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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."
Rabbi Eli Fishman began writing about his experiences in the Shoah over sixty years ago, soon after his liberation from Dachau. Mindful of the fact that his hometown of Rachov, Poland, was totally destroyed and that no Jew lived there since the expulsion of the towns Jews in October 1942, Rabbi Fishman felt that it was imperative to preserve a record of his hometown, a community that had contributed so much to the religious and social development of the Jews. In 1946, however, he felt he was too close to the tragic events of the time to evaluate the true dimensions and implications of the calamity. After the passage of more than half a century, Rabbi Fishman has resurrected the painful memories to soberly and dispassionately evaluate for history the barbaric acts that resulted in the near annihilation of the Jewish population of Europe. The story of Rabbi Fishman's extraordinary tenacity and faith in the face of stark suffering while still in his teens will inspire the reader to value life as the most precious commodity, and to keep faith no matter how difficult the situation.
'An extraordinary family tale of survival' Sunday Times Jonathan Dean's great-grandfather, David Schapira, fled the Russian threat in Ukraine for Vienna in 1914. Blinded in the First World War, he survived to find love and start a family, only to be sent to a concentration camp during the next war. David's son, Heinz, was also a refugee. In 1939, aged 16, he embarked on a nail-biting journey to London, to escape his fate as an Austrian Jew. Drawing on David's memoir and Heinz's wartime diaries, Dean visits the places that changed the course of his family tree - Vienna, Cologne, Ukraine - where he finds history repeating itself and meets a new wave of people leaving loved ones for an uncertain future. I Must Belong Somewhere is an unforgettable family tale of exile and survival, and a powerful meditation on what it means to be a refugee today.
Biography of a Jewish doctor who survived and triumphed over the horrors of the Holocaust. Eli's Story: A Twentieth-Century Jewish Life is first and foremost a biography. Its subject is Eli G. Rochelson, MD (1907-1984), author Meri-Jane Rochelson's father. At its core is Eli's story in his own words, taken from an interview he did with his son, Burt Rochelson, in the mid-1970s. The book tells the story of a man whose life and memory spanned two world wars, several migrations, an educational odyssey, the massive upheaval of the Holocaust, and finally, a frustrating yet ultimately successful effort to restore his professional credentials and identity, as well as reestablish family life. Eli's Story contains a mostly chronological narration that embeds the story in the context of further research. It begins with Eli's earliest memories of childhood in Kovno and ends with his death, his legacy, and the author's own unanswered questions that are as much a part of Eli's story as his own words. The narrative is illuminated and expanded through Eli's personal archive of papers, letters, and photographs, as well as research in institutional archives, libraries, and personal interviews. Rochelson covers Eli's family's relocation to southern Russia; his education, military service, and first marriage after he returned to Kovno; his and his family's experiences in the Dachau, Stutthof, and Auschwitz concentration camps-including the deaths of his wife and child; his postwar experience in the Landsberg Displaced Persons (DP) camp, and his immigration to the United States, where he determinedly restored his medical credentials and started a new family. Rochelson recognizes that both the effort of reconstructing events and the reality of having personal accounts that confi rm and also differ from each other in detail, make the process of gap-fi lling itself a kind of fi ction??an attempt to shape the incompleteness that is inherent to the story. An earlier reviewer said of the book, ""Eli's Story combines the care of a scholar with the care of a daughter."" Both scholars and general readers interested in Holocaust narratives will be moved by this monograph.
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.
A family's recently discovered correspondence provides the inspiration for this fascinating and deeply moving account of Jewish family life before, during and after the Holocaust. Rebecca Boehling and Uta Larkey reveal how the Kaufmann-Steinberg family was pulled apart under the Nazi regime and dispersed over three continents. The family's unique eight-way correspondence across two generations brings into sharp focus the dilemma of Jews in Nazi Germany facing the painful decisions of when, if and to where they should emigrate. The authors capture the family members' fluctuating emotions of hope, optimism, resignation and despair as well as the day-to-day concerns, experiences and dynamics of family life despite increasing persecution and impending deportation. Headed by two sisters who were among the first female business owners in Essen, the family was far from conventional and their story contributes new dimensions to our understanding of Jewish life in Germany and in exile during these dark years.
