Synopses & Reviews
, Omer Bartov uncovers the rapidly disappearing vestiges of the Jews of western Ukraine, who were rounded up and murdered by the Nazis during World War II with help from the local populace. What begins as a deeply personal chronicle of the Holocaust in his mother's hometown of Buchach--in former Eastern Galicia--carries him on a journey across the region and back through history. This poignant travelogue reveals the complete erasure of the Jews and their removal from public memory, a blatant act of forgetting done in the service of a fiercely aggressive Ukrainian nationalism.
Bartov, a leading Holocaust scholar, discovers that to make sense of the heartbreaking events of the war, he must first grapple with the complex interethnic relationships and conflicts that have existed there for centuries. Visiting twenty Ukrainian towns, he recreates the histories of the vibrant Jewish and Polish communities who once lived there-and describes what is left today following their brutal and complete destruction. Bartov encounters Jewish cemeteries turned into marketplaces, synagogues made into garbage dumps, and unmarked burial pits from the mass killings. He bears witness to the hastily erected monuments following Ukraine's independence in 1991, memorials that glorify leaders who collaborated with the Nazis in the murder of Jews. He finds that the newly independent Ukraine-with its ethnically cleansed and deeply anti-Semitic population--has recreated its past by suppressing all memory of its victims.
Illustrated with dozens of hauntingly beautiful photographs from Bartov's travels, Erased forces us to recognize the shocking intimacy of genocide.
"The Jews of East Galicia were obliterated twice: physically by the Nazis, and in memory by the Soviets and in independent Ukraine. Omer Bartov's tour of what remains of a once-vital civilization shows how unwelcome Jews still are in the region, even if only as an artifact of a distant past."--David Engel, New York University
"This will be of interest to a great many Europeans and probably Israelis, as well as American readers of travel literature and students of the region."--Timothy Snyder, author of Sketches from a Secret War
"Bartov's is a unique type of travelogue, one that records the sites of horrible massacres and extreme brutality. As he goes from town to town in Ukraine, Bartov describes the landscapes of Jewish life and death: cemeteries, synagogues, schools, killing fields, and neighborhoods. The book is also personal-about his search for his family's past. There is nothing quite like it."--Norman M. Naimark, Stanford University
About the Author
Omer Bartov is the John P. Birkelund Distinguished Professor of European History at Brown University. His books include Murder in Our Midst: The Holocaust, Industrial Killing, and Representation and Hitler's Army: Soldiers, Nazis, and War in the Third Reich.
Table of Contents
Chapter I: The Borderland 1
Chapter II: Travels in the Borderland 11
L'viv -- Sambir -- Drohobych -- Stryi -- Bolekhiv --
Ivano-Frankivs'k -- Kolomyia -- Kosiv -- Kuty --
Horodenka -- Husiatyn -- Chortkiv -- Zolotyi Potik --
Buchach -- Monastyrys'ka -- Ternopil' -- Berezhany --
Zolochiv -- Brody -- Zhovkva
Chapter III: Return 199
Additional Readings 215
About the Author 225
Index of Names 227
Index of Place-Names 229