From that Place and Time: A Memoir, 1938-1947 / Edition 1

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From that Place and Time is the memoir of Lucy S. Dawidowicz, an American-Jewish historian who set out to study Yiddish language and Jewish history at YIVO, the Jewish Scientific Institute in Vilna, Poland, in 1938. Escaping Poland only days before the Nazi onslaught, she worked in the New York YIVO during the war, and returned to Europe from 1946 to 1947 to aid Jewish displaced persons in Munich and Belsen with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. Dawidowicz's memoir not only describes her pre-war year in Jewish Eastern Europe, but also treats the ghostly post-war period, and her role in salvaging what remained of Vilna's scorched Jewish archives and libraries.

Nancy Sinkoff's new introduction explores the historical forces, particularly the dynamic world of secular Yiddish culture, which shaped Dawidowicz's decision to journey to Poland and her reassessment of those forces in the last years of her life.

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Editorial Reviews

Harvard University - Ruth R. Wisse

"Lucy Dawidowicz's memoir comprises several books for the price of one: it portrays Jewish Vilna as the plucky American student encountered it in 1938, describes the fate of Jewish cultural treasures as she helped recover them after the War, and exposes the mind and spirit of an intrepid historian-in-the making. Sinkoff's introductory profile of the author is a bonus."
author of The Talmud and the Internet: A Journey Between Worlds - Jonathan Rosen

"Lucy Dawidowicz was an historian of monumental importance, best known for her classic The War Against the Jews. But she was also a vital chronicler of the world of European Jewry before its destruction. Nancy Sinkoff performs a double service by reintroducing a new generation of readers to Dawidowicz's compelling memoir of Vilna on the brink of destruction and, with her superb introduction, rounding out a portrait of the historian as a young woman. By placing Dawidowicz's personal evolution in its historical and cultural context, Sinkoff has herself performed a grand act of historical reclamation."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813543628
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 376
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Nancy Sinkoff is associate professor of Jewish studies and history at Rutgers University, specializing in the history of Eastern European Jewry. She is the author of Out of the Shtetl: Making Jews Modern in the Polish Borderlands.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi Introduction: Yidishkayt and the Making of Lucy S. Dawidowicz xiii Preface xli Part I
1 From New York to Vilna 3
2 Vilna: A City of the Past 28
3 Living from Day to Day 51
4 The YIVO: The Ministry of Yiddish 77
5 In the Realm of Yiddish: On the Periphery 101
6 In the Realm of Yiddish: At the Center 120
7 Rich and Poor, Right and Left 139
8 Them and Us 164
9 Flight 186 Part II
10 New York 1939-1942: War Watch 207
11 New York 1942-1943: Death Watch 227
12 New York 1944-1945: The Reckoning 249 Part III
13 In the Land of Amalek 277
14 Saving Remnants 299 Index 327
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