Through sheer diversity of perspectives, this rich collection of sources challenges the way we tell the history of the Holocaust and of the Jewish responses to it. There was no 'typical' experience, nor was there one single timeline of events. The great achievement of this volume is to introduce an astonishing array of individuals, extraordinary precisely because they were so 'ordinary,' who struggled to anticipate what was still-for them-an unknown and open-ended future. The remarkable range of sources are moving in their emotional power. The brilliant narrative in which they are embedded is illuminating and consistently alive to the complexities of historical circumstance. Scholars, teachers, and students of the Holocaust will find this book to be essential reading and an invaluable resource. -- Paul Hanebrink, Rutgers University This important volume contains judiciously selected, riveting documents that illustrate the complexity of Jewish responses to persecution, partly because the timing and nature of Nazi-directed mass murder varied significantly from one place to another. The author shows that in September 1942 a Jew in Warsaw was likely to be deported to a death camp, but a Jew in Paris could attend High Holiday services, and one in Budapest might have gone to the cinema. All were ultimately doomed, but Nazi policies kept them uncertain of their fate. The book is pitched exactly right for a wide range of readers, including college students, an attentive general audience, and scholars. -- Zvi Y. Gitelman, University of MichiganVom Verlag:
With its unique combination of primary sources and historical narrative, this volume provides an important new perspective on Holocaust history. Covering the peak years of the Nazi "Final Solution," it traces the Jewish struggle for survival, which became increasingly urgent in this period, including armed resistance and organized escape attempts. Shedding light on personal and public lives of Jews, the book provides compelling insights into a wide range of Jewish experiences during the Holocaust. Jewish individuals and communities suffered through this devastating period and reflected on the Holocaust differently, depending on their nationality, personal and communal histories and traditions, political beliefs, economic situation, and other circumstances. The rich spectrum of primary source material collected, including letters, diary entries, photographs, transcripts of speeches and radio addresses, newspaper articles, drawings, and official government and institutional memos and reports, makes this volume an essential research tool and curriculum companion.
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