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Reacting to the Irving / Lipstadt trial, the editors of this volume sought to use this latest trial as a catalyst to investigate the larger question that arose from what is now a century of invective and defense: how do we determine the truth claims made for (or by, or against) the Holocaust in various media from outright forgeries like the "Protocols of the 'Elders of Zion'" to negationist literature to the legal trials held to adjudicate such claims. In this series of short essays, each author explores the methods and assumptions within their disciplines that frame the way in which we come to understand the racism and anti-Semitism which rest beneath Holocaust denial. As teachers of college and graduate courses on the Holocaust, faced with proliferating print and web based assertions and re-assertions of premises whose veracity had long since been disproved (e.g., Protocols of Zion), we feel it important to provide our students and colleagues with a text that would step back from the
The Sobibor Death Camp was the second extermination camp built by the Nazis as part of the secretive Operation Reinhardt -- with intent to carry out the mass murder of Polish Jewry. Following the construction of the extermination camp at Belzec in south-eastern Poland from November 1941 to March 1942, the Nazis planned a second extermination camp at Sobibor, and the third and deadliest camp was built near the remote village of Treblinka. Sobibor was similarly designed as the first camp in Belzec, it was regarded as an 'overflow' camp for Belzec. This account of the Nazis' remorseless and relentless production line of killing at the Sobibor death camp tells of one of the worst crimes in the history of mankind. Chris Webb's painstakingly researched volume ranges from the survivors and the victims to the SS men who carried out the atrocities. What makes this work special is the research which has been gathered on the survivors, who by good fortune, courage, and determination survived Sobibor and built new lives for themselves, new families, but bore the scars of this terrible place for all of their lives. Closing a gap in the existing literature, Webb focuses on the victims and presents details of their lives which have been found and re-tells them to keep their memory alive, to show they are not forgotten. The cruel and barbaric murder process is described in great detail, as well as the confiscation of the valuables and possessions of the unfortunate Jews who crossed the threshold of this man-made hell. One cannot fail to be moved by the personal accounts of those who survived, their loved ones perished in this factory of death. The book covers the construction of the death camp, the physical layout of the camp, as remembered by both the Jewish inmates and the SS staff who served there, and the personal recollections that detail the day-to-day experiences of the prisoners and the SS. The courageous revolt by the prisoners on 14 October 1943 is re-told by the prisoners and the German SS, with detailed accounts of the revolt and its aftermath. The post-war fate of the perpetrators, or more precisely those that were brought to trial, and information regarding the more recent history of the site itself concludes this book. There is a large photographic section of rare and some unpublished photographs and documents from the author's private archive.
This new collection of original Holocaust documents and sources brings readers into direct contact with perpetrators and victims. The words of Nazi leaders and common soldiers, SS doctors and European collaborators show how and why they planned and participated in mass murder. Jewish and non-Jewish victims speak of their persecution and resistance. Steve Hochstadt's commentary on each source outlines the historical causes and step-by-step development of the Holocaust, as well as the continuing debates about its significance.
The true story of a German-Jewish love that overcame the burdens of the past. Finalist for the 2017 Book of the Year Award by the Chicago Writers Association "A book that is hard to put down." -Jerusalem Post "This book confirms Annette Gendler as an indispensable Jewish voice for our time." -Yossi Klein Halevi, author of Like Dreamers "The ghosts of the past haunt a woman's search for herself in this thoughtful, poignant memoir about the transformative power of love and faith." -Hillary Jordan, author of Mudbound, now a Netflix movie "An exquisitely written conversion story which expounds upon personal and collective identity." -Washington Independent Review of Books "A compelling, gracefully written memoir about the impact of the past on the present." -Michael Steinberg, author of Still Pitching History was repeating itself when Annette fell in love with Harry, a Jewish man, the son of Holocaust survivors, in Germany in 1985. Her Great-Aunt Resi had been married to a Jew in Czechoslovakia before World War II a marriage that, while happy, put the entire family in mortal danger once the Nazis took over their hometown in 1938. Annette and Harry's love, meanwhile, was the ultimate nightmare for Harry's family. Not only was their son considering marrying a non-Jew, but a German. Weighed down by the burdens of their family histories, Annette and Harry kept their relationship secret for three years, until they could forge a path into the future and create a new life in Chicago. Annette found a spiritual home in Judaism a choice that paved the way toward acceptance by Harry's family, and redemption for some of the wounds of her own family's past.
