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Concentration camps are a relatively new invention, a recurring feature of twentieth century warfare, and one that is important to the modern global consciousness and identity. Although the most famous concentration camps are those under the Nazis, the use of concentration camps originated several decades before the Third Reich, in the Philippines and in the Boer War, and they have been used again in numerous locations, not least during the genocide in Bosnia. They have become defining symbols of humankind's lowest point and basest acts. In this book, Dan Stone gives a global history of concentration camps, and shows that it is not only "mad dictators " who have set up camps, but instead all varieties of states, including liberal democracies, that have made use of them. Setting concentration camps against the longer history of incarceration, he explains how the ability of the modern state to control populations led to the creation of this extreme institution. Looking at their emergence and spread around the world, Stone argues that concentration camps serve the purpose, from the point of view of the state in crisis, of removing a section of the population that is perceived to be threatening, traitorous, or diseased. Drawing on contemporary accounts of camps, as well as the philosophical literature surrounding them, Stone considers the story camps tell us about the nature of the modern world as well as about specific regimes.
1930s Warsaw was a thoroughly cosmopolitan, even swinging city. Larger than Chicago, it was host to a rich Jewish cultural life. It seemed inconceivable that all this was about to be swept away, but then came the dark events of September 1939. As the Nazi invasion of Poland began, a ragtag army calling itself the Jewish Resistance Force fell into shape around the handsome, quick-witted Isaac Zuckerman. Impossibly daring, the JRF held out until the end of the war, by which time fewer than 100 of its members survived. ISAAC'S ARMY is the thrilling tale of the fortunes of the JRF's main participants, told in vivid prose that brilliantly creates an atmosphere febrile with danger, heroism and ingenuity - like Babel's Odessa Tales crossed with the Great Escape. In amongst the tragedy, ISAAC'S ARMY manages to be touching, entertaining, and even very funny, and ultimately a celebration of the resilience of the human spirit.
The population of wartime Japan (1940-1945) has remained a largely faceless enemy to most Americans thanks to the distortions of US wartime propaganda, popular culture, and news reports. At a time when this country's wartime experiences are slowly and belatedly coming into focus, this remarkable book by Samuel Yamashita offers an intimate picture of what life was like for ordinary Japanese during the war. Drawing upon diaries and letters written by servicemen, kamikaze pilots, evacuated children, and teenagers and adults mobilized for war work in the big cities, provincial towns, and rural communities, Yamashita lets us hear for the first time the rich mix of voices speaking in every register during the course of the war. Daily Life in Wartime Japan, 1940-1945 is also a glimpse of a now-vanished world.
In 1941, three brothers witnessed their parents and two other siblings being led away to their eventual murders. It was a grim scene that would, of course, be repeated endlessly throughout the war. Instead of running or giving in to despair, these brothers -- Tuvia, Zus, and Asael Bielski -- fought back, waging a guerrilla war of wits against the Nazis.
By using their intimate knowledge of the dense forests surrounding the Belarusan towns of Novogrudek and Lida, the Bielskis evaded the Nazis and established a hidden base camp, then set about convincing other Jews to join their ranks. As more and more Jews arrived each day, a robust community began to emerge, a "Jerusalem in the woods."
After two and a half years in the woods, in July 1944, the Bielskis learned that the Germans, overrun by the Red Army, were retreating back toward Berlin. More than one thousand Bielski Jews emerged -- alive -- on that final, triumphant exit from the woods.
'Memories After My Death' is the story of Tommy Lapid, a well-loved and controversial Israeli figure who saw the development of the country from all angles over its first sixty years. From seeing his father taken away to a concentration camp to arriving in Tel Aviv at the birth of Israel, Tommy Lapid lived every major incident of Jewish life since the 1930s first-hand. This sweeping narrative is mesmerizing for anyone with an interest in how Israel became what it is today. Lapid's uniquely unorthodox opinions - he belonged to neither left nor right, was Jewish, but vehemently secular - expose the many contradictions inherent in Israeli life today.
