A new perspective on Holocaust history
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies and Rowman & Littlefield are proud to present this new, groundbreaking series of source volumes that provide a fresh perspective on history using firsthand accounts of the lives of those who suffered through the Holocaust, those who perpetrated it, and those who witnessed it as bystanders. Documenting Life and Destruction combines a wide range of documents from different archival holdings with additional information to enhance the understanding of the events in this crucial period.
“Were we dreaming or was it real? Could people really do this to each other? And why, why?”
Excerpt from the diary of Mally Dienemann, a rabbi’s wife in Offenbach, Germany, 1933, in Jewish Responses to Persecution, Volume I, 1933–1938
- Jewish Responses to Persecution, Volume I, 1933–1938, Jürgen Matthäus and Mark Roseman (2010)
- Children during the Holocaust, Patricia Heberer (2011)
- Jewish Responses to Persecution, Volume II, 1938–1940, Alexandra Garbarini with Emil Kerenji, Jan Lambertz, and Avinoam Patt (2011)
- The Diary of Samuel Golfard and the Holocaust in Galicia, Wendy Lower (2011)
- Jewish Responses to Persecution, Volume III, 1941–1942, Jürgen Matthäus with Emil Kerenji, Jan Lambertz, and Leah Wolfson (2013)
- The Holocaust in Hungary: Evolution of a Genocide, Zoltán Vági, László Csősz, and Gábor Kádár (2013)
- War, Pacification, and Mass Murder, 1939: The Einsatzgruppen in Poland, Jürgen Matthäus, Jochen Böhler, and Klaus-Michael Mallman (2014)
- Jewish Responses to Persecution, Volume IV, 1942–1943, Emil Kerenji (2015)
- Jewish Responses to Persecution, Volume V, 1944–1946, Leah Wolfson (2015)
- The Political Diary of Alfred Rosenberg and the Onset of the Holocaust, Jürgen Matthäus and Frank Bajohr (2015)
Jewish Responses to Persecution, 1933–1946 presents documentation that describes the manifestations and meanings of Nazi Germany’s “final solution” from the Jewish perspective. This principal publication in the Documenting Life and Destruction series consists of five volumes.
The volumes, divided chronologically, feature a total of almost 800 contemporary Jewish documents, ranging from personal diaries, letters, and photographs, to documents of international Jewish organizations, ghetto Jewish councils under Nazi assault, Jewish newspaper articles, and other items. The documents are embedded in a clearly written and accessible yet scholarly and insightful narrative which integrates them into the general history of the Holocaust.
Published by Rowman & Littlefield:
- Volume I, 1933–1938 by Jürgen Matthäus and Mark Roseman, ISBN 978-0-7591-1908-6
- Volume II, 1938–1940, by Alexandra Garbarini with Emil Kerenji, Jan Lambertz, and Avinoam Patt, ISBN 978-0-7591-2039-6
- Volume III, 1941–1942, by Jürgen Matthäus with Emil Kerenji, Jan Lambertz, and Leah Wolfson, ISBN 978-0-7591-2258-1
- Volume IV, 1942–1943, by Emil Kerenji, ISBN 978-1-4422-3625-4
- Volume V, 1944–1946, by Leah Wolfson, ISBN 978-1-4422-4336-1
Volume I, covering the period 1933–1938, takes us from Hitler’s rise to power through the aftermath of Kristallnacht and vividly reveals the increasing devastation and confusion wrought in Jewish communities in and beyond Germany at the time. It features period photographs and reproductions of original documents with translations and annotations as well as a chronology, glossary, bibliography, and index.
“One of the great challenges facing historians of any event or epoch is to recover the perceptions and uncertainties of people for whom what we know as the past was still an unknown and open-ended future. The singular achievement of this volume is to place in the hands of historians, students, and general readers an extraordinary collection of documents that opens up the world of the 1930s as German Jews experienced it in all its urgency, confusion, disorientation, hope, and despair, not as we now make sense of it with the advantage of hindsight.”