Descendants of Holocaust survivors and perpetrators offer profound insights into the intergenerational impact of their legacy and the second generation's role in shaping memory of the Shoah.
Heirs to the legacy of Auschwitz, the children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors and perpetrators have always been thought of as separated by fear and anger, mistrust and shame. This groundbreaking study provides a forum for expression in which each group reflects candidly upon the consuming burdens and challenges it has inherited.
In these intensely personal and frequently dramatic pieces, understandable differences surface. The Jewish second generation is unified by a search for memory and family. Their German counterparts experience the opposite. Yet surprising common ground is revealed. Each group emerges out of households where, for vastly different reasons, the Holocaust was not mentioned. Each struggles to break this barrier of silence. Each has witnessed the continued survival of parents and must grapple with living in households haunted by denial. And each knows it is his or her charge to shape the Holocaust for future generations.
To be sure, there is disagreement among the groups about the need for -- or wisdom of -- dialogue. Yet Second Generation Voices boldly engenders authentic grounds for discussion. Issues such as guilt, anger, religious faith, and accountability are explored in deeply felt poems, essays, and narratives. Jew and German alike speak openly of forming and affirming their own identities, reconnecting with roots, and working through their own "psychological Holocaust".
In 1932, Franklin Delano Roosevelt became President. Over the next twelve years, he instilled confidence in a nation once mired in fear. The Jews of America revered Roosevelt, and from an early age, Robert Beir regarded him as a hero. In mid-life, however, Beir undertook a historian's quest regarding Roosevelt's record during the Holocaust. How much did Roosevelt know about the Holocaust and what could he have done?
That Gad Beck, a Jew in the Berlin of Nazi Germany, lived through the Holocaust at all is surprising. The fact that he lived it as a homosexual Jew who spent the entire war funnelling food, money and clothing to hidden Jews and helping smuggle others out of the country is amazing. It was love that gave him both the impetus and the strength to fight. The rise of National Socialism was tearing his family apart, destroying his school, thwarting his dream of emigration to Israel. Then the Nazis came for Manfred Lewin, Beck's first love, and for his family. Gad's love for Manfred gave him the courage to don a three-sizes-too-large Hitler Youth uniform, march into the transit camp where the Lewins were being held, and demand - and obtain, to his astonishment - the release of his lover. But Manfred would not leave without his family, and so went back into the camp. The Lewins did not survive. Coming of age as a gay man during the war and maintaining a series of romantic relationships while carrying on his resistance work, Beck reveals a tenacity and irrepressible spirit that is his real legacy. His determination to keep loving, living and believing in every human possibility without compromise - even in the face of the unthinkably monstrous - makes this quite a different story of the Holocaust.
Mira Hamermesh is an award-winning film maker, painter and writer. This moving memoir gives a vivid account of her remarkable life. As a young Jewish teenager Hamermesh escaped the horrors of German-occupied Poland and was spared the experience of the ghetto and the concentration camp that claimed most of her family. Mira shows how her status as a refugee has continued to influence her throughout her life. The journey led her across Europe and eventually to Palestine in 1941; her account of that region, before the establishment of Israel, provides a fascinating insight into the historical setting for today's conflict. Having settled in London where she studied art and married, she eventually won a place at the celebrated Polish Film School in Lodz. At the height of the Cold War Mira Hamermesh commuted across the Iron Curtain - her experience of a divided Europe offers many insights into the political factors that affected people's everyday lives. Mira's theme of political conflict, so often explored in her films, is brought to life here in an intimate account that will live long in the memory.
Hero Martyr Poet
I don t think Hannah wanted to die for the sake of having her memory exalted in history or to prove herself equal to a romantic image she conceived for herself. Her purpose wasn t to die. She died for her life s purpose. U.S. Senator John McCain, in "Why Courage Matters"
Hannah Senesh, poet and Israel s national heroine, has come to be seen as a symbol of Jewish heroism. Safe in Palestine during World War II, she volunteered for a mission to help rescue fellow Jews in her native Hungary. She was captured by the Nazis, endured imprisonment and torture, and was finally executed at the age of twenty-three.
Like Anne Frank, she kept a diary from the time she was thirteen. This new edition brings together not only the widely read and cherished diary, but many of Hannah s poems and letters, memoirs written by Hannah s mother, accounts by parachutists who accompanied Hannah on her fateful mission, and insightful material not previously published in English.
