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For readers of The Tattooist of Auschwitz and The Choice: this is the story of the smallest library in the world - and the most dangerous. 'It wasn't an extensive library. In fact, it consisted of eight books and some of them were in poor condition. But they were books. In this incredibly dark place, they were a reminder of less sombre times, when words rang out more loudly than machine guns...' Fourteen-year-old Dita is one of the many imprisoned by the Nazis at Auschwitz. Taken, along with her mother and father, from the Terezin ghetto in Prague, Dita is adjusting to the constant terror that is life in the camp. When Jewish leader Freddy Hirsch asks Dita to take charge of the eight precious books the prisoners have managed to smuggle past the guards, she agrees. And so Dita becomes the secret librarian of Auschwitz, responsible for the safekeeping of the small collection of titles, as well as the 'living books' - prisoners of Auschwitz who know certain books so well, they too can be 'borrowed' to educate the children in the camp. But books are extremely dangerous. They make people think. And nowhere are they more dangerous than in Block 31 of Auschwitz, the children's block, where the slightest transgression can result in execution, no matter how young the transgressor... The Sunday Times bestseller for readers of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, The Tattooist of Auschwitz and The Choice. Based on the incredible and moving true story of Dita Kraus, holocaust survivor and secret librarian for the children's block in Auschwitz.
A story of the impossible choices of vulnerable individuals living under the Third Reich and the blurred boundaries between victim, bystander, and accomplice.
What does it mean to be Jewish? What is an anti-Semite? Why does the enigmatic identity of the men who founded the first monotheistic religion arouse such passions? We need to return to the Jewish question. We need, first, to distinguish between the anti-Judaism of medieval times, which persecuted the Jews, and the anti-Judaism of the Enlightenment, which emancipated them while being critical of their religion. It is a mistake to confuse the two and see everyone from Voltaire to Hitler as anti-Semitic in the same way. Then we need to focus on the development of anti-Semitism in Europe, especially Vienna and Paris, where the Zionist idea was born. Finally, we need to investigate the reception of Zionism both in the Arab countries and within the Diaspora. Re-examining the Jewish question in the light of these distinctions and investigations, Roudinesco shows that there is a permanent tension between the figures of the universal Jew and the territorial Jew . Freud and Jung split partly over this issue, which gained added intensity after the creation of the State of Israel in 1948 and the Eichmann trial in 1961. Finally, Roudinesco turns to the Holocaust deniers, who started to suggest that the Jews had invented the genocide that befell their people, and to the increasing number of intellectual and literary figures who have been accused of anti-Semitism. This thorough re-examination of the Jewish question will be of interest to students and scholars of modern history and contemporary thought and to a wide readership interested in anti-Semitism and the history of the Jews.
Between 1905 and 1930, more than one hundred thousand Jews left Central and Eastern Europe to settle permanently in Argentina. This book explores how these Yiddish-speaking Ashkenazi immigrants helped to create a new urban strain of the Argentine national identity. Like other immigrants, Jews embraced Buenos Aires and Argentina while keeping ethnic identities--they spoke and produced new literary works in their native Yiddish and continued Jewish cultural traditions brought from Europe, from foodways to holidays. The author examines a variety of sources including Yiddish poems and songs, police records, and advertisements to focus on the intersection and shifting boundaries of ethnic and national identities.
In addition to the interplay of national and ethnic identities, Nouwen illuminates the importance of gender roles, generation, and class, as well as relationships between Jews and non-Jews. She focuses on the daily lives of ordinary Jews in Buenos Aires. Most Jews were working class, though some did rise to become middleclass professionals. Some belonged to organizations that served the Jewish community, while others were more informally linked to their ethnic group through their family and friends. Jews were involved in leftist politics from anarchism to unionism, and also started Zionist organizations. By exploring the diversity of Jewish experiences in Buenos Aires, Nouwen shows how individuals articulated their multiple identities, as well as how those identities formed and overlapped.
Scholars in the humanities have become increasingly interested in questions of how space is produced and perceived - and they have found that this consideration of human geography greatly enriches our understanding of cultural history. This 'spatial turn' equally has the potential to revolutionize Jewish Studies, complicating familiar notions of Jews as 'people of the Book,' displaced persons with only a common religious tradition and history to unite them. Space and Place in Jewish Studies embraces these exciting critical developments by investigating what 'space' has meant within Jewish culture and tradition - and how notions of 'Jewish space,' diaspora, and home continue to resonate within contemporary discourse, bringing space to the foreground as a practical and analytical category. Barbara Mann takes us on a journey from medieval Levantine trade routes to the Eastern European shtet to the streets of contemporary New York, introducing readers to the variety of ways in which Jews have historically formed communities and created a sense of place for themselves. Combining cutting-edge theory with rabbinics, anthropology, and literary analysis, Mann offers a fresh take on the Jewish experience.
