The Ambiguity of Virtue
Bernard Wasserstein Harvard University Press, 2014 Library of Congress D804.6.W3713 2014 | Dewey Decimal 940.531809492352
Working with the Nazi-appointed Jewish Council in Amsterdam, Gertrude van Tijn helped many Jews escape. But she faced difficult moral choices. Some called her a heroine; others, a collaborator. Bernard Wasserstein's haunting narrative draws readers into this twilight world, to expose the terrible dilemmas confronting Jews under Nazi occupation.
Kim Wünschmann Harvard University Press, 2015 Library of Congress DS134.255.W86 2015 | Dewey Decimal 940.53185
Nazis began detaining Jews in camps as soon as they came to power in 1933. Kim Wünschmann reveals the origin of these extralegal detention sites, the harsh treatment Jews received there, and the message the camps sent to Germans: that Jews were enemies of the state, dangerous to associate with and fair game for acts of intimidation and violence.
The Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939 plunged the world into its second global conflict. The Third Reich's attack, mounted without consulting its Italian ally, had other reverberations as well. Chief among them was Mussolini's decision to conduct a "parallel war" based on his own tactical and political agendas. Against this backdrop, Daniel Carpi depicts the fate of some 5000 Jews in Tunisia and as many as 30,000 in southeastern France, all of whom came under the aegis of the Italian Fascist regime early in the war. Many were unskilled immigrants: still others were political refugees, activists, or anti-fascist emigres, the fuoriusciti who fled oppression in Italy only to find themselves under its rule once again after the fall of France. While the Fascist regime disagreed with Hitler's final solution for the "Jewish problem," it also saw actions by Vichy French police or German security forces against Jews in Italian-controlled regions as an erosion of Rome's power. Thus, although these Jews were not free from oppression, Carpi shows that as long as Italy maintained control over them its consular officials were able to block the arrests and mass deportations occurring elsewhere.
The ritual murder accusation is one of a series of myths that fall under the label blood libel, and describes the medieval legend that Jews require Christian blood for obscure religious purposes and are capable of committing murder to obtain it. This malicious myth continues to have an explosive afterlife in the public sphere, where Sarah Palin's 2011 gaffe is only the latest reminder of its power to excite controversy.Blood Libel is the first book-length study to analyze the recent historiography of the ritual murder accusation and to consider these debates in the context of intellectual and cultural history as well as methodology. Hannah R. Johnson articulates how ethics shapes methodological decisions in the study of the accusation and how questions about methodology, in turn, pose ethical problems of interpretation and understanding. Examining recent debates over the scholarship of historians such as Gavin Langmuir, Israel Yuval, and Ariel Toaff, Johnson argues that these discussions highlight an ongoing paradigm shift that seeks to reimagine questions of responsibility by deliberately refraining from a discourse of moral judgment and blame in favor of an emphasis on historical contingencies and hostile intergroup dynamics.
Escaping Hitler is the personal story of Eva Wyman and her family’s escape from Nazi Germany to Chile in the sociohistorical context of 1930s and 1940s, a time when the Chilean Nazi party had an active presence in the country’s major institutions.
Based primarily oninterviewswith German Jewish refugees and family correspondence, Eva Goldschmidt Wyman provides an intimateaccount of Jews in Germany in the 1930s as Nazi controls tightened and family members were taken to Riga concentration camp. Wyman recounts Kristallnacht in Stuttgart, where her father was principal of the Jewish school, his imprisonment in Dachau, and his release and immigration to Great Britain. Escaping Hitler details the family’s escape from Germany and subsequent life in Chile, providing an intimate look at daily life on the steam ship Conte Grande during the voyage from Italy to Chile in 1939, Nazi espionage and anti-Semitic activity in Chile, and the Nazi influence in South America in general.
Recounted in an intimate and personal style, Escaping Hitler immerses the reader in an extraordinary chapter of contemporary Jewish history both inside Germany and South America.
