Surviving the Holocaust: The Kovno Ghetto Diary

Surviving the Holocaust: The Kovno Ghetto Diary

by Avraham Tory
     
 

This remarkable chronicle of life and death in the Jewish Ghetto of Kovno, Lithuania, from June 1941 to January 1944, was written under conditions of extreme danger by a Ghetto inmate and secretary of the Jewish Council. After the war, in order to escape from Lithuania, the author was forced to entrust the diary to leaders of the Escape movement; eventually it made

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Overview

This remarkable chronicle of life and death in the Jewish Ghetto of Kovno, Lithuania, from June 1941 to January 1944, was written under conditions of extreme danger by a Ghetto inmate and secretary of the Jewish Council. After the war, in order to escape from Lithuania, the author was forced to entrust the diary to leaders of the Escape movement; eventually it made its way to his new home in Israel.

The diary incorporates Avraham Tory's collections of official documents, Jewish Council reports, and original photographs and drawings made in the Ghetto. It depicts in grim detail the struggle for survival under Nazi domination, when—if not simply carted off and murdered in a random "action"—Jews were exploited as slave labor while being systematically starved and denied adequate housing and medical care. Through it all, Tory's overriding purpose was to record the unimaginable events of these years and to memorialize the determination of the Jews to sustain their community life in the midst of the Nazi terror.

Of the surviving diaries originating in the principal European Ghettos of this period, Tory's is the longest written by an adult, a dramatic and horrifying document that makes an invaluable contribution to contemporary history. Tory provides an insider's view of the desperate efforts of Ghetto leaders to protect Jews. Martin Gilbert's masterly introduction establishes the authenticity of the diary, presents its events against the backdrop of the war in Europe, and considers the crucial questions of collaboration and resistance.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal - Library Journal
An unusually detailed diary describing life and death in the Lithuanian ghetto of Kovno from June 1941 to January 1944. Tory, secretary of the Kovno ghetto, managed to save many of the ghetto council's official documents and reports. He also saved photographs, sketches, and drawings which were made by inmates in the ghetto. Most important, Tory kept an almost daily diary of all the events which befell him and his fellow inmates. His grim recordings show the determined attempt of the Germans to destroy all that was human in the ghetto, while the Jews struggled as best they could to survive the horrors meted out to them. This annotated edition is a terrifying and enlightening document, the most detailed diary extant of the major European ghettos. An important contribution to Holocaust literature.-- Jehuda Reinharz, Brandeis Univ., Waltham, Mass.
Booknews
An account of life in a Jewish ghetto in Lithuania from June 1941 to January 1944. Written illegally and smuggled out of Lithuania, this diary is an important work in uncovering fully the horror of the Holocaust. With photographs, drawings, and maps. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674858107
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
05/03/1990
Pages:
604
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

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