Defined by deliberation about the difference between right and wrong, encouragement not to be indifferent toward that difference, resistance against what is wrong, and action in support of what is right, ethics is civilization's keystone. The Failures of Ethics concentrates on the multiple shortfalls and shortcomings of thought, decision, and action that tempt and incite us human beings to inflict incalculable harm. Absent the overriding of moral sensibilities, if not the collapse or collaboration of ethical traditions, the Holocaust, genocide, and other mass atrocities could not have happened. Although these catastrophes do not pronounce the death of ethics, they show that ethics is vulnerable, subject to misuse and perversion, and that no simple reaffirmation of ethics, as if nothing disastrous had happened, will do. Moral and religious authority has been fragmented and weakened by the accumulated ruins of history and the depersonalized advances of civilization that have taken us from a bloody twentieth century into an immensely problematic twenty-first. What nevertheless remain essential are spirited commitment and political will that embody the courage not to let go of the ethical but to persist for it in spite of humankind's self-inflicted destructiveness. Salvaging the fragmented condition of ethics, this book shows how respect and honor for those who save lives and resist atrocity, deepened attention to the dead and to death itself, and appeals for human rights and renewed spiritual sensitivity confirm that ethics contains and remains an irreplaceable safeguard against its own failures.
The scale and the depth of Nazi brutality seem to defy understanding. What could drive people to fight, kill, and destroy with such ruthless ambition? Observers and historians have offered countless explanations since the 1930s. According to Johann Chapoutot, we need to understand better how the Nazis explained it themselves. We need a clearer view, in particular, of how they were steeped in and spread the idea that history gave them no choice: it was either kill or die. Chapoutot, one of France's leading historians, spent years immersing himself in the texts and images that reflected and shaped the mental world of Nazi ideologues, and that the Nazis disseminated to the German public. The party had no official ur-text of ideology, values, and history. But a clear narrative emerges from the myriad works of intellectuals, apparatchiks, journalists, and movie-makers that Chapoutot explores. The story went like this: In the ancient world, the Nordic-German race lived in harmony with the laws of nature. But since Late Antiquity, corrupt foreign norms and values-Jewish values in particular-had alienated Germany from itself and from all that was natural. The time had come, under the Nazis, to return to the fundamental law of blood. Germany must fight, conquer, and procreate, or perish. History did not concern itself with right and wrong, only brute necessity. A remarkable work of scholarship and insight, The Law of Blood recreates the chilling ideas and outlook that would cost millions their lives.
'It's like being in a dream', commented Joseph Goebbels when he visited Nazi-occupied Paris in the summer of 1940. Dream and reality did indeed intermingle in the culture of the Third Reich, racialist fantasies and spectacular propaganda set-pieces contributing to this atmosphere alongside more benign cultural offerings such as performances of classical music or popular film comedies. A cultural palette that catered to the tastes of the majority helped encourage acceptance of the regime. The Third Reich was therefore eager to associate itself with comfortable middle-brow conventionality, while at the same time exploiting the latest trends that modern mass culture had to offer. And it was precisely because the culture of the Nazi period accommodated such a range of different needs and aspirations that it was so successfully able to legitimize war, imperial domination, and destruction. Moritz Foellmer turns the spotlight on this fundamental aspect of the Third Reich's successful cultural appeal in this ground-breaking new study, investigating what 'culture' meant for people in the years between 1933 and 1945: for convinced National Socialists at one end of the spectrum, via the legions of the apparently 'unpolitical', right through to anti-fascist activists, Jewish people, and other victims of the regime at the other end of the spectrum. Relating the everyday experience of people living under Nazism, he is able to give us a privileged insight into the question of why so many Germans enthusiastically embraced the regime and identified so closely with it.
"To this day I am unable to understand how I managed to survive against all odds." So relates the memoir of a young woman, Eva Szek (later Eisenkeit), who survived the Nazi onslaught against Jews in her beloved city of Lublin in Poland, an important centre of Jewish religion and culture. Eva recounts with compelling testimony her fearless fight not to fall into German hands and to save her family. Her experiences under German occupation, her struggle to survive and her subsequent liberation is an historical account of the tragedy of a Jewish community destroyed. The memoir describes Jewish Lublin life before the war, its religious institutions and charities; Polish-Jewish relations; the German bombing and invasion; the Russian escape options; the German occupation and registration of Jews; Eva's escape from the ghetto and two labour camps; her hiding in villages and farms, and complex wartime relations with Poles; her negotiated freedom with Mr. X (a Polish man who hid Jews for money, and cannot be considered a "Righteous"; life in liberated Lublin, including the first Passover celebration; meeting other survivors and trying to make a living; and Eva's postwar move to Lodz and marriage, and then to a Displaced Persons (DP) camp in Germany. As her eighty-fifth birthday approached, Eva asked her daughter Esther to take down her life story "so the whole world will know what the Germans did." A Lublin Survivor: Life is Like a Dream not only provides an extraordinarily complete and descriptive picture of life in pre-war and liberated Lublin but a first-hand account of the obliteration of its Jewish community and one individual's indomitable determination to survive against all odds.