From the recipient of the National Jewish Book Award for Lifetime Achievement, a "hugely entertaining and irreverent" (Adam Gopnik, New Yorker) account of the art of translating the Hebrew Bible into English In this brief book, award-winning biblical translator Robert Alter offers a personal and passionate account of what he learned about the art of Bible translation during the two decades he spent completing his own English version of the Hebrew Bible. Showing why the Bible and its meaning can be brought to life in English only by re-creating the subtle and powerful literary style of the original text, Alter discusses the principal aspects of biblical Hebrew that any translator should try to reproduce: word choice, syntax, word play and sound play, rhythm, and dialogue. In the process, he provides an illuminating and accessible introduction to biblical style that also offers insights about the art of translation far beyond the Bible.
Philosophers have long struggled to reconcile Martin Heidegger's involvement in Nazism with his status as one of the greatest thinkers of the twentieth century. The recent publication of his Black Notebooks has reignited fierce debate on the subject. These thousand-odd pages of jotted observations profoundly challenge our image of the quiet philosopher's exile in the Black Forest, revealing the shocking extent of his anti-Semitism for the first time. For much of the philosophical community, the Black Notebooks have been either used to discredit Heidegger or seen as a bibliographical detail irrelevant to his thought. Yet, in this new book, renowned philosopher Donatella Di Cesare argues that Heidegger's "metaphysical anti-Semitism" was a central part of his philosophical project. Within the context of the Nuremberg race laws, Heidegger felt compelled to define Jewishness and its relationship to his concept of Being. Di Cesare shows that Heidegger saw the Jews as the agents of a modernity that had disfigured the spirit of the West. In a deeply disturbing extrapolation, he presented the Holocaust as both a means for the purification of Being and the Jews' own "self-destruction": a process of death on an industrialized scale that was the logical conclusion of the acceleration in technology they themselves had brought about. Situating Heidegger's anti-Semitism firmly within the context of his thought, this groundbreaking work will be essential reading for students and scholars of philosophy and history as well as the many readers interested in Heidegger's life, work, and legacy.
An extraordinary novel based on an incredible true story of love, resilience, survival and hope. Perfect for fans of THE TATTOOIST OF AUSCHWITZ, THE VOLUNTEER and THE LIBRARIAN OF AUSCHWITZ. _______________________________ Against all odds, love will lead them home. Shurka, her husband and their two small children never thought the war would reach their remote Polish village. They were wrong. Forced to flee their family home, they find shelter with their fellow Jews in the ghetto - but every night more and more people disappear, taken away on trucks to never be seen again. As terrible rumours of extermination camps swirl, Shurka realises that the longer they stay in the ghetto, the lower their chances of survival. Their best hope is to flee into the Polish forest, where Jewish resistance fighters hold out against Nazi search parties. Their new life is precarious in the extreme - and will test them more than they ever thought possible... Even in the dark, hope can be found. _______________________________ Surviving The War is the international Amazon bestselling survival and holocaust story, based on an incredible true story and previously published as Surviving The Forest. It has been translated into English from the original Hebrew.
The entry for "kvetchn (the verbal form) in Uriel Weinreich's
"Modern English-Yiddish Yiddish-English Dictionary reads simply:
"press, squeeze, pinch; strain." There is no mention of grumbling
or complaint. You can "kvetch an orange to get juice, "kvetch a
buzzer for service, or "kvetch mit di pleytses, shrug your
shoulders, when no one responds to the buzzer that you "kvetched.
All perfectly good, perfectly common uses of the verb "kvetchn,
none of which appears to have the remotest connection with the idea
of whining or complaining. The link is found in Weinreich's
"strain" which he uses to define "kvetchn zikh, to press or squeeze
oneself, the reflexive form of the verb. Alexander Harkavy's 1928
"Yiddish-English-Hebrew Dictionary helps make Weinreich's meaning
clearer. It isn't simply to strain, but "to strain," as Harkavy has
it, "at stool," to have trouble doing what, if you'd eaten your
prunes the way you were supposed to, you wouldn't have any trouble
with at all. The connection with complaint lies, of course, in the
tone of voice: someone who's "kvetching sounds like someone who's
paying the price for not having taken his castor oil---and he has
just as eager an audience. A really good "kvetch has a visceral
quality, a sense that the "kvetcher won't be completely
comfortable, completely satisfied, until it's all come out. Go
ahead and ask someone how they're feeling; if they tell you, "Don't
ask," just remember that you already have. The twenty-minute litany
of "tsuris is nobody's fault but your own.
