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This book offers an extensive introduction and 14 diverse essays on how World War II, the Holocaust, and their aftermath affected Jewish families and Jewish communities, with an especially close look at the roles played by women, youth, and children. Focusing on Eastern and Central Europe, themes explored include: how Jewish parents handled the Nazi threat; rescue and resistance within the Jewish family unit; the transformation of gender roles under duress; youth's wartime and early postwar experiences; postwar reconstruction of the Jewish family; rehabilitation of Jewish children and youth; and the role of Zionism in shaping the present and future of young survivors. Relying on newly available archival material and novel research in the areas of families, youth, rescue, resistance, gender, and memory, this volume will be an indispensable guide to current work on the familial and social history of the Holocaust.
Janusz Korczak (1879-1942) is one of the legendary figures to emerge from the Holocaust. A successful pediatrician and well-known author in his native Warsaw, he gave up a brilliant medical career to devote himself to the care of orphans. Like so many other Jews, Korczak was sent into the Warsaw Ghetto after the Nazi occupation of Poland. He immediately set up an orphanage for more than two hundred children. Many of his admirers, Jewish and gentile, offered to rescue him from the ghetto, but Korczak refused to leave his small charges. When the Nazis ordered the children to board a train that was to carry them to the Treblinka death camp, Korczak went with them, despite the Nazis' offer of special treatment. His selfless behavior in caring for these children's lives and deaths has made him beloved throughout the world; he has been honored by UNESCO and commemorated on postage stamps in both Poland and Israel. Korczak's grimly inspiring ghetto diary is now available in paperback for the first time, accompanied by a new introduction by Betty Jean Lifton, the author of the biography of Korczak.
German Reparations and the Jewish World" has become a standard reference work since it was first published. Based extensively on archival sources, the author examines the difficult debate within the Jewish world whether it was possible to reach a material settlement with Germany so soon after Auschwitz. Concentrating on how the money was spent in rebuilding Jewish life, he also analyzes how the reparations payments transformed the relations bteween Israel and the diaspora, and between different Jewish political and ideological groups. This revised and expanded edition includes material on sensitive relief programmes from archives that have only recently been opened to researchers. In a new, extensive introductory essay the author reexamines the reparations, restitution and indemnification processes from the perspective of 50 years later.
When The Search for Major Plagge was published last spring, the world finally learned about a unique heroaand about one American doctoras extraordinary journey to tell Karl Plaggeas story.Part detective story, part personal quest, Michael Goodas book is the story of the German commander of a Lithuanian work camp who saved hundreds of Jewish lives in the Vilna ghetto aincluding the life of Goodas mother, Pearl. Who was this enigmatic officer Pearl Good had spoken of so often?After five years of researchainterviewing survivors, assembling a team that could work to open German files untouched for fifty years, following every lead he could, Good was able to uncover the amazing tale of one manas remarkable courage. And in April 2005 Karl Plagge joined Oskar Schindler and 380 other Germans as a aRighteous among Nations, a honored by the State of Israel for protecting and saving Jewish lives during the Holocaust.This expanded edition features new photographs and a new epilogue on the impact of the discovery of Karl Plaggeaespecially the story of 83-year-old Alfons von Deschwanden, who, after fifty years of silence, came forward as a veteran of Plaggeas unit. His testimony is now part of this growing witness to truth.
This is a unique, eye-witness account of everyday life right at the heart of the Nazi extermination machine.
Slomo Venezia was born into a poor Jewish-Italian community living in Thessaloniki, Greece. At first, the occupying Italians protected his family; but when the Germans invaded, the Venezias were deported to Auschwitz. His mother and sisters disappeared on arrival, and he learned, at first with disbelief, that they had almost certainly been gassed. Given the chance to earn a little extra bread, he agreed to become a 'Sonderkommando', without realising what this entailed. He soon found himself a member of the 'special unit' responsible for removing the corpses from the gas chambers and burning their bodies.
Dispassionately, he details the grim round of daily tasks, evokes the terror inspired by the man in charge of the crematoria, 'Angel of Death' Otto Moll, and recounts the attempts made by some of the prisoners to escape, including the revolt of October 1944.
It is usual to imagine that none of those who went into the gas chambers at Auschwitz ever emerged to tell their tale - but, as a member of a 'Sonderkommando', Shlomo Venezia was given this horrific privilege. He knew that, having witnessed the unspeakable, he in turn would probably be eliminated by the SS in case he ever told his tale. He survived: this is his story.