Beginning in 1950, the state of Israel prosecuted and jailed dozens of Holocaust survivors who had served as camp kapos or ghetto police under the Nazis. At last comes the first full account of the kapo trials, based on records newly declassified after forty years. In December 1945, a Polish-born commuter on a Tel Aviv bus recognized a fellow rider as the former head of a town council the Nazis had established to manage the Jews. When he denounced the man as a collaborator, the rider leapt off the bus, pursued by passengers intent on beating him to death. Five years later, to address ongoing tensions within Holocaust survivor communities, the State of Israel instituted the criminal prosecution of Jews who had served as ghetto administrators or kapos in concentration camps. Dan Porat brings to light more than three dozen little-known trials, held over the following two decades, of survivors charged with Nazi collaboration. Scouring police investigation files and trial records, he found accounts of Jewish policemen and camp functionaries who harassed, beat, robbed, and even murdered their brethren. But as the trials exposed the tragic experiences of the kapos, over time the courts and the public shifted from seeing them as evil collaborators to victims themselves, and the fervor to prosecute them abated. Porat shows how these trials changed Israel's understanding of the Holocaust and explores how the suppression of the trial records-long classified by the state-affected history and memory. Sensitive to the devastating options confronting those who chose to collaborate, yet rigorous in its analysis, Bitter Reckoning invites us to rethink our ideas of complicity and justice and to consider what it means to be a victim in extraordinary circumstances.
The first account of one of the greatest heroes of WWII, and a gripping story of defiance, rebellion, sabotage and escape from a Nazi death camp.
In the Summer of 1940, after the Nazi occupation of Poland, an underground operative called Witold Pilecki accepted a mission to uncover the fate of thousands of people being interred at a new concentration camp on the border of the Reich. His mission was to report on Nazi crimes and raise a secret army to stage an uprising. The name of the detention centre -- Auschwitz.
It was only after arriving at the camp that he started to discover the Nazi’s terrifying designs. Over the next two and half years, Witold forged an underground army that smuggled evidence of Nazi atrocities to the West, culminating in the mass murder of over a million Jews. His reports from the camp were to shape the Allies response to the Holocaust - yet his story was all but forgotten for decades.
This is the first major account of his amazing journey, drawing on exclusive family papers and recently declassified files as well as unpublished accounts from the camp’s fighters to show how he saved hundreds of thousands of lives.
The result is a enthralling story of resistance and heroism against the most horrific circumstances, and one man’s attempt to change the course of history.
In 1973, Leonard and Edith Ehrlich chose to undertake a daunting task that would ultimately become their greatest work: conducting over thirty years of meticulous research to investigate and document Vienna's Jewish community and its leadership during the Holocaust. Inescapably, this path led them to the controversial figure of Benjamin Murmelstein, Viennese rabbi and later Judenrat council elder at Theresienstadt. As a youth in Vienna during the 1930s, Leonard Ehrlich grew up knowing and respecting Murmelstein, who was the rabbi for his bar mitzvah. Ehrlich and his family would flee Vienna for the United States two months after the beginning of World War II; upon hearing post-war accounts of Murmelstein's involvement in Nazi atrocities, Ehrlich attempted to reconcile those accounts with his experience of Murmelstein as a thoughtful, devoted intellectual. Leonard Ehrlich and his wife Edith, like Leonard a Viennese refugee and doctor of philosophy, thus began an intellectual magnum opus that would seek to interrogate a number of basic assumptions of Holocaust scholarship and critical thought. The Ehrlichs would conduct painstaking historical research not only in archives but also in interviews with subjects, not the least of whom was Murmelstein himself, who had settled in Rome after the conclusion of the war. The first volume focuses on the Jewish community of Vienna during the period of 1938 to 1942. Choices under Duress of the Holocaust is most certainly a historical work, but it is also a philosophical work, in which "duress" and "choice" are considered fully in their relevant contexts. It is, then, a history of the destruction of the Jewish community of Vienna and an examination of the performance of the Jewish leadership in its dealings with the Nazis on behalf of the Jews. But it is also the positing of a question, the opening of a space to consider the nuances of consent, complicity, and condemnation.
'At the age of six I began to fear for the future. ... By the age of nine I was on the run for my life. ... By the time I was ten I had seen all there was to see.' An accessible and honest account of the Holocaust that reminds us of the dangers of racism and intolerance, providing lessons that are relevant today. A true story of heroism during this painful horrific time in history. Tomi Reichental grew up in a small village, with friendly neighbours and a big, happy family. But things began to change, and Tomi was told he couldn't play with some of the local children any more. Then the police started to take away friends and family. Life changed completely when he was sent a thousand kilometres away, with all the other local Jews, to the terrifying Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. The Nazis killed millions of people, simply because of their race or religion. Tomi tells his story so that such a horrific thing won't happen again.
