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Unknown Black Book: The Holocaust in the German-Occupied Soviet Territories
     

Unknown Black Book: The Holocaust in the German-Occupied Soviet Territories

by Joshua Rubenstein (Editor), Ilya Altman (Editor), Christopher Morris (Translator), Yitzhak Arad (Introduction)
 

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Powerful testimonies by survivors of the Final Solution in Nazi-occupied areas of the USSR
"And in the sky, the moon wept / Looking on with pity / Bathing passers-by / With loving radiance. / Here they crammed us in / Like herring into a barrel / Barely, barely did we find shelter / We sat in one corner. / Night fell, outlining

Overview

Powerful testimonies by survivors of the Final Solution in Nazi-occupied areas of the USSR

"And in the sky, the moon wept / Looking on with pity / Bathing passers-by / With loving radiance. / Here they crammed us in / Like herring into a barrel / Barely, barely did we find shelter / We sat in one corner. / Night fell, outlining / Golden stars /And covered with darkness / Human suffering." —from a poem by Lev Rozhetsky, Odessa schoolboy, August 1944

The Unknown Black Book provides, for the first time in English, a revelatory compilation of testimonies from Jews who survived open-air massacres and other atrocities carried out by the Germans and their allies in the occupied Soviet territories during World War II. These documents, from residents of cities, small towns, and rural areas, are first-hand accounts by survivors of work camps, ghettos, forced marches, beatings, starvation, and disease. Collected under the direction of two renowned Soviet Jewish journalists, Vasily Grossman and Ilya Ehrenburg, they tell of Jews who lived in pits, walled-off corners of apartments, attics, and basement dugouts, unable to emerge due to fear that their neighbors would betray them, which often occurred.

Editorial Reviews

Wall Street Journal

"These accounts from those who saw what happened convey what we cannot learn from official documents about the nature of this vast criminal enterprise, in which hundreds of thousands were transformed into monsters... and millions of others became helpless, dehumanized, mutilated, and finally forgotten victims." —Wall Street Journal

Holocaust and Genocide Studies

"An essential work for anyone who wants to explore the depth of German and collaborationist crimes against the Jews." —Holocaust and Genocide Studies

Russian Review

"The Unknown Black Book's main contribution is in exposing the English-speaking audience, for the first time, to one of the most terrible chapters of the Holocaust, as well as in challenging the current trend of presenting the Holocaust as merely another crime against humanity." —Russian Review

Truthdig
"One of the most important sources on the Holocaust... [T]he editors and Indiana University Press have performed an invaluable service by preparing an English-language edition of The Unknown Black Book." —Timothy Snyder, Yale University

— Timothy Snyder, Yale University

Journal of Modern Jewish Studies

"The book offers a great many insights to the reader.... It is impossible here to give a full account of the wealth of material contained in the book." —Journal of Modern Jewish Studies, March 19, 2010

Truthdig - Timothy Snyder

"One of the most important sources on the Holocaust... [T]he editors and Indiana University Press have performed an invaluable service by preparing an English-language edition of The Unknown Black Book." —Timothy Snyder, Yale University

Wendy Lower

"The most comprehensive English collection of wartime and early postwar diaries, letters, testimonies, and other documents penned by Jewish victims and survivors of the Holocaust in the territories of Ukraine, Belorussia, Russia, and the Baltics. Anyone interested in studying and trying to make sense of the cruelty, collective violence, inhumane suffering, and trauma of genocide should read this unfiltered, detailed evidence of the Holocaust's impact on individuals and society." —Wendy Lower, author of Nazi Empire Building and the Holocaust in Ukraine

Walter Laqueur

"A unique source for a fuller understanding of the tragic events during these dark years." —Walter Laqueur, editor of The Holocaust Encyclopedia

Richard Overy

"The Unknown Black Book invites the reader to enter an almost unimaginable world where atrocity became a way of life and survival a miracle.... Killing on the Eastern front was raw and unmediated violence. 'The Unknown Black Book' captures that grim reality of rave murder and at the same time disarms denial." —Richard Overy, author of The Dictators: Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Russia

From the Publisher
"The most comprehensive English collection of wartime and early postwar diaries, letters, testimonies, and other documents penned by Jewish victims and survivors of the Holocaust in the territories of Ukraine, Belorussia, Russia, and the Baltics. Anyone interested in studying and trying to make sense of the cruelty, collective violence, inhumane suffering, and trauma of genocide should read this unfiltered, detailed evidence of the Holocaust's impact on individuals and society." —Wendy Lower, author of Nazi Empire Building and the Holocaust in Ukraine

"The book offers a great many insights to the reader.... It is impossible here to give a full account of the wealth of material contained in the book." —Journal of Modern Jewish Studies, March 19, 2010

"An essential work for anyone who wants to explore the depth of German and collaborationist crimes against the Jews." —Holocaust and Genocide Studies

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780253349613
Publisher:
Indiana University Press
Publication date:
12/28/2007
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
446
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.50(d)

What People are Saying About This

Richard Overy
"The Unknown Black Book invites the reader to enter an almost unimaginable world where atrocity became a way of life and survival a miracle . . . Killing on the Eastern front was raw and unmediated violence. The Unknown Black Book captures that grim reality of rave murder and at the same time disarms denial."--(Richard Overy, author of The Dictators: Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Russia)
Walter Laqueur
"A unique source for a fuller understanding of the tragic events during these dark years."--(Walter Laqueur, editor of The Holocaust Encyclopedia)
Timothy Snyder
"The particular historical merit of these collections is that they assemble records collected in the months following the events they describe. The two books together provide one of the most important sources on the Holocaust, and the editors . . . have performed an invaluable service by preparing an English-language edition of "The Unknown Black Book."--(Timothy Snyder, Professor of History, Yale University)
Wendy Lower
"The most comprehensive English collection of wartime and early postwar diaries, letters, testimonies, and other documents penned by Jewish victims and survivors of the Holocaust in the territories of Ukraine, Belorussia, Russia, and the Baltics. Anyone interested in studying and trying to make sense of the cruelty, collective violence, inhumane suffering, and trauma of genocide should read this unfiltered, detailed evidence of the Holocaust's impact on individuals and society."--(Wendy Lower, author of Nazi Empire-Building and the Holocaust in Ukraine)
Omer Bartov
"an extraordinary collection of eye-witness reports, diary entries and other accounts of the mass murder of Jews... 'The Unknown Black Book' reveals the sheer barbarity on the individual level -- the tortures and rapes, the looting and destruction, and, not least, the glee and humor, as well as the hatred and contempt, expressed by the killers. It makes for very disturbing reading. But these accounts from those who saw what happened convey what we cannot learn from official documents about the nature of this vast criminal enterprise, in which hundreds of thousands were transformed into monsters -- mostly returning home after the war as "ordinary" men -- and millions of others became helpless, dehumanized, mutilated and finally forgotten victims."--(Reviewed by Prof. Omer Bartov, Brown University)

Meet the Author

Joshua Rubenstein is Northeast Regional Director of Amnesty International USA. He is author of Tangled Loyalties: The Life and Times of Ilya Ehrenburg, and co-editor (with Vladimir Naumov) of Stalin's Secret Pogrom: The Postwar Inquisition of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee. He lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Ilya Altman is Director of the Center for Holocaust Research and Education in Moscow. He lives in Moscow, Russia.

Yitzhak Arad is former Director of Yad Vashem. His publications include Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka: The Operation Reinhard Death Camps (IUP, 1987), Ghetto in Flames: The Struggle and Destruction of the Jews in Vilna in the Holocaust. He lives in Ramat Hasharon, Israel.

Published in association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

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