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives, Jonathan, now a rabbi, accompanies his cousin Michal as she begins to clear the flat in Jerusalem where the family have lived since fleeing Germany in the 1930s. Inside an old suitcase abandoned on the balcony they discover a linen bag containing a bundle of letters left untouched for decades. Jonathan's attention is immediately captivated as he tries to decipher the faded writing on the long-forgotten letters. They eventually draw him into a profound and challenging quest to uncover the painful details of his father's family's history. Through the wartime correspondence of his great-grandmother Regina and his grandmother, aunts and uncles, Jonathan weaves together the strands of an ancient rabbinical family with the history of Europe during the Second World War and the unfolding policies of the Nazis, telling the moving story of a family whose lives are as fragile as the paper on which they write, but whose faith in God remains steadfast.
This book seeks to answer three vital questions about the worldwide response to Hitler's "Final Solution" When did information about the genocide first become known to Jews and non-Jews? Through what channels was this information transmitted? What was the reaction of those who received word of the slaughter?
Walter Laqueur's quest focuses on the period between June 1941, when Germany invaded the Soviet Union, and December 1942, by which time the United Nations had confirmed the news about the mass killings in a common declaration. By the end of 1942, Chelmno, Belzec, Auschwitz, Maidanek, Sobibor, and Treblinka were fully operational and two and a half million Jews had already been killed.
According to Laqueur, word started to spread soon after extermination began. But there is no easy, straightforward answer to the wider question of why there was a failure to read and correctly interpret the signs in 1941; why so many individuals and governments actually chose to deny the reality of genocide when faced with incontrovertible evidence. A probing and disturbing work, The Terrible Secret explores one of the most perplexing aspects of the Holocaust, a political and psychological riddle of general significance to the understanding of the history of our times.
An exploration of the development of Holocaust research in Israel, this book ranges from the consolidation of Holocaust research as an academic subject in the late 1940s to the establishment of Yad Vashem and beyond. Research on the story of historiography is often a work on books, on the "final products" that fill academic bookshelves yet, in Israeli Holocaust Research, Boaz Cohen illustrates that the evolution of holocaust research in Israel has a more human element to it. Drawing on knowledge gained through seven years of work in ten major archives in Israel, the author reveals a previously unseen picture of the development of Israeli Holocaust research "from below," and of the social and cultural forces influencing its character. In doing so, a new facet to the picture emerges, of the story beyond the archive and the people who see Holocaust research as their mission and responsibility. This book will be a fascinating addition to the study of Holocaust research and will be of particular interest to students of history, historiography and Jewish studies
The genocide of Jewish and non-Jewish civilians perpetrated by the German regime during World War Two continues to confront scholars with elusive questions even after nearly seventy years and hundreds of studies. This multi-contributory work is a landmark publication that sees experts renowned in their field addressing these questions in light of current research. A comprehensive introduction to the history of the Holocaust, this volume has 42 chapters which add important depth to the academic study of the Holocaust, both geographically and topically. The chapters address such diverse issues as: continuities in German and European history with respect to genocide prior to 1939 the eugenic roots of Nazi anti-Semitism the response of Europe's Jewish Communities to persecution and destruction the Final Solution as the German occupation instituted it across Europe rescue and rescuer motivations the problem of prosecuting war crimes gender and Holocaust experience the persecution of non-Jewish victims the Holocaust in postwar cultural venues. This important collection will be essential reading for all those interested in the history of the Holocaust.
**The New York Times bestseller** 'Extraordinary... It is a privilege to read these pages' - Frances Wilson, Daily Telegraph (5* review) 'At a moment when basic agreement over simple truths has become a political battleground and history a weapon, the publication of the book, Renia's Diary, offers a reminder of the power of bearing witness' - Joanna Berendt, New York Times July 15, 1942, Wednesday Remember this day; remember it well. You will tell generations to come. Since 8 o'clock today we have been shut away in the ghetto. I live here now. The world is separated from me and I'm separated from the world. Renia is a young girl who dreams of becoming a poet. But Renia is Jewish, she lives in Poland and the year is 1939. When Russia and Germany invade her country, Renia's world shatters. Separated from her mother, her life takes on a new urgency as she flees Przemysl to escape night bombing raids, observes the disappearances of other Jewish families and, finally, witnesses the creation of the ghetto. But alongside the terror of war, there is also great beauty, as she begins to find her voice as a writer and falls in love for the first time. She and the boy she falls in love with, Zygmunt, share their first kiss a few hours before the Nazis reach her hometown. And it is Zygmunt who writes the final, heartbreaking entry in Renia's diary. Recently rediscovered after seventy years, Renia's Diary is already being described as a classic of Holocaust literature. Written with a clarity and skill that is reminiscent of Anne Frank, Renia's Diary also includes a prologue and epilogue by Renia's sister Elizabeth, as well as an introduction by Deborah E. Lipstadt, author of Denial. It is an extraordinary testament to both the horrors of war, and to the life that can exist even in the darkest times.
