The Emergence of Jewish Ghettos During the Holocaust

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $41.00
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 56%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (5) from $41.00   
  • New (2) from $82.74   
  • Used (3) from $41.00   


This book is a linguistic-cultural study of the emergence of the Jewish ghettos during the Holocaust. It traces the origins and uses of the term “ghetto” in European discourse from the sixteenth century to the Nazi regime. It examines with a magnifying glass both the actual establishment of and the discourse of the Nazis and their allies on ghettos from 1939 to 1944. With conclusions that oppose all existing explanations and cursory examinations of the ghetto, the book impacts overall understanding of the anti-Jewish policies of Nazi Germany.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This profound, insightful, and surprising book proves the extraordinary value of asking the right questions. Michman’s reassessment of the ghettos unsettles key assumptions about the Holocaust: about the role of antisemitism; links between ghettoization and mass murder; differences across Europe; and relations between the German leadership and the people who implemented anti-Jewish measures on the ground. Ghettos, Michman shows, were enormously significant, but they were neither uniform nor an inevitable step toward annihilation. Everyone interested in the Shoah, how it occurred, and how it has been understood, should read this book.” —Doris L. Bergen, University of Toronto

“Within a tight compass and with startling clarity, Dan Michman succeeds in shattering one misconception after another about the ‘ghettos’. They were not a uniform phenomenon and were not a prequel to the genocide. They were not even necessary for it. Yet, he shows how they were rooted in traditional anti-semitism and, especially, the German phobia towards East European Jews. His forensic analysis of how the concept evolved and how it was applied in increasingly violent situations will compel every student and scholar to think twice before using the term. From here on, the standard histories will have to be re-written.” —David Cesarani, Royal Holloway, University of London

“By writing the first comprehensive study on the emergence and character of the ghetto phenomenon in the Third Reich, Dan Michman revises some key notions about the Holocaust. Going beyond an administrative and organizational history of the ghetto, Michman offers an erudite and sophisticated analysis of the semantic, linguistic, and cultural contexts of the term ghetto and its actual use in Nazi policy. The value of this approach is evident. By probing into where and when the idea originated among the Nazis and why its application was so uneven and complex, he opens new questions about the persecution and extermination of the Jews.” —Alon Confino, University of Virginia

“Dan Michman’s investigation of the emergence and evolution of the idea of the ghetto among Nazi policymakers is a masterpiece of historical detective work that convincingly undermines decades-old assumptions. Among other things, it shows how Nazi Jewish policy unfolded in at least some measure in response to anticipated behavior by Jews. The most experienced scholars of the Holocaust will find much new in this work.” —David Engel, New York University

“Dan Michman casts a great deal of new light on the emergence and function of the ghettos: on the pre-history of ghettos, the different applications of the term, and the variety of concepts of ghetto that developed in the Third Reich. This is an important contribution, which only someone with Michman’s linguistic gifts could have accomplished.” —Ian Kershaw, University of Sheffield

"...Dan Michman’s analysis, based on very close reading of key documents, is a powerful challenge from a formidable historian for scholars to rethink long-held assumptions regarding the place of ghettoization in Nazi thinking and policy." -Norman J. W. Goda, The Journal of Modern History

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521763714
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 1/31/2011
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Dan Michman is Professor of Modern Jewish History and Chair of the Arnold and Leona Finkler Institute of Holocaust Research at Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan. He is Chief Historian at the Yad Vashem International Institute of Holocaust Research. His work has been published in 11 languages and deals with modern Jewish history and the history of Dutch Jewry, with a focus on the Holocaust. His books include Bimay Shoa Ufkuda (Days of Holocaust and Reckoning), Het Liberale Jodendom in Nederland, 1929–1943 (Liberal Jewry in the Netherlands 1929–1943), and Holocaust Historiography: A Jewish Perspective: Conceptualizations, Terminology, Approaches and Fundamental Issues, and he is co-author of Pinkas: Geschiedenis van de joodse gemeenschap in Nederland (Pinkas: The History of the Jewish Community in the Netherlands). Volumes he has edited include Post-Ziyonut ve-Shoa (Post-Zionism and the Holocaust); Belgium and the Holocaust: Germans, Belgians, Jews; Les intellectuels face à l'affaire Dreyfus: alors et aujourd'hui (Intellectuals Responding to the Dreyfus Affair: Then and Now; co-edited with Roselyne Koren); Remembering the Holocaust in Germany, 1945–2000: German Strategies and Jewish Responses; Encyclopedia of the Righteous Among the Nations: Belgium; Hashoa Bahistoriya Hayehudit: Historiografiya, Toda'a u-Farshanut (The Holocaust in Jewish History: Historiography, Consciousness, Interpretations); and Holocaust Historiography in Context: Emergence, Challenges, Polemics and Achievements (co-edited with David Bankier).
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. Historiography and popular understandings; 2. 'Ghetto': the source of the term and the phenomenon in the early modern era; 3. 'Ghetto' and 'ghettoization' as cultural concepts in the modern age; 4. The Nazis' anti-Jewish policy in the 1930s and the question of Jewish residential districts; 5. First references to the term 'ghetto' in the discourse of the makers of anti-Jewish policies in the Third Reich (1933–8); 6. The semantic turning point in the meaning of 'ghetto': Peter-Heinz Seraphim and Das Judentum in osteuropäischen Raum (1938); 7. The invasion of Poland and the emergence of the 'classic' ghettos; 8. Methodological interlude: the term 'ghettoization' and its use during the Holocaust itself and later scholarship; 9. Would the idea spread to other places? Amsterdam 1941, the only attempt to establish a ghetto west of Poland; 10. Ghettos during the final solution, 1941–3: the territories occupied in Operation Barbarossa; 11. Ghettos during the final solution outside the occupied Soviet Union: Poland, Theresienstadt, Amsterdam, Transnistria, Salonika and Hungary; Summary and conclusion.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2012

    $56.00? I could buy a used nook for that!


    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)