David Milofsky University Press of Colorado, 1998 Library of Congress PS3563.I444E74 1998 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
<i>Eternal People,/i> tells the story of Joseph Abrams, a Ukrainian Jew who finds his way to America at the end of the nineteenth-century. During a break from his studies in Russia, he returns to his shtetl in the Ukraine to find it is the target of a Cos
Whereas a large body of scholarly literature exists on German antisemitism in general, pre-Nazi histories of violence against Jews in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries have been widely neglected. This coherent and well-focused collection of essays is the first comprehensive work in any language dealing with antisemitic pogroms in modern German history from the Hep Hep riots of 1819 to the Reichskristallnacht.
In the Western mind, outbursts of collective violence against Jews have been largely identified with Tzarist Russia and the medieval crusade massacres. However, by narrating pogroms as archaic, historians have overlooked their significance to the development of modern antisemitism in Germany and Europe as well as the reasons for its continued presence in the contemporary world. The evidence presented in this volume suggests that acts of exclusionary violence were not dead-end streets of futile protest. Rather, they were rehearsals for new kinds of destruction.
The integration of various perspectives and the close cooperation of scholars from different disciplines is a major achievement of this volume, which will be of interest to advanced undergraduates, graduate students, academics and the general reader in a variety of disciplines, including German studies, Jewish studies, Holocaust and genocide studies, ethnic relations, history, and the social sciences in general.
Christhard Hoffmann is Associate Professor of Modern European History, University of Bergen, Norway. Werner Bergmann is Professor of Research on Antisemitism, Technical University, Berlin, Germany. Helmut W. Smith is Associate Professor of History, Vanderbilt University.
FDR and the Jews
Richard Breitman Harvard University Press, 2013 Library of Congress E807.B745 2013 | Dewey Decimal 973.917092
A contentious debate lingers over whether Franklin Delano Roosevelt turned his back on the Jews of Hitler’s Europe. FDR and the Jews reveals a concerned leader whose efforts on behalf of Jews were far greater than those of any other world figure but whose moral leadership was tempered by the political realities of depression and war.
Jana Renée Friesová was fifteen when she was imprisoned by the Nazis in the Czech ghetto town of Terezín. Her memoir tells the poignantly familiar story of a young girl who, even under the most abominable circumstances, engages in intense adolescent friendships, worries with her companions over her looks, and falls in love.
Anne Frank’s diary ends with deportation to a concentration camp; Fortress of My Youth, in contrast, takes the reader deep into the horrors of daily life in a camp that were faced by a young girl and her family. But Friesová also tells of love, joy, sacrifice, and the people who shared in the most profound experiences of her life.
The illustrated three-volume Geographical Encyclopedia of the Holocaust in Hungary is a definitive, authoritative, and magisterial resource, thorough and exhaustive. It documents and chronicles the wartime fate of the Jewish communities in that country where virulent antisemitism is anything but dead, even today. With scores of detailed maps and hundreds of photographs, this reference work is organized alphabetically by county, each prefaced with a map and a contextual history describing its Jewish population up to and into 1944.
Entries track the demographic, cultural, and religious changes in even the smallest communities where Jews lived before their marginalization, dispossession, ghettoization, and, finally, deportation to labor and death camps. The encyclopedia endows scholars and lay researchers with both panoramic and microscopic views of the virtually last-minute destruction of most of the Jews of Hungary, until then the last sizable surviving Jewish community in occupied Europe.
Gordon J Horwitz Harvard University Press, 2008 Library of Congress DS134.62.H67 2008 | Dewey Decimal 940.531853847
Ghettostadt is the terrifying examination of the Jewish ghetto's place in the Nazi worldview. Exploring ghetto life in its broadest context, it deftly maneuvers between the perspectives and actions of Łódź’s beleaguered Jewish community, the Germans who oversaw and administered the ghetto';s affairs, and the "ordinary" inhabitants of the once Polish city.
The poignant story of Holocaust survivors who returned to their hometown in Poland and tried to pick up the pieces of a shattered world.