Based on recently discovered documents, The Jews Should Keep Quiet reassesses the hows and whys behind the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration's fateful policies during the Holocaust. Rafael Medoff delves into difficult truths: With FDR's consent, the administration deliberately suppressed European immigration far below the limits set by U.S. law. His administration also refused to admit Jewish refugees to the U.S. Virgin Islands, dismissed proposals to use empty Liberty ships returning from Europe to carry refugees, and rejected pleas to drop bombs on the railways leading to Auschwitz, even while American planes were bombing targets only a few miles away-actions that would not have conflicted with the larger goal of winning the war. What motivated FDR? Medoff explores the sensitive question of the president's private sentiments toward Jews. Unmasking strong parallels between Roosevelt's statements regarding Jews and Asians, he connects the administration's policies of excluding Jewish refugees and interning Japanese Americans. The Jews Should Keep Quiet further reveals how FDR's personal relationship with Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, American Jewry's foremost leader in the 1930s and 1940s, swayed the U.S. response to the Holocaust. Documenting how Roosevelt and others pressured Wise to stifle American Jewish criticism of FDR's policies, Medoff chronicles how and why the American Jewish community largely fell in line with Wise. Ultimately Medoff weighs the administration's realistic options for rescue action, which, if taken, would have saved many lives.
Contrary to the common notion that news regarding the genocide was unavailable or unreliable, news from Europe was often communicated to North American Poles through the Polish-language press. This work engages with the origins of this debate and demonstrates that the Polish-language press covered seminal issues during the inter-war years, the war, and the Holocaust extensively on their front and main story pages, and were extremely responsive, professional, and vocal in their journalism. From Polish-Jewish relations, to the cause of the Second World War and subsequently the development of genocide-related policy, North American Poles, had a different perspective from mainstream society on the "causes and effects" of what was happening. New research for this book examines attitudes toward Jews prior to and during the Holocaust, and how information on such attitudes was disseminated. It utilizes original research from selected Polish newspapers, predominantly the Republika-Gornik, as well as survivor testimony from 1926-1945.
When Sophica was abruptly separated from her father as a toddler, she found a haven in Grandmother Gitte. But one sunny day in July, when she was six years old, gendarmes marching and shouting in the streets stopped her dreamy childhood and her hopes to go to school and to be a big girl like her sister. She was deported together with her mother and the whole of the Jewish community of Mihaileni, Romania. On foot, through icy fields, they arrived in eastern Ukraine, a strip of land called Transnistria. Death, illness, brutality, shame, became her daily scenes. Sophica suffered hunger and fear but kept her hopes and sanity, albeit losing her sister and her father and witnessing her mother being viciously attacked. She survived Typhus and starvation by being strong and quiet. Herman was a jolly little boy who didnt care much needing to wear the yellow star and being forbidden from school. He continued playing outside with his friends while his father and brother were sent to a labour camp. At the age of 14, when the Second World War ended, he joined a Jewish youth movement and embarked on a ship to the Promised Land. However, their journey was interrupted and they were taken to a British detention camp in Cyprus. Sophica and Herman were given new names, Shulamit and Tzvi. They met and made a home in Israel. Shulamit/Sophica never mentioned her sad childhood, but the essence of the past found its ways out. Sixty-five years after those events, her daughter comes across a family secret and starts asking questions, inducing Shulamit to break her silence and become again the frightened little Sophica. This book tells her moving childhood story.
Written with access to previously unpublished records, this is the fullest and most definitive account available on Hitler's secret police, the Gestapo. The book illustrates how, despite its material constraints, this group was able to extend its reach widely and quickly by manipulating and colluding with the general public during World War II, making ordinary German citizens complicit in the rendition of their associates, friends, colleagues, and neighbors. Though it was a powerful institution, it was not an all-powerful institution, and McDonough also relates the fascinating and underreported accounts of a cross-section of ordinary and extraordinary people who opposed the Nazi regime and its oppressive governance. The Gestapo will provide a chilling new doorway into the everyday life of the Third Reich and give powerful testimony from the victims of Nazi terror, while also challenging popular myths about the Gestapo and its inner workings.
Under the brutal conditions of the Dachau-Kaufering concentration camp, a handful of young Jews resolved to resist their Nazi oppressors. Their weapons were their words. Beginning with the Soviet occuption of Kovno, the members of Irgun Brith Zion circulated an underground journal, ""Nitzotz"" (""Spark""), in which they debated Zionist politics and laid plans for postwar settlment in Palestine. When the Kovno ghetto was destroyed, several contributors to ""Nitzotz"" were deported to the camps of Dachau. Against all odds, they did not lay down their pens. ""Nitzotz"" is the only known Hebrew-language publication to have appeared consistently throughout the Nazi occupation anywhere in Europe. Its authors believed that their intellectual defiance would insulate them against the dehumanizing cruelty of the concentration camp and equip them to lead the postwar effort for the physical and spiritual regeneration of European Jewry. Laura Weinrib presents this remarkable document to English readers for the first time. Along with a translation of the five remaining Dachau-Kaufering issues, the book includes an extensive critical introduction. ""Nitzotz"" is a testament to the resilience of those struggling for survival.