Described by a fellow parachutist as a spiritual girl guided almost by mysticism, Hannah s life has something of value to teach everyone. Now the subject of a feature-length documentary, Blessed Is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh, Hannah s words and actions will inspire people from each generation to follow their own inner voices, just as she followed hers.
After Representation? explores one of the major issues in Holocaust studies - the intersection of memory and ethics in artistic expression, particularly within literature. As experts in the study of literature and culture, the scholars in this collection examine the shifting cultural contexts for Holocaust representation and reveal how writers - whether they write as witnesses to the Holocaust or at an imaginative distance from the Nazi genocide - articulate the shadowy borderline between fact and fiction, between event and expression, and between the condition of life endured in atrocity and the hope of a meaningful existence. What imaginative literature brings to the study of the Holocaust is an ability to test the limits of language and its conventions. ""After Representation?"" moves beyond the suspicion of representation and explores the changing meaning of the Holocaust for different generations, audiences, and contexts.
The Holocaust is without doubt one of the most abhorrent and despicable events not only of the Second World War, but of the twentieth century. What makes it even more staggering is that it was not perpetrated by just one individual, but by thousands of men and women who had become part of the Nazi ideology and belief that Jews were responsible for all of their woes. This book looks at the build up to the Second World War, from the time of Hitler's appointment as Chancellor of Germany in January 1933, as the Nazi Party rose to power in a country that was still struggling to recover politically, socially and financially from the aftermath of the First World War, whilst at the same time, through the enactment of a number of laws, making life extremely difficult for German Jews. Some saw the dangers ahead for Jews in Germany and did their best to get out, some managed to do so, but millions more did not. The book then moves on to look at a wartime Nazi Germany and how the dislike of the Jews had gone from painting the star of David on shop windows, to their mass murder in the thousands of concentration camp that were scattered throughout Germany. As well as the camps, it looks at some of those who were culpable for the atrocities that were carried out in the name of Nazism. Not all those who were murdered lost their lives in concentration camps. Some were killed in massacres, some in ghettos and some by the feared and hated Einsatzgruppen.
In Dachau, Auschwitz, Yad Vashem, and thousands of other locations throughout the world, memorials to the Holocaust are erected to commemorate its victims and its significance. This fascinating work by James E. Young examines Holocaust monuments and museums in Europe, Israel, and America, exploring how every nation remembers the Holocaust according to its own traditions, ideals, and experiences, and how these memorials reflect their place in contemporary aesthetic and architectural discourse. The result is a groundbreaking study of Holocaust memory, public art, and their fusion in contemporary life. Among the issues Young discusses are: how memorials suppress as much as they commemorate; how museums tell as much about their makers as about events; the differences between memorials conceived by victims and by victimizers; and the political uses and abuses of officially cast memory. Young describes, for example, Germany's "counter monuments," one of which was designed to disappear over time, and the Polish memorials that commemorate the whole of Polish destruction through the figure of its murdered Jewish part. He compares European museums and monuments that focus primarily on the internment and killing process with Israeli memorials that include portrayals of Jewish life before and after the destruction. In his concluding chapters, he finds that American Holocaust memorials are guided no less by distinctly American ideals, such as liberty and pluralism. Interweaving graceful prose and arresting photographs, the book is eloquent testimony to the way varied cultures and nations commemorate an era that breeds guilt, shame, pain, and amnesia, but rarely pride. By reinvigorating these memorials with the stories of their origins, Young highlights the ever-changing life of memory over its seemingly frozen face in the landscape.
Louis Lowy (1920-1991), an international social worker and gerontologist, rarely spoke publicly about the Holocaust. During the last months of his life, however, he recorded an oral narrative that explores his activities during the Holocaust as the formative experiences of his career. Whether caring for youth in concentration camps, leading an escape from a death march, or forming the self-government of a Jewish displaced persons center, Lowy was guided by principles that would later inform his professional identity as a social worker, including the values of human worth and self-determination, the interdependence of generations, and the need for social participation and lifelong learning. Drawing on Lowy's oral narrative and accounts from three other Holocaust survivors who witnessed his work in the Terezin ghetto and the Deggendorf Displaced Persons Center, Gardella offers a rich portrait of Lowy's personal and professional legacy. In chronicling his life, Gardella also uncovers a larger story about Jewish history and the meaning of the Holocaust in the development of the social work profession.
