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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. "The saga of the Bielski partisans is one of the most elevating and inspiring stories in the chronicle of death and despair that is the Holocaust.... Defiance is an accomplished and startling work of Holocaust documentation." -Los Angeles Times "Powerful and meticulous. This story is like almost no other." -Leon Wieseltier, The New Republic
Out of the Holocaust recounts the plight of two Jewish-born orphans in Latvia and Germany during WWII. It is a tribute to the many brave individuals who cared for a large group of orphans on their journey through the war-torn land. It is also a testimony of God's love. May it be a spiritual igniter for you, especially during times of hardship.
**Number 47 on Book Authority's 94 Best Nazi Germany Books of All Time!** Walter's Welcome is the story of Walter Neisser and the more than fifty members of his family he helped to escape Nazi Germany. The story is told through the letters of the Neisser family, which have been meticulously translated and arranged by Walter's niece, Eva, who also provides moving historical contextualization and commentary. After fleeing Germany, the Neissers resettled in Peru. However, their flight was neither easy nor seamless. Walter worked tirelessly to provide the resources and guidance necessary for the many members of the family to escape, but communications to Europe were frazzled and travel off the continent became increasingly impossible with each passing day, requiring extraordinary will and coordination to contact the correct officials and receive the necessary documentation. The family's letters reveal the toll these efforts put on them and the challenges of waiting and surviving in a foreign land as they tried to hold together. The story of Jewish escapees to Latin America has only recently begun to be widely explored. This memoir-in-letters explores the difficulties of daily life in this little explored context, as the Neisser family and many other escaped Jews adjusted to a new home and tried to build a new life in the shadow of the many horrific things happening back in the land they'd left behind.
Protectors of Pluralism argues that local religious minorities are more likely to save persecuted groups from purification campaigns. Robert Braun utilizes a geo-referenced dataset of Jewish evasion in the Netherlands and Belgium during the Holocaust to assess the minority hypothesis. Spatial statistics and archival work reveal that Protestants were more likely to rescue Jews in Catholic regions of the Low Countries, while Catholics facilitated evasion in Protestant areas. Post-war testimonies and secondary literature demonstrate the importance of minority groups for rescue in other countries during the Holocaust as well as other episodes of mass violence, underlining how the local position of church communities produces networks of assistance, rather than something inherent to any religion itself. This book makes an important contribution to the literature on political violence, social movements, altruism and religion, applying a range of social science methodologies and theories that shed new light on the Holocaust.
Few topics in modern history draw the attention that the Holocaust does. The Shoah has become synonymous with unspeakable atrocity and unbearable suffering. Yet it has also been used to teach tolerance, empathy, resistance, and hope. Understanding and Teaching the Holocaust provides a starting point for teachers in many disciplines to illuminate this crucial event in world history for students. Using a vast array of source materials-from literature and film to survivor testimonies and interviews-the contributors demonstrate how to guide students through these sensitive and painful subjects within their specific historical and social contexts. Each chapter provides pedagogical case studies for teaching content such as antisemitism, resistance and rescue, and the postwar lives of displaced persons. It will transform how students learn about the Holocaust and the circumstances surrounding it.
In this pioneering biography of a frontline Holocaust perpetrator, Alex J. Kay uncovers the life of SS Lieutenant Colonel Alfred Filbert, responsible as the first head of SS-Einsatzkommando 9, a mobile killing squad, for the murder of more than 18,000 Soviet Jews - men, women and children - on the Eastern Front. He reveals how Filbert, following the political imprisonment of his older brother, set out to prove his own ideological allegiance by displaying particular radicalism in implementing the orders issued by Hitler, Himmler and Heydrich. He also examines Filbert's post-war experiences, first in hiding and then being captured, tried and sentenced to life imprisonment. Released early, Filbert went on to feature in a controversial film in the lead role of an SS mass murderer. The book provides compelling new insights into the mindset and motivations of the men, like Filbert, who rose through the ranks of the Nazi regime.