Modernity has provided more than enough reason to give up believing in holiness, still we have learned that to give up the struggle to achieve it means that we become less human. As we leave the twentieth century, we discover new reasons to return to old faith. We rediscover an urgent need to defend the sacred, even as our understanding differs from our ancestors. We choose not to retreat from the world, but to struggle within it, to stain ourselves with sin even as we seek to establish the good. from Chapter 13, Humanity
The cataclysm of the Holocaust seems to forbid speech. Yet even in the heart of that darkness, sparks of sacredness were kept alive. From these sparks, Rabbi Edward Feld suggests, Jews and others can renew a faith and find a language that recovers the holy even after experiencing the reign of a Kingdom of Night unimaginable to previous generations.
In a voice that is engaging, often poetic, Rabbi Edward Feld helps the modern reader understand events that span almost 4,000 years of the history of Judaism and the Jewish people. With rare clarity, insight, and gentleness, he offers a thought-provoking yet accessible study of the way tragedy has shaped Jewish history and the self-understanding of Jews.
"The Spirit of Renewal" explores four key events that reshaped religious expression, two ancient and two modern: the Babylonian exile; the Bar Kochba revolution; the Holocaust; and the establishment of the State of Israel.
"The Spirit of Renewal" shows how, even under the most traumatic of circumstances, Judaism survives, renewing itself and flourishing again. This profound and wise meditation opens the way to a powerful new understanding of the nature of God and the spiritual life.
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'
'Ilany Kogan has written a powerful and astute book on the psychoanalytic treatment of the offspring of Holocaust survivors, drawing on her experience of being an analyst to some of their sons and daughters. Through an in-dept, sensitive presentation of eight analyses conducted with children of survivors, the author shows how the shadow of the Holocaust sets the stage for the intrapsychic drama played out by the second generation during the course of their analytic journey. These patients grapple with the meaning of the Holocaust - conscious and unconscious - in their own lives as well as the lives of their parents ... Illany Kogan's style is unique. She provides a depth and richness of detail in her patients' fantasy words, as well as her own experience of countertransference. She invites the reader to participate in the vicissitudes of the analytic process, including moments of frustration, analytic impasses and ruptures in the therapeutic alliance. Through her open, unassuming style, her well-organized writing and the judicious use of verbatim material, the author breathes life into these analytic stories ... The important insights revealed in this book can inform us not only in the realm of this particular group of patients but all those whose lives are touched by the reality of war, violence and trauma.' Dr Ann Adelman, Yale University ------- 'Ilany Kogan's vivid description of the psychological fate of children of the survivors of Auschwitz and other Nazi death camps alert us to the long-lasting effects of severe trauma and its transmission from one generation to the next. Dehumanisation is a constant feature of human history, and this book reminds us of our need to be vigilant in the defence of civilisation.' Dr Dinora Pines, London --------- 'Ilany Kogan has written a book with so many truths in it that it should be required reading for all those colleagues who might be consulted by members of the second generation.' Professor Martin Wangh, Jerusalem
Two of Germany's most provocative investigative historians examine the frightening role of young educated careerists in building the Holocaust's ideological and material infrastructure. Moving from the waning Weimar Republic to Auschwitz's fully operating gas chambers, "Architects of Annihilation" shows how the unthinkable technocratic "solutions" to Germany's wartime problems were not only thought but spelled out and implemented. Documenting the eager participation of some of the country's best and brightest, it rejects interpretations that identify only Nazi leaders as the perpetrators of the Holocaust.
For Hitler's thinkers--career-minded demographers, geographers, economists, civil servants, and academics in the Third Reich's think tanks and bureaucratic offices--Europe was a drawing board on which to work out their grand designs. They were encouraged to rationalize production methods, standardize products, introduce an international division of labor, and modernize and simplify social structures. Ultimately, their work on everything from food shortages to birth control led to the sinister plan to "adjust" the ratio between "productive" or "unproductive" population groups.