This book boldly challenges conventional wisdom about the value of preventive war. Beginning with the rise of German power and the French and British response to the Rhineland crisis leading to World War II, Scott Silverstone overturns the common impulse to point an accusing finger at British leadership for its alleged naivete, willful blindness, or outright cowardice. Arguing against the belief that Britain could have contained Germany and avoided war if it had used force when Hitler remilitarized the Rhineland, the author uses this dramatic event to wrestle with a general strategic problem that has broad relevance for our current foreign policy dilemmas. Silverstone argues that the Rhineland crisis is a critical case for studying a central dynamic of world history-power shifts among states-and the preventive war temptation that power shifts frequently produce. There has been surging interest in the idea of preventive war, an interest stimulated by the Bush administration's articulation of the "preemption doctrine" in 2002 and the disastrous invasion of Iraq in 2003, and by frustration over the difficulty of preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons by such states as North Korea and Iran. Clarifying the way we think about preventive war, the author analyzes the enduring strategic flaws in preventive war that must inform how political leaders and the public think about this option as a means of dealing with shifting threats in the modern world. Offering a radically conservative argument for when to wage war, this persuasive book will be essential reading for policy makers and concerned citizens alike.
On 8 March 1941, a 27-year-old Jewish Dutch student living in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam made the first entry in a diary that was to become one of the most remarkable documents to emerge from the Nazi Holocaust. Over the course of the next two and a half years, an insecure, chaotic and troubled young woman was transformed into someone who inspired those with whom she shared the suffering of the transit camp at Westerbork and with whom she eventually perished at Auschwitz. Through her diary and letters, she continues to inspire those whose lives she has touched since. She was an extraordinarily alive and vivid young woman who shaped and lived a spirituality of hope in the darkest period of the twentieth century. This book explores Etty Hillesum's life and writings, seeking to understand what it was about her that was so remarkable, how her journey developed, how her spirituality was shaped, and what her profound reflections on the roots of violence and the nature of evil can teach us today.
2018 AABS Book Prize Winner 2018 Vine Award for Canadian Jewish Literature in Nonfiction When Julija Sukys was a child, her paternal grandfather, Anthony, rarely smiled, and her grandmother, Ona, spoke only in her native Lithuanian. But they still taught Sukys her family's story: that of a proud people forced from their homeland when the soldiers came. In mid-June 1941, three Red Army soldiers arrested Ona, forced her onto a cattle car, and sent her east to Siberia, where she spent seventeen years separated from her children and husband, working on a collective farm. The family story maintained that it was all a mistake. Anthony, whose name was on Stalin's list of enemies of the people, was accused of being a known and decorated anti-Bolshevik and Lithuanian nationalist. Some seventy years after these events, Sukys sat down to write about her grandparents and their survival of a twenty-five-year forced separation and subsequent reunion. Piecing the story together from letters, oral histories, audio recordings, and KGB documents, her research soon revealed a Holocaust-era secret-a family connection to the killing of seven hundred Jews in a small Lithuanian border town. According to KGB documents, the man in charge when those massacres took place was Anthony, Ona's husband. In Siberian Exile Sukys weaves together the two narratives: the story of Ona, noble exile and innocent victim, and that of Anthony, accused war criminal. She examines the stories that communities tell themselves and considers what happens when the stories we've been told all our lives suddenly and irrevocably change, and how forgiveness or grace operate across generations and across the barriers of life and death.
In 1930s and 1940s Vienna, child psychiatrist Hans Asperger sought to define autism as a diagnostic category, treating those children he deemed capable of participating fully in society. Depicted as compassionate and devoted, Asperger was in fact deeply influenced by Nazi psychiatry. Although he offered care to children he deemed promising, he prescribed harsh institutionalisation and even transfer to one of the Reich's killing centres, for children with greater disabilities. With sensitivity and passion, Edith Sheffer reveals the heart-breaking voices and experiences of many of these children, whilst illuminating a Nazi regime obsessed with sorting the population into categories, cataloguing people by race, heredity, politics, religion, sexuality, criminality and biological defects-labels that became the basis of either rehabilitation or persecution and extermination.
