The Holocaust and the Book: Destruction and Preservation

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Jonathan Rose
Univ of Massachusetts Press, 2008 - Social Science - 314 pages

Between 1933 and 1945, Nazi Germany systematically destroyed an estimated 100 million books throughout occupied Europe, an act that was inextricably bound up with the murder of 6 million Jews. By burning and looting libraries and censoring "un-German" publications, the Nazis aimed to eradicate all traces of Jewish culture along with the Jewish people themselves.

The Holocaust and the Book examines this bleak chapter in the history of printing, reading, censorship, and libraries. Topics include the development of Nazi censorship policies, the celebrated library of the Vilna ghetto, the confiscation of books from the Sephardic communities in Rome and Salonika, the experience of reading in the ghettos and concentration camps, the rescue of Polish incunabula, the uses of fine printing by the Dutch underground, and the suppression of Jewish books and authors in the Soviet Union. Several authors discuss the continuing relevance of Nazi book burnings to the present day, with essays on German responses to Friedrich Nietzsche and the destruction of Bosnian libraries in the 1990s.

The collection also includes eyewitness accounts by Holocaust survivors and a translation of Herman Kruk's report on the Vilna ghetto library. An annotated bibliography offers readers a concise guide to research in this growing field.

 

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Invaluable for Holocaust or book historians. The chapter on the Vilna ghetto library should be the source of a dissertation; the entire book paints a picture that is hard to see in any other (English-language) source. Read full review

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Contents

I THE NAZI ATTACK ON UNGERMAN LITERATURE 19331945 Leonidas E Hill
9
THE BOOKS OF THE ROMAN GHETTO UNDER THE NAZI OCCUPATION Stanislao G Pugliese
47
III THE CONFISCATION OF JEWISH BOOKS IN SALONIKA IN THE HOLOCAUST Yitzchak Kerem
59
THE RESCUE OF JEWISH CULTURAL TREASURES IN VILNA David E Fishman
66
V THE JEWISH QUESTION AND CENSORSHIP IN THE USSR Arlen Viktorovich Blium Introduced translated and annotated by George Durman a...
79
CLANDESTINE FINE PRINTING IN THE NETHERLANDS 19401945 Sigrid Pohl Perry
107
VII READING AND WRITING DURING THE HOLOCAUST AS DESCRIBED IN YISKERKOOKS Rosemary Horowitz
128
CULTURAL BOOTY ACROSS TWO CONTINENTS THROUGH TWO WARS Sem C Sutter
143
X LIBRARY AND READING ROOM IN THE VILNA GHETTO STRASHUN STREET 6 Herman Kruk Translated by Zachary M Baker
171
XI WHEN THE PRINTED WORD CELEBRATES THE HUMAN SPIRIT Charlotte Guthmann Opfermann
201
THE WRITTEN WORD AS I EXPERIENCED IT DURING WORLD WAR II Annette Biemond Peck
206
XIII ZARATHUSTRA AS EDUCATOR? THE NIETZSCHE ARCHIVE IN GERMAN HISTORY John Rodden
213
GENOCIDE AND BOOK BURNING IN BOSNIA Andras Riedlmayer
266
A BIBLIOGRAPHIC SURVEY Joy A Kingsolver and Andrew B Wertheimer
295
NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS
311
Copyright

IX THE LIBRARY IN THE VILNA GHETTO Dina Abramowicz
165

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About the author (2008)

Jonathan Rose is William R. Kenan Professor of History at Drew University. He was the founding president of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing.

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