"Du solst starben zwischem goyem!" A fellow Jew within the Warsaw Ghetto, offended by Zosia Goldberg's Polish of no Yiddish accent, spat at her in Yiddish: "May you die amongst the goyem!" Zosia took this 'curse' instead as a message from God. Her dramatic tale begins with her escaping the Warsaw Ghetto through the sewer, whereafter she survived the Holocaust posing as a Gentile. Zosia did not die amongst the goyem, and yet along her dangerous journey she should have died on numerous occasions. She was a 'debrouillarde', someone who could run through fire without getting burned. Hers is a story of resistance at every turn, of continual attempts at sabotage, of perpetually escaping and defeating the enemy. Her account is filled with unique energy and a wonder at the strangeness of human behaviour. For not only did she suffer bitter betrayals by fellow Jews, she also encountered the unexpected sympathies of Nazis, and was at many times aided by her very tormentors. This is not just a story of the Holocaust, but of a woman struggling to make sense of human folly and depravity.
The prevailing image of European Jews during the Holocaust is one of helpless victims, but in fact many Jews struggled against the terrors of the Third Reich. In Defiance, Nechama Tec offers a riveting history of one such group, a forest community in western Belorussia that would number more than 1,200 Jews by 1944--the largest armed rescue operation of Jews by Jews in World War II.
Tec reveals that this extraordinary community included both men and women, some with weapons, but mostly unarmed, ranging from infants to the elderly. She reconstructs for the first time the amazing details of how these partisans and their families--hungry, exposed to the harsh winter weather--managed not only to survive, but to offer protection to all Jewish fugitives who could find their way to them.
Arguing that this success would have been unthinkable without the vision of one man, Tec offers penetrating insight into the group's commander, Tuvia Bielski. Tec brings to light the untold story of Bielski's struggle as a partisan who lost his parents, wife, and two brothers to the Nazis, yet never wavered in his conviction that it was more important to save one Jew than to kill twenty Germans. She shows how, under Bielski's guidance, the partisans smuggled Jews out of heavily guarded ghettos, scouted the roads for fugitives, and led retaliatory raids against Belorussian peasants who collaborated with the Nazis.
Herself a Holocaust survivor, Nechama Tec here draws on wide-ranging research and never before published interviews with surviving partisans--including Tuvia Bielski himself--to reconstruct here the poignant and unforgettable story of those who chose to fight.
A prominent Viennese psychiatrist before the war, Viktor Frankl was uniquely able to observe the way that both he and others in Auschwitz coped (or didn't) with the experience. He noticed that it was the men who comforted others and who gave away their last piece of bread who survived the longest - and who offered proof that everything can be taken away from us except the ability to choose our attitude in any given set of circumstances. The sort of person the prisoner became was the result of an inner decision and not of camp influences alone. Only those who allowed their inner hold on their moral and spiritual selves to subside eventually fell victim to the camp's degenerating influence - while those who made a victory of those experiences turned them into an inner triumph. Frankl came to believe man's deepest desire is to search for meaning and purpose. This outstanding work offers us all a way to transcend suffering and find significance in the art of living.'Viktor Frankl-is one of the moral heroes of the 20th century. His insights into human freedom, dignity and the search for meaning are deeply humanising, and have the power to transform lives.'Chief Rabbi Dr Jonathan Sacks'
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.
In January 1942, Soviet press photographers came upon a scene like none they had ever documented. That day, they took pictures of the first liberation of a German mass atrocity, where an estimated 7,000 Jews and others were executed at an anti-tank trench near Kerch on the Crimean peninsula. Dmitri Baltermants, a photojournalist working for the Soviet newspaper Izvestiia, took photos that day that would have a long life in shaping the image of Nazi genocide in and against the Soviet Union. Presenting never before seen photographs, Grief: The Biography of a Holocaust Photograph shows how Baltermants used the image of a grieving woman to render this gruesome mass atrocity into a transcendentally human tragedy. David Shneer tells the story of how that one photograph from the series Baltermants took that day in 1942 near Kerch became much more widely known than the others, eventually being titled "Grief." Baltermants turned this shocking wartime atrocity photograph into a Cold War era artistic meditation on the profundity and horror of war that today can be found in Holocaust photo archives as well as in art museums and at art auctions. Although the journalist documented murdered Jews in other pictures he took at Kerch, in "Grief" there are likely no Jews among the dead or the living, save for the possible NKVD soldier securing the site. Nonetheless, Shneer shows that this photograph must be seen as an iconic Holocaust photograph. Unlike images of emaciated camp survivors or barbed wire fences, Shneer argues, the Holocaust by bullets in the Soviet Union make "Grief" a quintessential Soviet image of Nazi genocide.