Christopher R. Browning, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Volume II, which covers the period between 1938 and 1940, brings together a broad range of documents–including diaries, letters, speeches, newspaper articles, reports, Jewish identity cards, and personal photographs–from Jews in Nazi-dominated Europe and beyond Europe’s borders. It illuminates the daily lives of a diverse range of Jews who suffered under Nazism, their coping strategies, and their efforts to assess the implications for the persecution they faced during this period. Volume II begins with Kristallnacht in 1938 and continues through Jewish flight out of Germany, the onset of World War II, the forced relocation of the Jews of Europe eastward, and the formation of Jewish ghettos, particularly in Poland.
“This second volume of the series, which covers the period 1938-1940, will be of immense importance both to historians and to general readers alike. As in the preceding volume, the Jewish victims’ reactions to the rapidly expanding Nazi onslaught are contextualized in an exemplary presentation. An admirable addition to an essential initiative.”
Saul Friedländer, University of California at Los Angeles
Volume III, which covers the period between 1941 and 1942, sheds light on the personal and public lives of Jews during a time when Hitler’s triumph in Europe seemed assured, and the mass murder of millions had begun in earnest.
“This brilliant anthology thwarts the customary generalizations about Jewish responses. It reveals a spectrum of ways in which individuals, increasingly isolated and fearful, doggedly adjusted to catastrophic circumstances that only a few realized were ultimately a prelude to even worse. This volume along with the others in the series will change the way that the persecution and mass murder of the Jews is taught and, eventually, will transform understanding of the past.”
David Cesarani, Royal Holloway, University of London
Volume IV covers the peak years of the Nazi “Final Solution,” tracing the Jewish struggle for survival, which became increasingly urgent during this period, including armed resistance and organized escape attempts.
"This important volume contains judiciously selected, riveting documents that illustrate the complexity of Jewish responses to persecution, partly because the timing and nature of Nazi-directed mass murder varied significantly from one place to another. The author shows that in September 1942 a Jew in Warsaw was likely to be deported to a death camp, but a Jew in Paris could attend High Holidiay services, and one in Budapest might have gone to the cinema. All were ultimately doomed, but Nazi policies kept them uncertain of their fate. This book is pitched exactly right for a wide range of readers, including college students, an attentive general audience, and scholars.”
Zvi Y. Gitleman, University of Michigan
Volume V covers the final year of Nazi destruction and the immediate postwar years, tracing the increasingly urgent Jewish struggle for survival and for documenting the Holocaust
“For many years, the bulk of the research that has been done on the Holocaust focused on the actions of the perpetrators: what did they do and how did they do it? In recent years scholars have begun to redress this imbalance. Now their efforts will have a critically important resource on which to draw: the five volume series Jewish Responses to Persecution, 1933–1946. Drawing on diaries, letters, organizational archives and a host of other sources it gives the victims a voice that, in too many other works, has been denied to them. It is long overdue.”
Deborah E. Lipstadt, Emory University
Stand-alone volumes in the Documenting Life and Destruction Series:
THE POLITICAL DIARY OF ALFRED ROSENBERG AND THE ONSET OF THE HOLOCAUST
By Jürgen Matthäus and Frank Bajohr
By combining his diary notes with additional key documents and in-depth analysis, this book shows Alfred Rosenberg’s crucial role in the Nazi regime’s anti-Jewish policy. In the second half of 1941 the territory administered by Rosenberg became the region where the mass murder of Jewish men, women, and children first became a systematic pattern. Indeed, months before the emergence of German death camps in Poland, Nazi leaders perceived the occupied Soviet Union as the area where the “final solution of the Jewish question” could be executed on a European scale. Covering almost the entire duration of the Third Reich, these previously inaccessible sources throw new light on the thoughts and actions of the leading men around Hitler during critical junctures that led to war, genocide, and Nazi Germany’s final defeat.
“Alfred Rosenberg saw himself as the arbiter of Nazi ideology and the architect of German ‘living space’ in his native European East. Though fitted out with corresponding titles, he bacame neither, but instead one of the most massive plunderers of all time. This diary—expertly introduced, contextualized, and annotated by two outstanding scholars—conveys Rosenberg’s ideational fixations, cold-blooded muderousness, childlike submission to Hitler, and carping engagement in the rivalries of the Reich’s leadership. Readers will find ample confirmation of Goebbels’ remark that Rosenbergs beliefs were ‘so cold and confrontational that one shudders.’”