Published in association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
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.
In 1949, as Cold War tensions in Europe mounted, French intellectual and former Buchenwald inmate David Rousset called upon fellow concentration camp survivors to denounce the Soviet Gulag as a "hallucinatory repetition" of Nazi Germany's most terrible crime. In Political Survivors, Emma Kuby tells the riveting story of what followed his appeal, as prominent members of the wartime Resistance from throughout Western Europe united to campaign against the continued existence of inhumane internment systems around the world. The International Commission against the Concentration Camp Regime brought together those originally deported for acts of anti-Nazi political activity who believed that their unlikely survival incurred a duty to bear witness for other victims. Over the course of the next decade, these pioneering activists crusaded to expose political imprisonment, forced labor, and other crimes against humanity in Franco's Spain, Maoist China, French Algeria, and beyond. Until now, the CIA's secret funding of Rousset's movement has remained in the shadows. Kuby reveals this clandestine arrangement between European camp survivors and American intelligence agents. She also brings to light how Jewish Holocaust victims were systematically excluded from Commission membership - a choice that fueled the group's rise, but also helped lead to its premature downfall. The history that she unearths provides a striking new vision of how wartime memory shaped European intellectual life and ideological struggle after 1945, showing that the key lessons Western Europeans drew from the war centered on "the camp," imagined first and foremost as a site of political repression rather than ethnic genocide. Political Survivors argues that Cold War dogma and acrimony, tied to a distorted understanding of WWII's chief atrocities, overshadowed the humanitarian possibilities of the nascent anti-concentration camp movement as Europe confronted the violent decolonizing struggles of the 1950s.
A groundbreaking reexamination of the Holocaust and of how Germans understood their genocidal project Why exactly did the Nazis burn the Hebrew Bible everywhere in Germany on November 9, 1938? The perplexing event has not been adequately accounted for by historians in their large-scale assessments of how and why the Holocaust occurred. In this gripping new analysis, Alon Confino draws on an array of archives across three continents to propose a penetrating new assessment of one of the central moral problems of the twentieth century. To a surprising extent, Confino demonstrates, the mass murder of Jews during the war years was powerfully anticipated in the culture of the prewar years. The author shifts his focus away from the debates over what the Germans did or did not know about the Holocaust and explores instead how Germans came to conceive of the idea of a Germany without Jews. He traces the stories the Nazis told themselves-where they came from and where they were heading-and how those stories led to the conclusion that Jews must be eradicated in order for the new Nazi civilization to arise. The creation of this new empire required that Jews and Judaism be erased from Christian history, and this was the inspiration-and justification-for Kristallnacht. As Germans imagined a future world without Jews, persecution and extermination became imaginable, and even justifiable.
This stirring collection of diaries written by young people, aged twelve to twenty-two years, during the Holocaust has been fully revised and updated. Some of the writers were refugees, others were in hiding or passing as non-Jews, some were imprisoned in ghettos, and nearly all perished before liberation. This seminal National Jewish Book Award winner preserves the impressions, emotions, and eyewitness reportage of young people whose accounts of daily events and often unexpected thoughts, ideas, and feelings serve to deepen and complicate our understanding of life during the Holocaust. The second paperback edition includes a new preface by Alexandra Zapruder examining the book's history and impact. Simultaneously, a multimedia edition incorporates a wealth of new content in a variety of media, including photographs of the writers and their families, images of the original diaries, artwork made by the writers, historical documents, glossary terms, maps, survivor testimony (some available for the first time), and video of the author teaching key passages. In addition, an in-depth, interdisciplinary curriculum in history, literature, and writing developed by the author and a team of teachers, working in cooperation with the educational organization Facing History and Ourselves, is now available to support use of the book in middle- and high-school classrooms.