Told for the first time from their perspective, the story of children who survived the chaos and trauma of the Holocaust How can we make sense of our lives when we do not know where we come from? This was a pressing question for the youngest survivors of the Holocaust, whose prewar memories were vague or nonexistent. In this beautifully written account, Rebecca Clifford follows the lives of one hundred Jewish children out of the ruins of conflict through their adulthood and into old age. Drawing on archives and interviews, Clifford charts the experiences of these child survivors and those who cared for them-as well as those who studied them, such as Anna Freud. Survivors explores the aftermath of the Holocaust in the long term, and reveals how these children-often branded "the lucky ones"-had to struggle to be able to call themselves "survivors" at all. Challenging our assumptions about trauma, Clifford's powerful and surprising narrative helps us understand what it was like living after, and living with, childhoods marked by rupture and loss.
This volume offers the first, in-depth comparison of the Holocaust and new world slavery. Providing a reliable view of the relevant issues, and based on a broad and comprehensive set of data and evidence, Steven Katz analyzes the fundamental differences between the two systems and re-evaluates our understanding of the Nazi agenda. Among the subjects he examines are: the use of black slaves as workers compared to the Nazi use of Jewish labor; the causes of slave demographic decline and growth in different New World locations; the main features of Jewish life during the Holocaust relative to slave life with regard to such topics as diet, physical punishment, medical care, and the role of religion; the treatment of slave women and children as compared to the treatment of Jewish women and children in the Holocaust. Katz shows that slave women were valued as workers, as reproducers of future slaves, and as sexual objects, and that slave children were valued as commodities. For these reasons, neither slave women nor children were intentionally murdered. By comparison, Jewish slave women and children were viewed as the ultimate racial enemy and therefore had to be exterminated. These and other findings conclusively demonstrate the uniqueness of the Holocaust compared with other historical instances of slavery.
'An ambitious and engrossing investigation of the moral legacies which stubbornly refuse to pass' Brendan Simms As the western world struggles with its legacies of racism and colonialism, what can we learn from the past in order to move forward? Susan Neiman's Learning from the Germans delivers an urgently needed perspective on how a country can come to terms with its historical wrongdoings. Neiman, who grew up as a white girl in the American South during the civil rights movement, is a Jewish woman who has spent much of her adult life in Berlin. In clear and gripping prose, she uses this unique perspective to combine philosophical reflection, personal history and conversations with both Americans and Germans who are grappling with the evils of their own national histories. Through focusing on the particularities of those histories, she provides examples for other nations, whether they are facing resurgent nationalism, ongoing debates over reparations or controversies surrounding historical monuments and the contested memories they evoke. It is necessary reading for all those confronting their own troubled pasts.
The graphic history of the Nazi attempt to destroy the Jews of Europe during the Second World War is illustrated in this series of 333 detailed maps.
The maps, and the text and photographs that accompany them, powerfully depict the fate of the Jews between 1933 and 1945, while also setting the chronological story in the wider context of the war itself. The maps include:
This revised edition includes a new section which gives an insight into the layout and organization of some of the most significant places of the Holocaust, including Auschwitz, Treblinka and the Warsaw ghetto, maps that will be especially useful to those visiting the sites.
Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank's remarkable diary has since become a world classic -- a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit. In 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, they and another family lived cloistered in the "Secret Annex" of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death. In her diary Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences during this period. By turns thoughtful, moving, and amusing, her account offers a fascinating commentary on human courage and frailty and a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and spirited young woman whose promise was tragically cut short.
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 volume in the Problems in European Civilization series features a collection of secondary-source essays focusing on aspects of the Holocaust. The essays in this book debate the origins of the Holocaust, the motivations of the killers, the experience of the victims, and the various possibilities for intervention or rescue.