The ideas of these ever more radical and ideologically aggressive technocrats culminated in proposals that--using carefully guarded scientific and academic euphemisms--advocated state-directed mass extermination as a necessary and logical component of social modernization. And, not well known outside of Germany, these thinkers proposed not only one "final solution" but serial genocides, planned in detail to be carried out over several decades.
This groundbreaking and controversial account of Hitler's planners received widespread attention when it appeared in Germany. Now a masterful translation makes it available to an English-speaking audience for the first time.
The recognized cultural historian and researcher of the Middle Ages relates about the gruesome year of 1944 in Hungary, as she has seen the events with the eyes of a small Jewish girl. The memoir describes life in Budapest and in Komarom, in the Hungarian countryside, in the preceding years before March 1944 when the German army marched in, and what happened thereafter. "It is not true that you can no longer write anything new about the Holocaust. All you need is an excellent memory, restraint, irony hidden among the lines, and know-how. The bulk of Marianna D. Birnbaum's book is about her relatives, her childhood friends and their parents who have not returned. She attached photos of several of them; here and there the author too appears as a small child. Well-to-do adults, nicely dressed children: They ought to have lived out their days in peace. With a vision pointing toward the grotesque and using experience honed on literary criticism, the author avoids provoking our tears. That makes this book beautiful and true." (G. Spiro)
Here is the riveting account of two orphaned brothers whose unshakeable courage enable them to survive the still rarely told horrors of the Holocaust in Romania. As Jews were expelled from Bukovina and Bessarabia to Transnistria, young Joil and Avrum witnessed the cruel destruction of their own parents and many others. But underlying the author's unflinching account of the unthinkable brutality of the Holocaust is the inspiration and passion Joil and his little brother had to live. No One Awaiting Me: Two Brothers Defy Death During the Holocaust in Romania is a story both triumphant and poignant. Readers will never forget the powerful and loving bond which existed between these two brothers. Their fight to endure the nightmare was waged with unmistakable optimism. Joil Alpern's indefatigable will to survive, and to protect his younger brother, enabled the boys to live through the most oppressive existence mankind has ever devised. Progressively, the memoir becomes a remarkably inspiring and thoughtful experience for any reader who is willing to consider the never-ending conflict between the finest and most constructive drives of humankind and the murderously destructive capacities of our species.
This booklet contains photographs and documentary evidence concerning an archaeological survey of the vanished village of Calgarth, built during World War II to house workers from the nearby Short Brothers factory.
In August 1945, the first of 732 child survivors of the Holocaust reached Britain. First settled in the Lake District, they formed a tightly knit group of friends whose terrible shared experience is almost beyond imagining. This is their story, which begins in the lost communities of pre-World War II central Europe, moves through ghetto, concentration camp and death march, to liberation, survival, and finally, fifty years later, a deeply moving reunion. Martin Gilbert has brought together the recollections of this remarkable group of survivors. With magisterial narration, he tells their astonishing stories. The Boys bears witness to the human spirit, enduring the depths, and bearing hopefully the burden and challenge of survival. 'Martin Gilbert is to be congratulated on producing a masterly and deeply moving tribute to those who had the courage and luck to survive' Literary Review
Alon Confino seeks to rethink dominant interpretations of the Holocaust by examining it as a problem in cultural history. As the main research interests of Holocaust scholars are frequently covered terrain - the anti-Semitic ideological campaign, the machinery of killing, the brutal massacres during the war - Confino's research goes in a new direction. He analyzes the culture and sensibilities that made it possible for the Nazis and other Germans to imagine the making of a world without Jews. Confino seeks these insights from the ways historians interpreted another short, violent and foundational event in modern European history - the French Revolution. The comparison of the ways we understand the Holocaust with scholars' interpretations of the French Revolution allows Confino to question some of the basic assumptions of present-day historians concerning historical narration, explanation and understanding.
The prisoners in the concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau saw stripes in the sky in August 1944, as Allied bombers flew over their camp. After having destroyed a nearby industrial target, the bombers returned home, leaving the prisoners--including Gerhard Durlacher--to wonder why the camp's gas chambers and crematoria had not been bombed as well.
Etty Hillesum, Shoah, existential search
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