Fresh Wounds: Early Narratives of Holocaust Survival / Edition 1

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Every student of the Holocaust knows the crucial importance of survivors' testimonies in reconstructing the crime. Most such accounts, however, were recorded years or even decades after the end of World War II. The survivor narratives that make up this volume, in contrast, were gathered immediately after the war. In 1946, Russian-born American psychologist David P. Boder interviewed 109 victims of Nazi persecution—the majority of them Jews—in "Displaced Persons" camps across Europe. The thirty-six accounts collected here possess an immediacy and authenticity that might otherwise be questioned in memoirs penned long after the events they detail.

These interviews encompass survivors from Poland, Lithuania, Germany, France, Slovakia, and Hungary, ranging in age from their early teens to their seventies. Their remarkable stories shed light on such controversial subjects as relations between Jews and neighbors or strangers who extended or withheld aid, opportunities for and obstacles to Jewish resistance, the victims' knowledge—or lack of knowledge—about the fate that awaited them in Nazi hands, survival strategies, women's experience of the Holocaust, the Nazi practice of placing prisoners in charge of their fellow inmates, and the liberators' postwar treatment of freed concentration camp inmates.

In an introduction, Donald Niewyk describes this extraordinary interviewing project and traces the overwhelming obstacles Boder faced in finding an audience for the survivor narratives he collected.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
There is an extraordinary power to these narratives, which are at times shattering.

Studies in Contemporary Jewry

Raises provocative questions about the way in which we process memories and changes in perspective as we achieve distance.

Hadassah Magazine

It is a book that starkly presents the horrors of war at a micro and individual level.

Ethnic Conflict Research Digest

Provides stark and immediate testimony of the daily life of Jews under the Holocaust.

AB Bookman's Weekly

Fresh Wounds reveals the victims' devastating experiences of pain, loss, and humiliation with compelling authenticity.


Charles W. Sydnor
In this truly remarkable work, Donald Niewyk brings to light, 50 years after they were first recorded, the immediate, intense recollections of Holocaust survivors set down in 1945 and 1946 in interviews with the American psychologist David P. Boder -- the original, forgotten scholar dedicated to codifying survivor memory for the benefit of history....An original and substantial addition to the historical literature of the Holocaust. -- Author of Soldiers of Destruction
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807823934
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 3/30/1998
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 432
  • Lexile: 890L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.54 (h) x 1.28 (d)

Meet the Author

Donald L. Niewyk is professor of history at Southern Methodist University. His books include The Holocaust: Problems and Perspectives of Interpretation and The Jews in Weimar Germany.

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Table of Contents


A Note on Editorial Methods

Part I. Poland
1. Abraham K.
2. Udel S.
3. Fela N.
4. Bernard W.
5. Sigmund R.
6. Kalman E.
7. Nechama E.
8. Jurek K.
9. Hadassah M.
10. Benjamin P.
11. Rachel G.
12. Lena K.
13. Lena K.'s Children
Nathan S.
Edith Z.
Raisel M.
14. Israel U.
15. Julian W.
16. Mendel H.
17. Pinkus R.
18. Anna K.
19. Roma T.
20. Rabbi Solomon H.
21. Isaac W.

Part II. Lithuania
22. Ephraim G.

Part III. Germany
23. Jürgen B.
24. Hildegard F.
25. Friedrich S.
26. David M.
27. Jacob M.

Part IV. France
28. Edith S.
29. Nelly B.
30. Fania F.

Part V. Slovakia
31. Baruch F.
32. Helena T.

Part VI. Hungary
33. George K.
34. Adolph H.

Glossary of Terms
Glossary of Ghettos and Camps
Selected Bibliography

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