Peter Hayes, Northwestern University
WAR, PACIFICATION, AND MASS MURDER, 1939: THE EINSATZGRUPPEN IN POLAND
By Jürgen Matthäus, Jochen Böhler, and Klaus-Michael Mallmann
This invaluable work traces the role of the Einsatzgruppen of the Security Police and SD (Sicherheitsdienst), the core group of Himmler’s murder units involved in the “Final Solution of the Jewish Question,” during and immediately after the German campaign in Poland in 1939. With carefully selected primary sources contextualized by the authors’ clear narrative, this work fills an important gap in our understanding of a crucial period in the evolution of policies directed against Jews, Poles, and others deemed dangerous or inferior by the Third Reich. Supplemented by maps, photographs, and a chronology, this book will be an essential reference and research tool.
“This important history explains and documents an often-neglected phase of Nazi Germany’s war in the east. Anyone who needs a nuanced understanding of the first phase of the Holocaust and Operation Barbarossa should first study Operation Tannenberg, which is fully explored for the first time in this fine work.”
Richard Breitman, American University
Information about purchasing this volume
THE HOLOCAUST IN HUNGARY: EVOLUTION OF A GENOCIDE
By Zoltán Vági, László Csősz, and Gábor Kádár
With a forward by Randolph L. Braham
Features sources on the causes, stages, and consequences of the destruction of the largest Jewish community left intact in German-dominated Europe in 1944. The volume shows how after the German occupation of Hungary the complete disenfranchisement, plunder, ghettoization, and deportation of the Jews was implemented at an almost unprecedented speed.
“This remarkable volume combines a rich variety of sources with a meticulously researched narrative. It demonstrates clearly the crucial role that Hungarian authorities played at all stages; the material on plunder and the confiscation of Jewish property is expecially significant. ...An essential resource for scholars, teachers, and students of the Holocaust and of Hungarian history.”
Paul Hanebrink, Rutgers University
Information about purchasing this volume
Children During the Holocaust
By Patricia Heberer
With an introduction by Nechama Tec
Explores the wide range of experiences of those under the age of 18 who found themselves caught in the war. While the volume focuses on the struggle of victims (Jews, Roma and Sinti, people with disabilities, and others) to survive, it also explores the role of children as bystanders and persecutors. Read more
“A most impressive volume. ...As much of what is included is emotionally moving and sometimes even disturbing, the author’s narrative is well positioned, allowing the reader to come to terms with the implications of the documents and the reader’s own response to them without feeling overwhelmed. I could see the volume being useful both at the graduate and undergraduate level, and even as a resource for high school students.”
Sara Horowitz, The Centre for Jewish Studies, York University
ISBN 978-0-7591-1985-7 (paperback)
Information about purchasing this volume
The Diary of Samuel Golfard and the Holocaust in Galicia
By Wendy Lower
Combines a fascinating account written in the town of Peremyshliany, western Ukraine, in 1942–1943 with a selection of postwar testimonies, and wartime German documentation on the persecution and mass murder of Jews in this under-researched region.
“It is a miracle that this diary survived and has now become an invaluable source on the Holocaust in a small town in western Ukraine. It provides a glimpse into the state of mind of those destined for annihilation on the very eve of their destruction. The diarist is insightful and thoughtful. The introduction and commentary provided by Wendy Lower are nuanced and intelligent. One will learn a lot about the Holocaust from reading this book.”
John Paul Himka, University of Alberta
ISBN 978-0-7591-2079-2 (paperback)
Information about purchasing this volume
Forthcoming stand–alone volumes in the Documenting Life and Destruction Series:
NAZI PERSECUTION AND POSTWAR REPERCUSSIONS: The International Tracing Service arCHIVE and holocaust RESEARCH
By Suzanne Brown-Fleming
With a foreword by Paul A. Shapiro
The International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen, Germany, is home to tens of millions of documents containing information on over 17 million people who were subject to incarceration, forced labor, displacement, or death as a consequence of World War II. This volume offers a point of entry into this complex and often misunderstood collection with great potential to advance scholarship and education on the Holocaust and its aftermath.
“The author provides the first-ever practical research guide to one of the largest digitized Holocaust-related archives, until recently kept under lock and key. It is well-written and full of engaging biographies that detail the wide range of experiences of victims, perpetrators, and the many bystanders. This remarkable book convincingly charts new paths for learning about the Holocaust.”
Gerald Steinacher, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Jürgen Matthäus, PhD
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
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