Seven years after the death of his mother, Malka, Stanley A. Goldman traveled to Israel to visit her best friend during the Holocaust. The best friend's daughter showed Goldman a pamphlet she had acquired from the Israeli Holocaust Museum that documented activities of one man's negotiations with the Nazi's interior minister and SS head, Heinrich Himmler, for the release of the Jewish women from the concentration camp at Ravensbruck. While looking through the pamphlet, the two discovered a picture that could have been their mothers being released from the camp. Wanting to know the details of how they were saved, Goldman set out on a long and difficult path to unravel the mystery. After years of researching the pamphlet, Goldman learned that a German Jew named Norbert Masur made a treacherous journey from the safety of Sweden back into the war zone in order to secure the release of the Jewish women imprisoned at the Ravensbruck concentration camp. Masur not only succeeded in his mission against all odds but he contributed to the downfall of the Nazi hierarchy itself. This amazing, little-known story uncovers a piece of history about the undermining of the Nazi regime, the women of the Holocaust, and the strained but loving relationship between a survivor and her son.
Josef Mengele has come to symbolise both the evil of the Nazi regime and the failure of justice. Drawing on new scholarship and sources, David G. Marwell examines Mengele's life, chronicling his university studies, which led to two PhDs; his wartime service, in combat and at Auschwitz, where his "selections" determined the fate of countless innocents and his "scientific" pursuits resulted in the traumatisation and death of thousands more; and his post-war refuge in Germany and South America. Mengele describes the international search in 1985, which ended in a cemetery in Sao Paulo and the forensic investigation that produced overwhelming evidence that Mengele had died-but failed to convince those who, arguably, most wanted him dead. This is a story of science without limits, escape without freedom and resolution without justice.
In 1961 Adolf Eichmann went on trial in Jerusalem for his part in the Nazi persecution and mass murder of Europe 's Jews. For the first time a judicial process focussed on the genocide against the Jews and heard Jewish witnesses to the catastrophe. The trial and the controversies it caused had a profound effect on shaping the collective memory of what became the Holocaust .
This volume, a special issue of the Journal of Israeli History, brings together new research by scholars from Europe, Israel and the USA.
The first comprehensive account of the evolution and exploitation of the Judeo-Bolshevik myth, from its origins to the present day. For much of the twentieth century, Europe was haunted by a threat of its own imagining: Judeo-Bolshevism. This myth-that Communism was a Jewish plot to destroy the nations of Europe-was a paranoid fantasy, and yet fears of a Jewish Bolshevik conspiracy took hold during the Russian Revolution and spread across Europe. During World War II, these fears sparked genocide. Paul Hanebrink's history begins with the counterrevolutionary movements that roiled Europe at the end of World War I. Fascists, Nazis, conservative Christians, and other Europeans, terrified by Communism, imagined Jewish Bolsheviks as enemies who crossed borders to subvert order from within and bring destructive ideas from abroad. In the years that followed, Judeo-Bolshevism was an accessible and potent political weapon. After the Holocaust, the specter of Judeo-Bolshevism did not die. Instead, it adapted to, and became a part of, the Cold War world. Transformed yet again, it persists today on both sides of the Atlantic in the toxic politics of revitalized right-wing nationalism. Drawing a worrisome parallel across one hundred years, Hanebrink argues that Europeans and Americans continue to imagine a transnational ethno-religious threat to national ways of life, this time from Muslims rather than Jews.
The book's main theme is the interpretation of the Holocaust and genocide in historiography, philosophy and the contemporary culture of commemoration. Running through the essays is an attempt to understand the Holocaust's relationship to 'modernity'; the need to find ways of understanding genocide through apparently 'non-rational' forms of explanation (especially derived from anthropology); and the desirability of relating the Holocaust to other instances of genocide. The book investigates the ways in which individual thinkers (Malinowski, Arendt, Bataille, Perec, Ricoeur) can help us conceptualise the Holocaust, and also deals with many of the major themes of Holocaust and Genocide Studies in recent years: problems of handling testimony; problems of erecting monuments and museums; the representability of the Holocaust through texts, photographs, monuments and museums; the possibility of understanding why individuals take part in genocide; and the relationship of the Holocaust to colo
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