The Holocaust continues to draw increasing attention from researchers applying a variety of approaches and disciplines. This book presents a worthy array of 25 chapters originally delivered in 2000 at one of a series of international conferences sponsored by the Holocaust Education Foundation. The annotated chapters provide a useful guide to the state of research and writing on many issues and themes. The chapters are organized into six sections: Rethinking Nazi Policies; Resistance and Rescue; German Scholars and the Holocaust; Historiography and the Challenges to Historians; Trials, Compensation, and Jewish Assets; and Confronting the Past.
Of particular interest are the contributions by two prominent Israelis. Yehuda Bauer addresses “The Problem of Non- Armed Jewish Reactions to Nazi Rule in Eastern Europe,” emphasizing the need for more detailed, local studies of how the Jews in many localities responded to the Nazi onslaught. Unfortunately, observes Bauer, both North America and Israel are lacking in “a minimal critical mass of researchers who can read the necessary languages and are interested in the subject of Eastern European Jewry during the Holocaust.” Dan Michman in turn examines American Christopher Browning’s concept of “euphoria of victory” as a tool for understanding how the Nazi Germans undertook ever more radical policies toward the Jews between 1939 and 1942.
The reviewed volume will be of use and interest to both general readers and serious scholars. So much has been written; so much more must be analyzed, digested and understood.
Robert Moses Shapiro teaches modern Jewish history, Holocaust studies, and Yiddish language and literature at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. His most recent book is The Warsaw Ghetto Oyneg Shabes-Ringelblum Archive: Catalog and Guide (Indiana University Press in association with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Library and the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw, 2009). He is currently engaged in translating Polish and Yiddish diaries from the Łódź ghetto and the Yiddish Sonderkommando documents found buried in the ash pits at Auschwitz-Birkenau.