In the immediate aftermath of World War II, the lives of Polish Jews were marked by violence and emigration. But some of those who had survived the Nazi genocide returned to their hometowns and tried to start their lives anew. Lukasz Krzyzanowski recounts the story of this largely forgotten group of Holocaust survivors. Focusing on Radom, an industrial city about sixty miles south of Warsaw, he tells the story of what happened throughout provincial Poland as returnees faced new struggles along with massive political, social, and legal change.
Non-Jewish locals mostly viewed the survivors with contempt and hostility. Many Jews left immediately, escaping anti-Semitic violence inflicted by new communist authorities and ordinary Poles. Those who stayed created a small, isolated community. Amid the devastation of Poland, recurring violence, and bureaucratic hurdles, they tried to start over. They attempted to rebuild local Jewish life, recover their homes and workplaces, and reclaim property appropriated by non-Jewish Poles or the state. At times they turned on their own. Krzyzanowski recounts stories of Jewish gangs bent on depriving returnees of their prewar possessions and of survivors shunned for their wartime conduct.
The experiences of returning Jews provide important insights into the dynamics of post-genocide recovery. Drawing on a rare collection of documents—including the postwar Radom Jewish Committee records, which were discovered by the secret police in 1974—Ghost Citizens is the moving story of Holocaust survivors and their struggle to restore their lives in a place that was no longer home.
Silence has many causes: shame, embarrassment, ignorance, a desire to protect. The silence that has surrounded the atrocities committed against the Jewish population of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union during World War II is particularly remarkable given the scholarly and popular interest in the war. It, too, has many causes—of which antisemitism, the most striking, is only one. When, on July 10, 1941, in the wake of the German invasion of the Soviet Union, local residents enflamed by Nazi propaganda murdered the entire Jewish population of Jedwabne, Poland, the ferocity of the attack horrified their fellow Poles. The denial of Polish involvement in the massacre lasted for decades.
Since its founding, the journal Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History has led the way in exploring the East European and Soviet experience of the Holocaust. This volume combines revised articles from the journal and previously unpublished pieces to highlight the complex interactions of prejudice, power, and publicity. It offers a probing examination of the complicity of local populations in the mass murder of Jews perpetrated in areas such as Poland, Ukraine, Bessarabia, and northern Bukovina and analyzes Soviet responses to the Holocaust.
Based on Soviet commission reports, news media, and other archives, the contributors examine the factors that led certain local residents to participate in the extermination of their Jewish neighbors; the interaction of Nazi occupation regimes with various sectors of the local population; the ambiguities of Soviet press coverage, which at times reported and at times suppressed information about persecution specifically directed at the Jews; the extraordinary Soviet efforts to document and prosecute Nazi crimes and the way in which the Soviet state’s agenda informed that effort; and the lingering effects of silence about the true impact of the Holocaust on public memory and state responses.
"Beautifully written...a welcome addition to the study of human degradation in the Nazi concentration camps. What makes this book especially important is that it is the eyewitness story of Daniel Bennahmias, who was a member of the Sonderkommando--people relegated to the most horrible duty of any concentration camp inmates, that of removing freshly gassed bodies from the gas chambers at Auschwitz, where four gas chambers often exterminated 10,000 people per day."
--International Society for Yad Vashem
"The horrors that a young Sephardic Jew named Daniel Bennahmias was forced to endure seem incomprehensible...his story and the saga of the others in the special command have long been shrouded in mystery. The work of the Sonderkommando was a closely guarded secret."
Often overshadowed by the persecution of Jews in Germany, the treatment of Jews in fascist Italy comes into sharp focus in this volume by Italian historian Michele Sarfatti. Using thorough and careful statistical evidence to document how the Italian social climate changed from relatively just to irredeemably prejudicial, Sarfatti begins with a history of Italian Jews in the decades before fascism—when Jews were fully integrated into Italian national life—and provides a deft and comprehensive history from fascism’s rise in 1922 to its defeat in 1945.
