Synopses & Reviews
Since the Holocaust, traces of memory are virtually all that remain of more than 800 years of Jewish life in Poland. Yet some of that past can still be found if one knows how and where to look. In this remarkable album, 74 stunning color photographs bear witness to the great Jewish civilization that once flourished here. The images record the sites of Jewish life and death, and the ways in which Jewish culture is being remembered today. Captions and detailed notes explain and contextualize the photographs. An invaluable sourcebook on the Jewish heritage of Polish Galicia, this album also illustrates how photographs can help us understand the past and discover its relevance for the present.
"A moving account of what is being done to preserve the memory of what was lost and of the people, both Poles and Jews, involved in this important undertaking." --Antony Polonsky, Polin
"Schwarz's photos are striking, incisive and heartbreaking..." --Jewish Exponent, February 11, 2010 Indiana University Press Indiana University Press
"Wonderfully detailed... highly readable... evoke[s] a rich texture of memory and tradition and loss and even hope." --Ruth Ellen Gruber, author of National Geographic Jewish Heritage Travel: A Guide to Eastern Europe
"A stunning tribute to the Jewish heritage of Polish Galicia.... A treasure for future generations." --Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, author of Destination Culture: Tourism, Museums, and Heritage
"Polish-Jewish relations have long suffered from stereotypes and false accusations on both sides, and this is a major attempt to right the wrongs of the past." --Michael Schudrich, Chief Rabbi of Poland
"Webber's notes, in particular, distinguish Rediscovering Traces of Memory from other albums.... Close attention to detail, together with cooperation between photographer and anthropologist, makes the work an important contribution to scholarship." --H-Judaic, March 2011
"This rich, thought-provoking, and meticulously researched book will offer a good introduction to the topic of Jewish history in Galicia to students of contemporary European history, and will serve as a valuable supplement to those studying modern European Jewish culture, the history of the Holocaust, topics in East European ethnography, and the complex Polish-Jewish relations of the past and today." --Slavic and East European Journal
About the Author
Jonathan Webber holds the UNESCO Chair in Jewish and Interfaith Studies at the University of Birmingham. He is a founding member of the International Auschwitz Council and was awarded the Golden Cross of the Polish Order of Merit for services to Polish-Jewish relations.
Chris Schwarz (1948-2007) was an acclaimed British photojournalist who exhibited and published many collections of his photographs on social welfare issues. In 2004 he opened the Galicia Jewish Museum in Krakow, Poland, to bring the story of the Jewish heritage in Polish Galicia to Poland and to the world.
Table of Contents
1. Jewish Life in Ruins
2. Jewish Culture as It Once Was
3. The Holocaust: Sites of Massacre and Destruction
4. How the Past is Being Remembered
5. People Making Memory Today
A Note on Galicia, Place Names, and Sources