In September, 1939, George Lucius Salton's boyhood in Tyczyn, Poland, was shattered by escalating violence and terror under German occupation. His father, a lawyer, was forbidden to work, but eleven-year-old George dug potatoes, split wood, and resourcefully helped his family. They suffered hunger and deprivation, a forced march to the Rzeszow ghetto, then eternal separation when fourteen-year-old George and his brother were left behind to labor in work camps while their parents were deported in boxcars to die in Belzec. For the next three years, George slaved and barely survived in ten concentration camps, including Rzeszow, Plaszow, Flossenburg, Colmar, Sachsenhausen, Braunschweig, Ravensbruck, and Wobbelin. Cattle cars filled with skeletal men emptied into a train yard in Colmar, France. George and the other prisoners marched under the whips and fists of SS guards. But here, unlike the taunts and rocks from villagers in Poland and Germany, there was applause. "I could clearly hear the people calling: 'Shame! Shame!' . . . Suddenly, I realized that the people of Colmar were applauding us! They were condemning the inhumanity of the Germans!" Of the 500 prisoners of the Nazis who marched through the streets of Colmar in the spring of 1944, just fifty were alive one year later when the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division liberated the Wobbelin concentration camp on the afternoon of May 2, 1945. "I felt something stir deep within my soul. It was my true self, the one who had stayed deep within and had not forgotten how to love and how to cry, the one who had chosen life and was still standing when the last roll call ended."
A deeply insightful social history of Hitler's rise to power and the attitudes of the German people during the era of the Third Reich This book is the culmination of more than three decades of meticulous historiographic research on Nazi Germany by one of the period's most distinguished historians. The volume brings together the most important and influential aspects of Ian Kershaw's research on the Holocaust for the first time. The writings are arranged in three sections-Hitler and the Final Solution, popular opinion and the Jews in Nazi Germany, and the Final Solution in historiography-and Kershaw provides an introduction and a closing section on the uniqueness of Nazism. Kershaw was a founding historian of the social history of the Third Reich, and he has throughout his career conducted pioneering research on the societal causes and consequences of Nazi policy. His work has brought much to light concerning the ways in which the attitudes of the German populace shaped and did not shape Nazi policy. This volume presents a comprehensive, multifaceted picture both of the destructive dynamic of the Nazi leadership and of the attitudes and behavior of ordinary Germans as the persecution of the Jews spiraled into total genocide.
Growing up in Germany, Freddy Mayer witnessed the Nazis' rise to power. When he was sixteen, his family made the decision to flee to the United States - they were among the last German Jews to escape, in 1938. In America, Freddy tried enlisting the day after Pearl Harbor, only to be rejected as an "enemy alien" because he was German. He was soon recruited to the OSS, the country's first spy outfit before the CIA. Freddy, joined by Dutch Jewish refugee Hans Wynberg and Nazi defector Franz Weber, parachuted into Austria as the leader of Operation Greenup, meant to deter Hitler's last stand. He posed as a Nazi officer and a French POW for months, dispatching reports to the OSS via Hans, holed up with a radio in a nearby attic. The reports contained a goldmine of information, provided key intelligence about the Battle of the Bulge, and allowed the Allies to bomb twenty Nazi trains. On the verge of the Allied victory, Freddy was captured by the Gestapo and tortured and waterboarded for days. Remarkably, he persuaded the Nazi commander for the region to surrender, completing one of the most successful OSS missions of the war. Based on years of research and interviews with Mayer himself, whom the author was able to meet only months before his death at the age of ninety-four, Return to the Reich is an eye-opening, unforgettable narrative of World War II heroism.
Just two weeks before his death in January 1999, George L. Mosse, one of the great American historians, finished writing his memoir, a fascinating and fluent account of a remarkable life that spanned three continents and many of the major events of the twentieth century. Confronting History describes Mosse's opulent childhood in Weimar Berlin; his exile in Paris and England, including boarding school and study at Cambridge University; his second exile in the U.S. at Haverford, Harvard, Iowa, and Wisconsin; and his extended stays in London and Jerusalem. Mosse discusses being a Jew and his attachment to Israel and Zionism, and he addresses his gayness, his coming out, and his growing scholarly interest in issues of sexuality. This touching memoir-told with the clarity, passion, and verve that entranced thousands of Mosse's students-is guided in part by his belief that ""what man is, only history tells"" and, most of all, by the importance of finding one's self through the pursuit of truth and through an honest and unflinching analysis of one's place in the context of the times.
In this volume, scholars from the United States, Israel and Eastern Europe examine the history of the Holocaust on Soviet territory and its treatment in Soviet politics and literature from 1945 to 1991. Of special interest to researchers will be chapters on some of the major research sources for historical study, including census materials, memorial books, archives and recently released documents.