Gusta Draenger University of Massachusetts Press, 1996 Library of Congress DS135.P63J87413 1996 | Dewey Decimal 940.5318094386
Written during World War II, Justyna's Narrative is a compelling account of the Krakow Jewish resistance. From February through April 1943, Gusta Davidson Draenger (aka "Justyna"?) composed the narrative on scraps of paper smuggled into her prison cell. Between sessions of torture and interrogation at the hands of the Gestapo, she recorded the activities and spiritual aspirations of the clandestine group of young Jewish idealists who forged documents, acquired weapons, and committed acts of defiance against the Nazis.
The Kishinev Ghetto, 1941–1942 offers a wealth of primary sources and insightful commentary about the little-known slaughter of Jewish residents of Kishinev (Chisinau) under the military occupation by Romania under Marshal Ion Antonescu, a Hitler ally.?
The Kishinev Ghetto, 1941–1942 sheds new light on the little-known historical events surrounding the creation, administration, and liquidation of the Kishinev (Chisinau) ghetto during the first months following the Axis attack on the Soviet Union (Operation Barbarossa) in late June 1941. Mass killings during the combined Romanian-German drive toward Kishinev in Bessarabia, after a year of Soviet rule in this Romanian border province, were followed by the shooting of thousands of Jews on the streets of the city during the first days of reestablished Romanian administration. Survivors were driven into a ghetto, persecuted, and liquidated by year’s end. The Kishinev Ghetto, 1941–1942 is the first major study of these events.
Often overshadowed by events in Germany and Poland, the history of the Holocaust in Romania, including what took place in Bessarabia (corresponding in large part with the territory of the modern Republic of Moldova), was obscured during decades of communist rule by denial and by policies that blocked access to wartime documentation. This book is the result of a lengthy research project that began with Paul A. Shapiro’s missions to Romania for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum to negotiate access to these documents.
The volume includes:
· A preface describing the origin of the project in the immediate aftermath of the Ceausescu regime in Romania.
· A hundred-page study setting the events of the book within the historical context of Eastern European antisemitism, Romanian-Soviet conflict over control of Bessarabia, and Romania’s alliance with Nazi Germany.
· A thoughtfully curated collection of archival documents linked to the study.
· A chronology of related historical events.
· Twenty-one black and white photographs and a map of the ghetto.
Students and scholars of Holocaust history, Judaic studies, twentieth-century Eastern European history, Romania, Moldova, and historical Bessarabia will want to own this important, revealing volume.
Published in association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Alan E Steinweis Harvard University Press, 2009 Library of Congress DS134.255.S74 2009 | Dewey Decimal 940.531842
Kristallnacht revealed to the world the intent and extent of Nazi Judeophobia. However, it was seen essentially as the work of the Nazi leadership. Now, Alan Steinweis counters that view in his vision of Kristallnacht as a veritable pogrom - a popular cathartic convulsion of anti-Semitic violence that was manipulated from above but executed from below by large numbers of ordinary Germans rioting in the streets, heckling and taunting Jews, cheering Stormtroopers' hostility, and looting Jewish property on a massive scale.
"Sixty-seven members of my family—my mother, her father, my three sisters, three of my brothers, aunts, uncles, and cousins—were murdered at Auschwitz."
As Rudolph Tessler's mother stepped from the train in Auschwitz, shortly before she was sent to the gas chamber, she heard "Hello, Esther." In a polite tone, a young German SS officer greeted her as he would any old friend. His family lived down the road from the Tessler family in Viseu, their hometown in northern Romania. They, like the rest of the town, admired Esther for her wonderful cooking, particularly the delicious cakes she brought them each Christmas. Now he ushered her and six of her children to their deaths.
Throughout Letter to My Children, Tessler offers vivid glimpses of the senselessness that surrounded him during World War II. Of the thousands packed in trains and transported from Viseu to Auschwitz, just a small group survived to see liberation. Among the survivors were Tessler, his father, and two of his brothers. This is the amazing story of their experiences as Hasidic Jews caught in the chaos and terror of the Holocaust.