The Holocaust has never been so widely commemorated, but our understanding of the accepted narrative has rarely, if ever, been questioned. David Cesarani's sweeping reappraisal challenges accepted explanations for the anti-Jewish politics of Nazi Germany and the inevitability of the 'Final Solution'. The persecution of the Jews was not always the Nazis' central preoccupation, nor was it an inevitable process. Cesarani also reveals that in German-occupied countries it unfolded erratically, often due to local initiatives. Ghettos were improvised while the mass shooting of Jews during the invasion of Russia owed as much to the security situation as to anti-semitism. In this new interpretation, war is critical to the Jewish fate. Military failure denied the Germans opportunities to expel Jews into a distant territory and created a crisis of resources that led to starvation of the ghettos and intensified anti-Jewish measures. It was global war that eventually triggered genocide in Europe. Cesarani disputes the iconic role of railways, deportation trains and even Auschwitz, and reveals that plunder was more a cause of anti-Jewish feeling than a consequence of it. Using diaries and reports written in ghettos and camps, he exposes the extent of sexual violence and abuse of Jewish women by the Germans, their collaborators and, shockingly, by Jews themselves. But Cesarani also reveals the courage and ingenuity of those who struggled to evade capture and fought back wherever they could. And unlike previous histories, he follows the Jews' journey to the 'Displaced Persons' camps; camps which have so often been merely a footnote in the story but where Jews languished behind barbed wire for years after 'liberation'. This moving and dramatic account captures the fate of the Jews, the horror and the heroism, in their own words. Resting on decades of scholarship, it is compelling, authoritative, and profoundly disturbing.
Prague, 1940-1942. The Nazi-occupied city is locked in a reign of terror under Reinhard Heydrich. The Jewish community experience increasing levels of persecution, as rumours start to swirl of deportation and an unknown, but widely feared, fate. Amidst the chaos and devastation, Marie Bader, a widow age 56, has found love again with a widower, her cousin Ernst Loewy. Ernst has fled to Greece and the two correspond in a series of deeply heartfelt letters which provide a unique perspective on this period of heightening tension and anguish for the Jewish community. The letters paint a vivid, moving and often dramatic picture of Jewish life in occupied Prague, the way Nazi persecution affected Marie, her increasingly strained family relationships, as well as the effect on the wider Jewish community whilst Heydrich, one of the key architects and executioners of the Holocaust and Reich Protector in Bohemia and Moravia, established the Theresienstadt ghetto and began to organize the deportation of Jews. Through this deeply personal and moving account, the realities of Jewish life in Heydrich's Prague are dramatically revealed.
In one of the darker aspects of Nazi Germany, churches and universities - generally respected institutions - grew to accept and support Nazi ideology. Robert P. Ericksen explains how an advanced, highly educated, Christian nation could commit the crimes of the Holocaust. This book describes how Germany's intellectual and spiritual leaders enthusiastically partnered with Hitler's regime, thus becoming active participants in the persecution of Jews, and ultimately, in the Holocaust. Ericksen also examines Germany's deeply flawed yet successful postwar policy of denazification in these institutions. Complicity in the Holocaust argues that enthusiasm for Hitler within churches and universities effectively gave Germans permission to participate in the Nazi regime.
Few places in the world carry as heavy a burden of history as Auschwitz. Recognized and remembered as the most prominent site of Nazi crimes, Auschwitz has had tremendous symbolic weight in the postwar world. Auschwitz, Poland, and the Politics of Commemoration is a history of the Auschwitz memorial site in the years of the Polish People's Republic. Since 1945, Auschwitz has functioned as a memorial and museum. Its monuments, exhibitions, and public spaces have attracted politicians, pilgrims, and countless participants in public demonstrations and commemorative events. Jonathan Huener's study begins with the liberation of the camp and traces the history of the State Museum at Auschwitz from its origins immediately after the war until the 1980s, analyzing the landscape, exhibitions, and public events at the site. Based on extensive research and illustrated with archival photographs, Auschwitz, Poland, and the Politics of Commemoration accounts for the development and durability of a Polish commemorative idiom at Auschwitz. Emphasis on Polish national "martyrdom" at Auschwitz, neglect of the Shoah as the most prominent element of the camp's history, political instrumentalization of the grounds and exhibitions-these were some of the more controversial aspects of the camp's postwar landscape. Professor Huener locates these and other public manifestations of memory at Auschwitz in the broad scope of Polish history, in the specific context of postwar Polish politics and culture, and against the background of Polish-Jewish relations. Auschwitz, Poland, and the Politics of Commemoration will be of interest to scholars, students, and general readers of the history of modern Poland and the Holocaust.