THE SHOCKING TRUE STORY OF A BRUTAL ACT OF HATE
Nearly seventy-five years after World War II, a contentious debate lingers over whether Franklin Delano Roosevelt turned his back on the Jews of Hitler's Europe. Defenders claim that FDR saved millions of potential victims by defeating Nazi Germany. Others revile him as morally indifferent and indict him for keeping America's gates closed to Jewish refugees and failing to bomb Auschwitz's gas chambers.
In an extensive examination of this impassioned debate, Richard Breitman and Allan J. Lichtman find that the president was neither savior nor bystander. In "FDR and the Jews," they draw upon many new primary sources to offer an intriguing portrait of a consummate politician-compassionate but also pragmatic-struggling with opposing priorities under perilous conditions. For most of his presidency Roosevelt indeed did little to aid the imperiled Jews of Europe. He put domestic policy priorities ahead of helping Jews and deferred to others' fears of an anti-Semitic backlash. Yet he also acted decisively at times to rescue Jews, often withstanding contrary pressures from his advisers and the American public. Even Jewish citizens who petitioned the president could not agree on how best to aid their co-religionists abroad.
Though his actions may seem inadequate in retrospect, the authors bring to light a concerned leader whose efforts on behalf of Jews were far greater than those of any other world figure. His moral position was tempered by the political realities of depression and war, a conflict all too familiar to American politicians in the twenty-first century.
From the very moment of the liberation of camps at Auschwitz, Belsen and Buchenwald, Germans have been held accountable for the crimes committed in the Holocaust. The Nazi regime unleashed the most systematic attempt in history to wipe out an entire people, murdering men, women and children for the simple 'crime' of being Jewish. After the war ended in 1945, the Jewish State of Israel was created and Jewish communities were re-established in a now divided Germany. Germans have engaged actively with their Nazi legacy and the Jewish communities have remained and grown stronger, but neo-Nazism has also persisted. Young Germans have learned the horrific deeds of the past at school, and throughout the world, people of all nations have tried to learn the lesson 'never again', while Germany has become 'Israel's best friend in Europe'. Pol O Dochartaigh analyses the ways in which Germans and Jews alike have attempted to come to terms with the Holocaust and its terrible legacy. He also looks at efforts to remember - and to forget - the Holocaust, movement towards recompense and reparation, and the survival of anti-Semitism.
In 1922, voters in the newly created Republic of Poland democratically elected their first president, Gabriel Narutowicz. Because his supporters included a Jewish political party, an opposing faction of antisemites demanded his resignation. Within hours, bloody riots erupted in Warsaw, and within a week the president was assassinated. In the wake of these events, the radical right asserted that only ""ethnic Poles"" should rule the country, while the left silently capitulated to this demand. As Paul Brykczynski tells this gripping story, he explores the complex role of antisemitism, nationalism, and violence in Polish politics between the two World Wars. Though focusing on Poland, the book sheds light on the rise of the antisemitic right in Europe and beyond, and on the impact of violence on political culture and discourse.
This is the only book from the perspective of the defendant who emerged victorious. It features reviews on book pages of national newspapers, and in history magazines. Deborah Lipstadt chronicles her five-year legal battle with David Irving that culminated in a sensational trial in 2000. In her acclaimed 1993 book "Denying the Holocaust", Deborah Lipstadt called David Irving, a prolific writer of books on World War II, "one of the most dangerous spokespersons for Holocaust denial", a conclusion she reached after closely examining his books, speeches, interviews, and other copious records. The following year, after Lipstadt's book was published in the UK, Irving filed a libel suit against Lipstadt and her UK publisher, Penguin. Lipstadt prepared her defence with the help of first-rate team of solicitors, historians, and experts. The dramatic trial, which unfolded over the course of 10 weeks, ultimately exposed the prejudice, extremism, and distortion of history that defined Irving's work. Lipstadt's victory was proclaimed on the front page of major newspapers around the world, with the "Daily Telegraph" proclaiming that the trial did "for the new century what the Nuremberg tribunals or the Eichmann trial did for earlier generations." Part history, part real life courtroom drama, "History On Trial" is Lipstadt's riveting, blow-by-blow account of the trial that tested the standards of historical and judicial truths and resulted in a formal denunciation of a Holocaust denier, crippling the movement for years to come.