Tessler's upbringing had emphasized community and family devotion—traits not forgotten in the concentration camps, where he and his family members often rescued one another from certain death. Few fathers and sons survived the concentration camps together. In spite of the odds, Tessler and his brother Buroch managed to stick together, sharing their father's labor assignments to protect him from death, preserving not only their family bond but also their spirituality. Tessler's father, always a source of strength and guidance to his family, provided counsel to many prisoners in the camp and eventually assumed the role of rabbi.
Despite an environment in which their captors tried to reduce them to animals, Tessler's remaining family and seven other Jews from Viseu made a special effort to observe their faith. Bending rules in ways that risked their lives, they worked together to smuggle wheat, grind it into flour, and bake matzos to distribute for Passover. The group also secretly gathered to pray on the eve of Rosh Hashanah. These religious observances offered some comfort in the camp.
In addition to vividly portraying the daily struggles of camp life, Letter to My Children follows Tessler beyond liberation, recounting his days as a displaced person struggling for a new life in the midst of the devastation of postwar Europe, as an American immigrant striving to rebuild his family and succeed in business, and as a philanthropist for education and health care. Recalling the age-old way of life in Viseu that was erased by the Holocaust, this inspiring story conveys the hope, determination, and perseverance that made Tessler a survivor.
At the end of June 1941, Latvia fell into the hands of the Germans. This book is an account of life and death during the subsequent Nazi reign of terror. Press describes his escape from the Riga ghetto, his three years in hiding, and the trials that awaited the surviving Jews of Riga after it was "liberated" by the Red Army. Recounting his own harrowing experience and detailing the plight of Eastern European Jews faced with the anti-Semitism of their homelands, the Germans, and the Soviets, Press recovers a lost chapter in the history of the Holocaust.
My Fathers Testament
Edward Gastfriend Temple University Press, 1999 Library of Congress DS135.P62S65693 2000 | Dewey Decimal 940.5318092
This first-person account, by the youngest of eight children of a pious Jewish family from Sosnoviec in Poland, is remarkable for the faith shown by a teenager faced with the horrifying realities of the Holocaust. Edward Gastfriend, known as Lolek as a boy, remembers in heart-wrenching detail the seven years he survived in German-occupied Poland.
The accelerating Nazi assault on the Jews abruptly shattered Lolek's life. Jews were randomly beaten and arrested, forced out of their homes, deported to slave labor camps, and shot on the streets. During this time, Lolek lost his family, friends, and neighbors, the whole while struggling to hold onto a promise he made to his father before his father was deported. Lolek pledged never to denounce God and to maintain his faith. This covenant proved to be the key to his remarkable survival in several slave labor camps including Auschwitz and several satellite camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau.
My Father's Testament is an intimate portrayal of a teenage boy trying to stay alive without losing his humanity - in hiding, in the camps, and during the death marches at the end of the war.
Embedded in this unique memoir are two other stories of fathers and sons. One lies in the moving Foreword by David R. Gastfriend, Ed's son, now a psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School. The other lies in Bjorn Krondorfer's Afterword. Years after he met Edward Gastfriend, Krondorfer was startled to hear his father mention Blechhammer as one of the places where he was stationed as a young German soldier. Blechhammer was where Lolek was held in a slave labor camp. The coincidence led this German father and son to travel back to the site to confront the Holocaust.
My Father's Testament will engage readers interested in history, the Holocaust, and religion.
Nationalizing a Borderland enriches understanding of ethnic conflict by examining the factors in the Austro-Hungarian province of Galicia between 1914 and 1920 that led to the rise of xenophobic nationalism and to the ethnocide of World War II. From Russian, Polish, Ukrainian, and Austrian archival sources, Prusin argues that while the violence inflicted upon Jews during that period may at first seem irrational and indiscriminate, a closer examination reveals that it was generated by traditional negative views of Jews and by the security concerns of the Russian and Polish militaries in the front zone. This violence, Prusin contends, served as a means of reshaping the socio-economic and political space of the province by diminishing Jewish cultural and economic influence.
