ABOUT THIS BOOK
Never before available in English, Judgment is a work of startling power by David Bergelson, the most celebrated Yiddish prose writer of his era.
Originally published in 1929 and set in 1920 during the Russian civil war, Judgment traces the death of the shtetl and the birth of the “new, harsher world” created by the 1917 revolution. Jews and non-Jews smuggle people, goods, and anti-Bolshevik literature back and forth across the new political border. Filipov acts as the arbiter of "judgment" to prisoners in a Bolshevik outpost, who include Spivak, a counterrevolutionary; Lemberger, a pious and wealthy Jew; a seductive woman referred to as "the blonde"; and a memorable cast of smugglers and criminals.
Ordinary people, depicted in a grotesque and modernist style—comparable to Isaac Babel’s Red Cavalry—confront the overwhelming forces of history, whose ultimate outcome remains unknown.