This book presents the results of comprehensive research into the world's Jewish press during the Second World War and explores its stance in the face of annihilation of the Jewish people by the Nazi regime in Europe. The research is based on the major Jewish newspapers that were published in four countries Palestine, Britain, the United States, and the Soviet Union and in three languages Hebrew, Yiddish, and English. The Jewish press frequently described the situation of the Jewish people in occupied countries. It urged the Jewish leaders and institutions to act in rescue of their brethren. It protested vigorously against the refusal of the democratic leadership to recognize that the Jewish plight was unique because of the Nazi intention to annihilate Jews as a people. Yosef Gorny argues that the Jewish press was the persistent open national voice fighting on behalf of the Jewish people suffering and perishing under Nazi occupation."
Daily life in the occupied territories, including rationing, restrictions on movement and social gatherings, censorship of the radio and press, savage reprisals for acts of defiance, systematic rape by German soldiers, and civil disobedience in Holland.
A memoir by an award-winning author in its first English translation. When World War II erupted in Europe, Konrad Charmatz was a prospering businessman in Sosnowiec, Poland, a loving son, and an aspiring poet. For the next seven years he witnessed the Holocaust as it destroyed his family, his country, and his culture. In this astonishing story of suffering and survival, he gives his own personal account of the Warsaw ghetto, the death chambers at Auschwitz, the transport trains, the slave labor camps of Dachau, and the liberation. And from the perspective of the renowned journalist he later became, he also describes how the Holocaust was carried out, not only at the level of governments and their armies, but at the level of the individuals who took its orders. Few people survived the Holocaust from such close range or for so long, and few remembered it with the eye of a practiced journalist.
Holocaust Images and Picturing Catastrophe explores the phenomenon of Holocaust transfer, analysing the widespread practice of using the Holocaust and its imagery for the representation and recording of other historical events in various media sites. It investigates the use of Holocaust imagery in political and legal discourses, in critical thinking and philosophy, as well as in popular culture, to provide a fresh theorisation of the manner in which the Holocaust comes loose from its historical context and is applied to events and campaigns in the contemporary public sphere. Richly illustrated with concrete examples, including prominent, international animal rights activism, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the genocide in Rwanda, this book traces the visual rhetoric of Holocaust imagery and its application to events other than the genocide of Jewish people With its discussion of the wide range of issues arising with this form of 'Holocaust-transfer', the generalization of the Holocaust as a metaphor in representations of catastrophe, as well as in other cultural locations, Holocaust Images and Picturing Catastrophe will appeal to those working in the fields of holocaust studies, cultural and visual culture studies, sociology, and media studies.
For the Jewish world and the Yishuv in particular, the 1930s was a time of escalating crises?the rise of the Nazis and their antisemitic policies, the declining fortunes of Eastern European Jewry, increasing Arab enmity, and the hardening of British Mandatory policies in Palestine. Reexamining some of the most controversial episodes in modern Jewis
For the last decade scholars have been questioning the idea that the Holocaust was not talked about in any way until well into the 1970s. After the Holocaust: Challenging the Myth of Silence is the first collection of authoritative, original scholarship to expose a serious misreading of the past on which, controversially, the claims for a Holocaust industry rest. Taking an international approach this bold new book exposes the myth and opens the way for a sweeping reassessment of Jewish life in the postwar era, a life lived in the pervasive, shared awareness that Jews had narrowly survived a catastrophe that had engulfed humanity as a whole but claimed two-thirds of their number.
The chapters include:
A breakthrough volume in the debate about the Myth of Silence, this is a must for all students of Holocaust and genocide.
"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.
Compelling recollections of a Jewish boy in a prewar Polish village, of his incredible scramble to survive the Holocaust, and of his adventures in America.
Told with the inimitable flair of a born storyteller, these stories recall the lost world of small-town Polish Jewry before the Holocaust and the subsequent odyssey of one boy's struggle to stay alive in the face of catastrophe. Brimming with the authenticity and humanity of personal experience, these memoirs are at once persuasive, moving, and universal in appeal.