The U-505 was a German submarine that was captured in battle by the US in June of 1944. Wise (a former US naval intelligence officer) narrates the life of the vessel from its 1941 construction in Hamburg to its more recent home at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. Including numerous photographs throughout, he describes the u-boat's for
Terezin survivor George (Jiri) Brady recalls: "In the tragic struggle for survival, the Nazi-imposed Terezin 'self-administration' tried to help the imprisoned children. They were placed in buildings where living conditions were better than in the many barracks that were inside the fortress. . . . I was one of these children. And by pure luck I found myself among the boys who were led by Valtr Eisinger. In a small room overcrowded with three-tiered bunks, he created a new, fascinating world for us behind the ghetto walls. The boys developed talents they never dreamed they had, and it was there too that the illegal children's magazine on which this book is based was founded." From 1942 to 1944, a group of thirteen- to fifteen-year-old Jewish boys secretly produced a weekly magazine called Vedem (In the Lead) at the model concentration camp, Theresienstadt ("Terezin" in Czech). The writers, artists, and editors put together the issues and copied them by hand behind the blackout shades of their cellblock, which they affectionately called the "Republic of Shkid." Although the material was saved by one of the handful of boys who survived the Holocaust, it was suppressed for fifty years in Czechoslovakia until 1995, when these works were published simultaneously in English, Czech, and German. Vedem provides a poignant glimpse into the world of boys torn from their comfortable childhoods and separated from their families, ultimately to perish in the Nazi death machine. This edition includes a new preface and epilogue.
Model Nazi tells the story of Arthur Greiser, the man who initiated the Final Solution in Nazi-occupied Poland. Between 1939 and 1945, Greiser was the territorial leader of the Warthegau, an area of western Poland annexed to Nazi Germany. In an effort to make the Warthegau 'German,' Greiser introduced numerous cruel policies. He spearheaded an influx of hundreds of thousands of ethnic Germans. He segregated Germans from Poles, and introduced wide-ranging discriminatory measures against the Polish population. He refashioned the urban and natural landscape to make it 'German.' And even more chillingly, the first and longest standing ghetto, the largest forced labour program, and the first mass gassings of Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe were all initiated under Greiser's jurisdiction. Who was the man behind these dreadful policies? Catherine Epstein gives us a compelling biographical portrait of Greiser the man: his birth in the German-Polish borderlands, his rise to Nazi prominence in Danzig, his actions as party leader in the Warthegau, and his trial and execution in postwar Poland. Drawing on a remarkable array of German and Polish sources, she shows how nationalist obsessions, political jealousies, and personal insecurities shaped the policies of a man who held remarkable power in his Nazi fiefdom. Throughout, Epstein confronts a burning question of our age: why do individuals imagine genocide and ethnic cleansing to be solutions to political problems?
Thank god that occasionally books of the stature of Laurence Reess superb Auschwitz: The Nazis and the Final Solution re-published that try to redress the balance. - fascinating. - Andrew Roberts, Evening Standard Laurence Rees tells the definitive history of the most notorious Nazi institution of them all. we discover how Auschwitz evolved from a concentration camp for Polish political prisoners into the site of the largest mass murder in history - part death camp, part concentration camp, where around a million Jews were killed. broader context. He argues that, far from being an aberration, the camp was a uniquely important institution in the Nazi state, one that played a vital role in the 'Final Solution'. makers, and perpetrators of appalling crimes speak here for the first time about their actions. Fascinating and disturbing facts have been uncovered - from the operation of a brothel to the corruption that was rife throughout the camp. The book draws on intriguing new documentary material from recently opened Russian archives, which will challenge many previously accepted arguments. throughout Nazi Europe. Rees addresses uncomfortable questions, such as why so few countries under Nazi occupation protected their Jews and why the Allies did little directly to prevent the killing even after they knew about the existence of the camp. powerful account of how a human tragedy of such immense scale could have happened.
A TRUE CELEBRATION OF HEROISM AND BRAVERY
From America's preeminent military historian, Stephen E. Ambrose, comes a brilliant telling of World War II in Europe, from D-Day, June 6, 1944, to the end, eleven months later, on May 7, 1945. The author himself drew this authoritative narrative account from his five acclaimed books about that conflict, to yield what has been called "the best single-volume history of the war that most of us will ever read."
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