Front cover image for Hitler's ghettos : voices from a beleaguered society, 1939-1944

Hitler's ghettos : voices from a beleaguered society, 1939-1944

"Hundreds of ghettos were created throughout eastern Europe by the Germans and their allies during the Second World War. Some were large - the one in Warsaw held almost half a million people in 1942 - others were very small. All had the purpose of holding Jews separate from the rest of the population, almost invariably in extraordinary deprived, squalid and crowded conditions. They became antechambers to the death camps but that purpose was not clear to most of their inhabitants. These 'cities within cities' merit consideration, then, not just as staging posts in the extermination of European Jewry but as communities in their own right, with their own dynamics, in which elements of traditional pre-war Jewish society continued to exist." "There have been some studies of the largest ghettos - Warsaw and Lodz - and a few accounts of some of the smaller ones; but very little examination of the ghettos as a whole. This pioneering new history draws heavily on the testimonies of those who suffered in them, making use of a wide range of diaries and memoirs (and exploring the problems inherent in such sources). Other documentary sources - particularly German - are also used, but the intention is to look at the ghettos 'from below', focusing on behaviour, values and suffering, as well as on the heroism and the passiveness of the Jewish communites. Never before has personal testimony been so extensively used and systematically evaluated to write a history of the East European ghettos."--Jacket
Print Book, English, 2002
Arnold ; Oxford University Press, London, New York, 2002