In 1942, two years after invading France, the Germans implemented their policy of exterminating the Jews. In contrast to Jews in many parts of German-occupied Europe, however, the majority of Jews in France survived, thanks to opposition to the Nazi extermination policy from Church dignitaries and the moral indignation of the average Frenchmen. Seeking to maintain popular support, the Vichy Regime bargained with the Germans over the substance and extent of its collaboration, which the Germans needed in order to hold France.
Translated from the German and drawing on German and French sources, Wolfgang Seibel traces the twisted process of political decision-making that shaped the fate of the Jews in German-occupied France during World War II. By analyzing the German-French negotiations, he reveals the underlying logic as well as the actual course of the bargaining process as both the Vichy Regime and the Germans sought a stable relationship. Yet that relationship was continually reshaped by the progress of the war, Germany’s deteriorating prospects, France’s economic and geopolitical position, and the Vichy government’s quest for domestic political support. The Jews’ suffering intensified when the Germans had the upper hand; but when the French felt empowered, the Vichy Regime stopped collaborating in the completion of the “final solution.” Persecution and Rescue: The Politics of the “Final Solution” in France, 1940–1944 demonstrates the ways in which political circumstances can mitigate—or foster—mass crime.
A man of towering intellectual accomplishment and extraordinary tenacity, Emmanuel Ringelblum devoted his life to recording the fate of his people at the hands of the Germans. Convinced that he must remain in the Warsaw Ghetto to complete his work, and rejecting an invitation to flee to refuge on the Aryan side, Ringelbaum, his wife, and their son were eventually betrayed to the Germans and killed.
This book represents Ringelbaum's attempt to answer the questions he knew history would ask about the Polish people: what did the Poles do while millions of Jews were being led to the stake? What did the Polish underground do? What did the Government-in-Exile do? Was it inevitable that the Jews, looking their last on this world, should have to see indifference or even gladness on the faces of their neighbors? These questions have haunted Polish-Jewish relations for the last fifty years. Behind them are forces that have haunted Polish-Jewish relations for a thousand years.
Many children growing up in the Soviet Union before World War II knew the meaning of deprivation and dread. But for the son of an “enemy of the people,” those apprehensions were especially compounded.
When the secret police came for his father in 1938, ten-year-old Anatole Konstantin saw his family plunged into a morass of fear. His memoir of growing up in Stalinist Russia re-creates in vivid detail the daily trials of people trapped in this regime before and during the repressive years of World War II—and the equally horrific struggles of refugees after that conflict.
Evicted from their home, their property confiscated, and eventually forced to leave their town, Anatole’s family experienced the fate of millions of Soviet citizens whose loved ones fell victim to Stalin’s purges. His mother, Raya, resorted to digging peat, stacking bricks, and even bootlegging to support herself and her two children. How she managed to hold her family together in a rapidly deteriorating society—and how young Anatole survived the horrors of marginalization and war—form a story more compelling than any novel.
Looking back on those years from adulthood, Konstantin reflects on both his formal education under harsh conditions and his growing awareness of the contradictions between propaganda and reality. He tells of life in the small Ukrainian town of Khmelnik just before World War II and of how some of its citizens collaborated with the German occupation, lending new insight into the fate of Ukrainian Jews and Nazi corruption of local officials. And in recounting his experiences as a refugee, he offers a new look at everyday life in early postwar Poland and Germany, as well as one of the few firsthand accounts of life in postwar Displaced Persons camps.
A Red Boyhood takes readers inside Stalinist Russia to experience the grim realities of repression—both under a Soviet regime and German occupation. A moving story of desperate people in desperate times, it brings to life the harsh realities of the twentieth century for young and old readers alike.
Rescuing the Children: A Holocaust Memoir
Vivette Samuel; Translated and with an introduction by Charles B. Paul; With a foreword by Elie Wiesel University of Wisconsin Press, 2002 Library of Congress DS135.F9S2913 2002 | Dewey Decimal 940.5318092
Rescuing the Children is the memoir of Vivette Samuel, who at age twenty-two began working for the Œuvre de secours aux enfants (OSE, or Society for Assistance to Children). The OSE and similar organizations saved 86 percent of Jewish children in France from deportation to Nazi concentration and extermination camps.
