Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. To commemorate this occasion, we offer the following reading selections from our books and journals to further your understanding of the history of the Holocaust:
Available April 2014
The Clandestine History of the Kovno Jewish Ghetto Police
Anonymous members of the Kovno Jewish Ghetto Police
Translated and edited by Samuel Schalkowsky
Introduction by Samuel D. Kassow
As a force that had to serve two masters, both the Jewish population of the Kovno ghetto in Lithuania and its German occupiers, the Kovno Jewish ghetto police walked a fine line between helping Jews survive and meeting Nazi orders. In 1942 and 1943 some of its members secretly composed this history and buried it in tin boxes. The book offers a rare glimpse into the complex situation faced by the ghetto leadership and the Jewish policemen, caught between carrying out the demands of the Germans and mollifying the anger and frustration of their own people.
This book explores the geographies of the Holocaust at every scale of human experience, from the European continent to the experiences of individual human bodies. Built on six innovative case studies, it brings together historians, geographers, and geographic information scientists to interrogate the places and spaces of the genocide.
Classroom study of the Holocaust evokes strong emotions in teachers and students. Teaching, Learning, and the Holocaust assesses challenges and approaches to teaching about the Holocaust through history and literature. Howard Tinberg and Ronald Weisberger apply methods and insights of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning to examine issues in interdisciplinary teaching, with a focus on the community college setting.
The story of how the Holocaust decimated Jewish life in the shtetls of Eastern Europe is well known. Still, thousands of Jews in these small towns survived the war and returned afterward to rebuild their communities. The recollections of some 400 returnees in Ukraine provide the basis for Jeffrey Veidlinger’s reappraisal of the traditional narrative of 20th-century Jewish history. These elderly Yiddish speakers relate their memories of Jewish life in the prewar shtetl, their stories of survival during the Holocaust, and their experiences living as Jews under Communism.
The End of the Holocaust is a model of critical intelligence, restrained in its judgments, never shrill or accusatory in its disagreements, always illuminating in its insights into the motives and achievements of the major Holocaust writers Rosenfeld discusses." —Forward
Crematoria, Barracks, Gateway: Survivors' Return Visits to the Memory Landscapes of Auschwitz
History & Memory
Vol. 25, No. 2 (Fall/Winter 2013) (pp. 102-131)
Drawing primarily on oral history interviews, alongside documentary films and memoirs of return, this article examines a series of sites—crematoria, barracks and gateway—in contemporary Auschwitz where Holocaust survivors adopt multiple roles. Rather than viewing contemporary Auschwitz as simply a passive canvas on which survivors enact rituals, the article argues for a more dynamic relationship between landscape and memory. Not only is Auschwitz revisited by survivors as a series of interconnected micro-sites rather than a homogenous memorial landscape, but also as a simultaneously symbolic and material multisensory landscape that enters into the “muscular consciousness.”
The Judge and the Historian: Transnational Holocaust Litigation as a New Model
History & Memory
Vol. 24, No. 2 (Fall/Winter 2012) (pp. 117-156)
Since the Nuremberg trials, the relationship between the legal process and historical research has been the subject of much scrutiny, leading to a consensus that courts produce distorted and poor historical accounts of mass atrocity. The recent shift in legal treatment of the Holocaust from criminal to civil litigation, with the Holocaust restitution lawsuits brought before American federal courts in the 1990s, has only exacerbated historians' critique of the law. In contrast, this article argues that the restitution litigation represents a new and fruitful model for the relation of law to historical inquiry. In this model, the judge plays a facilitative and supervisory role vis-à-vis the historian, encouraging the production of broad and contextualized historical narratives.