On a quiet winter night in 1944, as part of their support of the Third Reich's pogrom of European Jews, French authorities arrested Ida Grinspan, a young Jewish girl hiding in a neighbor's home in Nazi-occupied France. Of the many lessons she would learn after her arrest and the subsequent year and a half in Auschwitz, the most notorious concentration camp of the Holocaust, the first was that ""barbarity enters on tiptoes . . . [even] in a hamlet where everything seemed to promise the peaceful slumber of places forgotten by history."" Translated by Charles B. Potter, You've Got to Tell Them is the result of a friendship that formed in 1988, when Grinspan returned to visit Auschwitz for the first time since 1945 and where she met Bertrand Poirot-Delpeche, a distinguished writer for the Paris newspaper Le Monde. Sometimes speaking alone, sometimes speaking in close alternation, Grinspan and Poirot-Delpeche simultaneously narrate the story of her survival and the decades that followed, including how she began lecturing in schools and guiding groups that visited the death camps. Replete with pedagogical resources including a discussion of how and why the Holocaust should be taught, a timeline, and suggestions for further reading, Potter's expert translation of You've Got to Tell Them showcases a clear and moving narrative of a young French girl overcoming one of the darkest periods in her life and in European history.
When the Nazis seized power in Germany in 1933 they promised to create a new, harmonious society under the leadership of the Fuumlhrer, Adolf Hitler. The concept of Volksgemeinschaft - 'the people's community' - enshrined the Nazis' vision of society'; a society based on racist, social-Darwinist, anti-democratic, and nationalist thought. The regime used Volksgemeinschaft to define who belonged to the National Socialist 'community' and who did not. Being accorded the status of belonging granted citizenship rights, access to the benefits of the welfare state, and opportunities for advancement, while these who were denied the privilege of belonging lost their right to live. They were shamed, excluded, imprisoned, murdered. Volksgemeinschaft was the Nazis' project of social engineering, realized by state action, by administrative procedure, by party practice, by propaganda, and by individual initiative. Everyone deemed worthy of belonging was called to participate in its realization. Indeed, this collective notion was directed at the individual, and unleashed an enormous dynamism, which gave social change a particular direction. The Volksgemeinschaft concept was not strictly defined, which meant that it was rather marked by a plurality of meaning and emphasis which resulted in a range of readings in the Third Reich, drawing in people from many social and political backgrounds. Visions of Community in Nazi Germany scrutinizes Volksgemeinschaft as the Nazis' central vision of community. The contributors engage with individual appropriations, examine projects of social engineering, analyze the social dynamism unleashed, and show how deeply private lives were affected by this murderous vision of society.
Georg Elser was just a working-class citizen living in Munich, Germany. He was employed as a carpenter and had spent some time working in a watch factory. That all changed when he took it upon himself, without telling his family or friends, to single-handedly attempt to assassinate the most powerful man in all of Germany: the Fuhrer, Adolf Hitler. Elser's plan centered on the Munich beer hall, where he knew Hitler would be making a speech. Working slowly and in secret, he started to assemble the bomb that he would use to try to kill Hitler. When finished, the bomb was hidden in a hollowed-out space near the speaker's podium. The bomb went off successfully, killing eight people . . . but Hitler was not one of them. Bombing Hitler is an incredible tale that takes you back to 1939 and recreates the steps that led Elser from the Munich beer hall, to his attempted escape across the Swiss border, and, sadly, to the concentration camp where his heroic life ended. Read for the first time the epic and tragic story of a man who stood up for what he knew was right, opposed the most powerful man in Germany, and came close to single-handedly ending the war. Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade imprint, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in history--books about World War II, the Third Reich, Hitler and his henchmen, the JFK assassination, conspiracies, the American Civil War, the American Revolution, gladiators, Vikings, ancient Rome, medieval times, the old West, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.
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