This gripping and highly acclaimed account of a young woman's experience in concentration camps now includes a final chapter, "A Time to Forgive?" detailing the author's trips back to her former forced labor camp in Germany.
Shadows of Treblinka
Miriam Kuperhand and Saul Kuperhand University of Illinois Press, 1998 Library of Congress DS135.P62K31845 1998 | Dewey Decimal 940.5318094384
Unique and compelling, this husband-and-wife memoir of the Holocaust
will move and inform generations. As we lose eyewitnesses to this ultimate
horror, the Kuperhands present us with an elegantly restrained, yet hard-hitting,
Kaddish to Polish Jewry.
Miriam was the daughter of a prosperous furrier; Saul was the son of
a poor shoemaker. Miriam was sixteen when she and her brother roamed the
wild countryside of Poland, searching for food and shelter--and for their
parents. Saul was only a few years older when he watched the smoke rising
from the crematoria and knew that his parents, sister, and eight brothers
were gone forever. Miriam lived by hiding; Saul lived by escaping from
The authors emphasize the essential role that Polish Christians played
in their survival and stress that wit, courage, faith, luck, and even
a strong will to live were worthless without their help.
The travail of their survival is wrenching yet comforting, tragic yet
upbeat, cinematic yet intimate. Shadows of Treblinka will haunt
and inspire its readers.
Gila Flam offers a penetrating insider's look at a musical culture previously unexplored---the song repertoire created and performed in the Lodz ghetto of Poland. Drawing on interviews with survivors and on library and archival materials, the author illustrates the general themes of the Lodz repertoire and explores the nature of Holocaust song. Most of the songs are presented here for the first time.
"An extremely accurate and valuable work. There is nothing like it in either the extensive holocaust literature or the ethnomusicology literature."
-- Mark Slobin, author of Chosen Voices: The Story of the American Cantorate
This riveting and utterly unique memoir chronicles the coming of age of Cynthia Shamash, an Iraqi Jew born in Baghdad in 1963. When she was eight, her family tried to escape Iraq over the Iranian border, but they were captured and jailed for five weeks. Upon release, they were returned to their home in Baghdad, where most of their belongings had been confiscated and the door of their home sealed with wax. They moved in with friends and applied for passports to spend a ten-day vacation in Istanbul, although they never intended to return. From Turkey, the family fled to Tel Aviv and then to Amsterdam, where Cynthia’s father soon died of a heart attack. At the age of twelve, Sanuti (as her mother called her) was sent to London for schooling, where she lived in an Orthodox Jewish enclave with the chief rabbi and his family. At the end of the school year, she returned to Holland to navigate her teen years in a culture that was much more sexually liberal than the one she had been born into, or indeed the one she was experiencing among Orthodox Jews in London. Shortly after finishing her schooling as a dentist, Cynthia moved to the United States in an attempt to start over. This vivid, beautiful, and very funny memoir will appeal to readers intrigued by spirituality, tolerance, the personal ramifications of statelessness and exile, the clashes of cultures, and the future of Iraq and its Jews.
This volume presents two works by acclaimed Polish journalist Hanna Krall: The Subtenant, a semi-autobiographical novel, and To Outwit God, a remarkable interview with Marek Edelman, the last surviving leader of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. The Subtenant explores the troubled and ever-shifting relationships between Poles and Jews, beginning with the author's concealment as a child during the Nazi years and ending in 1981 when martial law was declared in Poland. In To Outwit God, Edelman's words assault conventional assumptions about heroes and heroism, taking in his time not only in the Warsaw Ghetto but his careers as a physician and a Solidarity activist. Taken together, the two works form a powerful memoir of Jewish survival, a meditation on Polish-Jewish relations, and a commentary on the forces that have produced modern Polish opposition movements.