"The Rosenstrasse protest . . . shows that a great number, probably a great majority . . . of the Aryan partners in mixed marriages did not forsake their Jewish spouses, despite often overwhelming pressures to do so. . . . What happened in this small and ordinary Berlin street was an extraordinary manifestation of courage at a time when such courage was often sadly absent."-from the foreword by Walter Laqueur "Goldhagen's Hitler's Willing Executioners created a furor with his sweeping and sensational claim that 'ordinary Germans' in Hitler's Reich were anti-Semites who had been longing for decades for the chance to kill the Jews. This timely new book by another young American historian presents another side to the picture. Stoltzfus is a careful and subtle historian and the result of his labors is no less sensational and thought-provoking."-Richard J. Evans, The Sunday Telegraph In February 1943 the Gestapo arrested approximately 10,000 Jews remaining in Berlin. Most died at Auschwitz. Two thousand of those Jews, however, had non-Jewish partners and were locked into a collection center on a street called Rosenstrasse. As news of the surprise arrest pulsed through the city, hundreds of Gentile spouses, mostly women, hurried to the Rosenstrasse in protest. A chant broke out: "Give us our husbands back." Over the course of a week protesters vied with the Gestapo for control of the street. Now and again armed SS guards sent the women scrambling for cover with threats that they would shoot. After a week the Gestapo released these Jews, almost all of whom survived the war. The Rosenstrasse Protest was the triumphant climax of ten years of resistance by intermarried couples to Nazi efforts to destroy their families. In fact, ninety-eight percent of German Jews who did not go into hiding and who survived Nazism lived in mixed marriages. Why did Hitler give in to the protesters? Using interviews with survivors and thousands of Nazi records never before examined in detail, Nathan Stoltzfus identifies the power of a special type of resistance-the determination to risk one's own life for the life of loved ones. A "resistance of the heart." Nathan Stoltzfus teaches history at Florida State University. Resistance of the Heart won the Fraenkel Prize of the Institute of Contemporary History and Wiener Library and was selected as a "book of the year" by The New Statesman.
'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.
The 'modern' Western world was introduced to Indian Jews in 1665 when Menasseh Bene Israel of Amsterdam petitioned Oliver Cromwell's government to permit Jews to return to England from where they had been expelled in 1290, citing the tolerant maharajas of Cochin as examples of pragmatic and tolerant leadership to be emulated in England. Over the next 350 years, books, magazine and newspaper articles, travel diaries, and a variety of government and commercial documents have explored Indian Jewish experience, often sensationally. Over the past half-century, modern scholarship has applied historical, sociological, anthropological, political, cultural, literary, and folkloristic perspectives, and all the while Indian Jews themselves have narrated their stories to ever-fascinated audiences. This bibliography, compiled over three decades of research, is designed to assist students and scholars who wish to explore India's rich and varied Jewish heritage. It is organised by communities. First are general works on Indian Jewry, followed by: sections on the Cochin Jews; the Bene Israel of Maharashtra; the little-known Mughal Jews; the 'Baghdadi' communities of Indian port cities; the Ashkenazim, many of whom but not all were refugees to India from Nazi-dominated Europe; and finally, recent Judaising movements of north-east India and in Andhra Pradesh.
A wide-ranging look at the history of Western thinking since the seventeenth century on the purpose of the Jewish people in the past, present, and future What is the purpose of Jews in the world? The Bible singles out the Jews as God's "chosen people," but the significance of this special status has been understood in many different ways over the centuries. What Are Jews For? traces the history of the idea of Jewish purpose from its ancient and medieval foundations to the modern era, showing how it has been central to Western thinking on the meanings of peoplehood for everybody. Adam Sutcliffe delves into the links between Jewish and Christian messianism and the association of Jews with universalist and transformative ideals in modern philosophy, politics, literature, and social thought. The Jews have been accorded a crucial role in both Jewish and Christian conceptions of the end of history, when they will usher the world into a new epoch of unity and harmony. Since the seventeenth century this messianic underlay to the idea of Jewish purpose has been repeatedly reconfigured in new forms. From the political theology of the early modern era to almost all domains of modern thought-religious, social, economic, nationalist, radical, assimilationist, satirical, and psychoanalytical-Jews have retained a close association with positive transformation for all. Sutcliffe reveals the persistent importance of the "Jewish Purpose Question" in the attempts of Jews and non-Jews alike to connect the collective purpose of particular communities to the broader betterment of humanity. Shedding light on questions of exceptionalism, pluralism, and universalism, What Are Jews For? explores an intricate question that remains widely resonant in contemporary culture and political debate.