A single word-"Auschwitz"-is often used to encapsulate the totality of persecution and suffering involved in what we call the Holocaust. Yet a focus on a single concentration camp - however horrific, however massively catastrophic its scale - leaves an incomplete story, a truncated history. It cannot fully communicate the myriad ways in which individuals became tangled up on the side of the perpetrators, and obscures the diversity of experiences among a wide range of victims as they struggled and died, or managed, against all odds, to survive. In the process, we also miss the continuing legacy of Nazi persecution across generations, and across continents. Mary Fulbrook's encompassing book expands our understanding, exploring the lives of individuals across a full spectrum of suffering and guilt, each one capturing one small part of the greater story. Reckonings seeks to explore the disjuncture between official myths about dealing with the past, on the one hand, and the extent to which the vast majority of Nazi perpetrators evaded justice, on the other. The Holocaust is not mere history, and the memorial landscape barely hints at the maelstrom of reverberations of the Nazi era at a personal level. Reckonings illuminates the stories of those who remained outside the media spotlight, situating their experiences in changing wider contexts, as both persecutors and persecuted sought to account for the past, forge new lives, and make sense of unprecedented suffering.
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.
'I know no one ever believes us nowadays - everyone thinks we knew everything. We knew nothing. It was all a well-kept secret. We believed it. We swallowed it. It seemed entirely plausible'
Brunhilde Pomsel described herself as an 'apolitical girl' and a 'figure on the margins'. How are we to reconcile this description with her chosen profession? Employed as a typist during the Second World War, she worked closely with one of the worst criminals in world history: Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels. She was one of the oldest surviving eyewitnesses to the internal workings of the Nazi power apparatus until her death in 2017. Her life, mirroring all the major breaks and continuities of the twentieth century, illustrates how far-right politics, authoritarian regimes and dictatorships can rise, and how political apathy can erode democracy.
Compelling and unnerving, The Work I Did gives us intimate insight into political complexity at society's highest levels - at one of history's darkest moments.
During the 1990s and early 2000s in Europe, more than fifty historical commissions were created to confront, discuss, and document the genocide of the Holocaust and to address some of its unresolved injustices.Amending the Past offers the first in-depth account of these commissions, examining the complexities of reckoning with past atrocities and large-scale human rights violations. Alexander Karn analyzes more than a dozen Holocaust commissions-in Germany, Switzerland, France, Poland, Austria, Latvia, Lithuania, and elsewhere- in a comparative framework, situating each in the context of past and present politics, to evaluate their potential for promoting justice and their capacity for bringing the perspectives of rival groups more closely together. Karn also evaluates the media coverage these commissions received and probes their public reception from multiple angles. Arguing that historical commissions have been underused as a tool for conflict management, Karn develops a program for historical mediation and moral reparation that can deepen democratic commitment and strengthen human rights in both transitional regimes and existing liberal states.
Until recently, historians believed America gave asylum only to key Nazi scientists after World War II, along with some less famous perpetrators who managed to sneak in and who eventually were exposed by Nazi hunters. But the truth is much worse, and has been covered up for decades: the CIA and FBI brought thousands of perpetrators to America as possible assets against their new Cold War enemies. When the Justice Department finally investigated and learned the truth, the results were classified and buried. Using the dramatic story of one former perpetrator who settled in New Jersey, conned the CIA into hiring him, and begged for the agency's support when his wartime identity emerged, Eric Lichtblau tells the full, shocking story of how America became a refuge for hundreds of postwar Nazis.
Seventy years ago, on April 29, 1945, the forward battalions of Rainbow Division, 42nd Infantry, were moving swiftly toward Munich. Confident and optimistic, they had survived four months of costly and bitter combat, and soon, it would all be over. But then the road led to Dachau and the worst day of the war. In their collected memoirs, the Rainbow soldiers, almost half of whom were only eighteen, nineteen, or twenty years old, tell how they were confronted suddenly-without preparation, without warning-by horrors beyond human imagination. This book is by and about the American liberators, who have since discovered that no one who was involved in any capacity can ever be truly free of the past that was Dachau. In the most complete eyewitness account ever available, editor Sam Dann, himself a Rainbow soldier, weaves their stories together with official reports, other documents, and the reminiscences of several survivors.
Berlin 1941. Marie Jalowicz Simon, a nineteen-year-old Jewish woman, makes an extraordinary decision. All around her, Jews are being rounded up for deportation, forced labour and extermination. Marie takes off the yellow star and vanishes into the city. In the years that follow, Marie lives under an assumed identity, moving between almost twenty different safe houses. She is forced to accept shelter wherever she can find it, and many of those she stays with expect services in return. She stays with foreign workers, committed communists and even convinced Nazis. Any false move might lead to arrest. Always on the move, never certain who could be trusted and how far, it is her quick-witted determination and the most amazing and hair-raising strokes of luck that ensure her survival. This is Marie's extraordinary story, told in her own voice with unflinching honesty after more than fifty years of silence.
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