Packed with rarely divulged details of daily life during the Holocaust, the book provides significant insights into human nature and the roles played by chance and purpose in staying alive. It is a route of dizzying change. First, author Salsitz, an orthodox Jew, becomes a slave laborer. Then he becomes an escapee, then a partisan. In the ultimate irony, he passes as a non-Jew, working in Polish security after the war. In America, Salsitz finds that the very traits that saw him through the war enabled him to prosper in his adopted land.
`Among the most moving documents I have read in years ... You will not forget it' Elie Wiesel From her small, sunny hometown between the beautiful Carpathian Mountains and the blue Danube River, Elli Friedmann was taken - at a time when most girls are growing up, having boyfriends and embarking upon the adventure of life - and thrown into the murderous hell of Hitler's Final Solution. When Elli emerged from Auschwitz and Dachau just over a year later, she was fourteen. She looked like a sixty year old. This account of horrifyingly brutal inhumanity - and dogged survival - is Elli's true story.
This book is an original and comparative study of reactions in West and East Africa to the persecution and attempted annihilation of Jews in Europe and in former German colonies in sub-Saharan Africa during the Second World War. An intellectual and diplomatic history of World War II and the Holocaust, Africans and the Holocaust looks at the period from the perspectives of the colonized subjects of the Gold Coast, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Tanganyika, and Uganda, as well as the sovereign peoples of Liberia and Ethiopia, who wrestled with the social and moral questions that the war and the Holocaust raised. The five main chapters of the book explore the pre-Holocaust history of relations between Jews and Africans in West and East Africa, perceptions of Nazism in both regions, opinions of World War II, interpretations of the Holocaust, and responses of the colonized and sovereign peoples of West and East Africa to efforts by Great Britain to resettle certain categories of Jewish refugees from Europe in the two regions before and during the Holocaust. This book will be of use to students and scholars of African history, Holocaust and Jewish studies, and international or global history.
In 1925, the three leading chemical firms in Germany - BASF, Bayer, and Hoechst - merged, together with some smaller firms, to become IG Farben. IG Farben became, like no other firm, synonymous with the participation of German industry in the most heinous crimes of the Nazi regime. This book deals in depth with one of IG Farben s leading factories, Hoechst, during the Third Reich. On the basis of long and meticulous archival research, including previously inaccessible company records, the author tries to describe and analyze the relationship between management and employees and the Nazi party and its organizations. The author shows the exclusion and persecution of employees, particularly Jewish employees. He traces the extent of Hoechst s involvement in the exploitation of forced labor, and its active participation in human experiments in several concentration camps. Throughout, he tries to shed light on the motivations of those responsible for this conduct.
The inaugural title in a collaboration between the Wiener Library and Granta Books. These two pamphlets, 'Prelude to Pogroms? Facts for the Thoughtful' and 'German Judaism in Political, Economic and Cultural Terms' mark the first time that Alfred Wiener, the founder of the Wiener Holocaust Library, has been published in English. Together they offer a vital insight into the antisemitic onslaught Germany's Jews were subjected to as the Nazi Party rose to power, and introduce a sharp and sympathetic thinker and speaker to a contemporary audience. Tackling issues such as the planned rise of antisemitism and the scapegoating of minorities, these pamphlets speak as urgently to the contemporary moment as they provide a window on to the past.
This book is a linguistic-cultural study of the emergence of the Jewish ghettos during the Holocaust. It traces the origins and uses of the term 'ghetto' in European discourse from the sixteenth century to the Nazi regime. It examines with a magnifying glass both the actual establishment of and the discourse of the Nazis and their allies on ghettos from 1939 to 1944. With conclusions that oppose all existing explanations and cursory examinations of the ghetto, the book impacts overall understanding of the anti-Jewish policies of Nazi Germany.
Largely forgotten over the years, the seminal work of French poet, novelist and camp survivor Jean Cayrol has experienced a revival in the French-speaking world since his death in 2005. His concept of a concentrationary art-the need for an urgent and constant aesthetic resistance to the continuing effects of the concentrationary universe-proved to be a major influence for Hannah Arendt and other writers and theorists across a number of disciplines. Concentrationary Art presents the first translation into English of Jean Cayrol's key essays on the subject, as well as the first book-length study of how we might situate and elaborate his concept of a Lazarean aesthetic in cultural theory, literature, cinema, music and contemporary art.
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