The question of the collaboration of Jews with the Nazi regime during the persecution and extermination of European Jewry is one of the most difficult and sensitive issues surrounding the Holocaust. How could people be forced to cooperate in their own destruction? Why would they help the Nazi authorities round up their own people for deportation, manage the 'collection points' and supervise the people being deported until the last moment? This book is a major new study of the role of the Jews, and more specifically the 'Judenrat' or Jewish Council, in Holocaust Vienna. It was in Vienna that Eichmann developed and tested his model for a Nazi Jewish policy from 1938 onwards, and the leaders of the Viennese Jewish community were the prototypes for all subsequent Jewish councils. By studying the situation in Vienna, it is possible to gain a unique insight into the way that the Nazi regime incorporated the Jewish community into its machinery of destruction. Drawing on recently discovered archives and extensive interviews, Doron Rabinovici explores in detail the actions of individual Jews and Jewish organizations and shows how all of their strategies to protect themselves and others were ultimately doomed to failure. His rich and insightful account enables us to understand in a new way the terrible reality of the victims' plight: faced with the stark choice of death or cooperation, many chose to cooperate with the authorities in the hope that their actions might turn out to be the lesser evil.
Dan Miron's erudite and rich essay chronicles and analyzes the rise and fall of the prophetic poem in modern hebrew literature. While focusing on H. N. Bialik's contribution to the rise and decline of the prophetic poem, Miron analyzes the historical, literary, and artistic factors influencing the fate of the prophetic poem from its ascendancy during the period of Hebrew Romanticism of the late 1890s and early 1900s to its decline in the post-World War I era and its eventual demise with the rise of the new poetics and the establishment of the State of Israel.
In addition to Bialik, Miron discusses the works of Avraham Mapu, M.L. Lilienblum, Issac Irter, Shaul Tchernikhovsky, A. Shlonsky, U. Z. Greenberg, Yonatan Ratosh, Haim Gouri, and Amir Gilboa, among others.
From horned devils to greedy money lenders, images have been used as weapons against Jews for thousands of years. Even photojournalist social reformers of the early twentieth century reinforced derogatory stereotypes of Jews as wretched, immoral, and dirty. Little attention has focused, however, on the ways in which Jews themselves have attempted to counteract these views and to construct their own ethnic and political identities.
In The Jewish Self-Image in the West, Michael Berkowitz examines dozens of visual renderings from the fin-de-siecle to the beginning of the Second World War to argue that Jews have exercised some control over representations of their own national communities and aspirations. In the decades before the Holocaust, organized segments of Jewry enthusiastically appropriated modern media in order to exert a greater influence over their public images.
Presenting photographs and graphic images by Jews as attempts to disrupt or undermine prevailing perceptions, Berkowitz reconstructs the development of the Jewish self-image in the West over a crucial half-century."
Protectors of Pluralism argues that local religious minorities are more likely to save persecuted groups from purification campaigns. Robert Braun utilizes a geo-referenced dataset of Jewish evasion in the Netherlands and Belgium during the Holocaust to assess the minority hypothesis. Spatial statistics and archival work reveal that Protestants were more likely to rescue Jews in Catholic regions of the Low Countries, while Catholics facilitated evasion in Protestant areas. Post-war testimonies and secondary literature demonstrate the importance of minority groups for rescue in other countries during the Holocaust as well as other episodes of mass violence, underlining how the local position of church communities produces networks of assistance, rather than something inherent to any religion itself. This book makes an important contribution to the literature on political violence, social movements, altruism and religion, applying a range of social science methodologies and theories that shed new light on the Holocaust.
Few topics in modern history draw the attention that the Holocaust does. The Shoah has become synonymous with unspeakable atrocity and unbearable suffering. Yet it has also been used to teach tolerance, empathy, resistance, and hope. Understanding and Teaching the Holocaust provides a starting point for teachers in many disciplines to illuminate this crucial event in world history for students. Using a vast array of source materials-from literature and film to survivor testimonies and interviews-the contributors demonstrate how to guide students through these sensitive and painful subjects within their specific historical and social contexts. Each chapter provides pedagogical case studies for teaching content such as antisemitism, resistance and rescue, and the postwar lives of displaced persons. It will transform how students learn about the Holocaust and the circumstances surrounding it.
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