Synopses & Reviews
Despite the Holocaustand#8217;s profound impact on the history of Eastern Europe, the communist regimes successfully repressed public discourse about and memory of this tragedy. Since the collapse of communism in 1989, however, this has changed. Not only has a wealth of archival sources become available, but there have also been oral history projects and interviews recording the testimonies of eyewitnesses who experienced the Holocaust as children and young adults. Recent political, social, and cultural developments have facilitated a more nuanced and complex understanding of the continuities and discontinuities in representations of the Holocaust. People are beginning to realize the significant role that memory of Holocaust plays in contemporary discussions of national identity in Eastern Europe.
This volume of original essays explores the memory of the Holocaust and the Jewish past in postcommunist Eastern Europe. Devoting space to every postcommunist country, the essays in Bringing the Dark Past to Light explore how the memory of the and#8220;dark pastsand#8221; of Eastern European nations is being recollected and reworked. In addition, it examines how this memory shapes the collective identities and the social identity of ethnic and national minorities. Memory of the Holocaust has practical implications regarding the current development of national cultures and international relationships.
"This monumental work is a scholarly witnessing to be admired."and#8212;Michael N. Dobkowski, Jewish Book World
"The book has a wealth of details and is very informative. Professional historians as well as casual readers should take note of this book and make it a starting point in their quest to delve further into the mystery of the Holocaust in Romania."and#8212;Michael Gesin, H-Net
"The wealth of information included in this tome and the superior organization and presentation makes it a must for any Judaica library with a Holocaust collection, whether a basic collection, or a rich, academically focused one."and#8212;Michlean Amir, Association of Jewish Libraries
andquot;This pioneering work in the field of Holocaust studies should be a part of any library with even the most modest of holdings about the Shoah.andquot;andmdash;David M. Crowe, Journal of Interdisciplinary History
and#8220;An excellent collection that addresses a very timely topic and fills a real gap in our knowledge. It will be of interest not only to specialists on the Holocaust but also to anyoneand#8212;specialist and nonspecialist alikeand#8212;interested in the issues and problems of postcommunist Europe.and#8221;and#8212;Samuel Kassow, professor of history at Trinity College and author of Who Will Write Our History? Rediscovering a Hidden Archive from the Warsaw Ghetto
and#8220;An extraordinary volume and a feat of editorial ingenuity. . . . No matter what you know or think about contemporary Europe and the politics of Holocaust memory, you will be enlightened and surprised by this remarkable book.and#8221;and#8212;Doris L. Bergen, Chancellor Rose and Ray Wolfe Professor of Holocaust Studies, University of Toronto, and author of War and Genocide: A Concise History of the Holocaust
andquot;The manner in which Nazi-occupied nations have responded to the Holocaust since the fall of communism is a subject of no small importance. Fortunately, Bringing The Dark Past To Light
addresses this topic seriously and comprehensively.andquot;andmdash;Sheldon Kirshner, Times of Israel
andquot;A remarkable collection.andquot;andmdash;Kelly McFall, New Books in Genocide Studies
andquot;This is a magnificent work of scholarship. The essays in this substantial book provide models of balance and rectitude.andquot;andmdash;Patterns of Prejudice
Published by the University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, and Yad Vashem, Jerusalem
Based on an unparalleled and exhaustive collection of original Jewish accounts and sources not available until the fall of Nicolae Ceausescu in the late 1980s, Jean Ancel provides a detailed analysis of the path of antisemitism that led to the unspeakable horrors of the Holocaust in Romania.
The Romanians, and other nations inside and outside the Balkans, related differently to and#8220;their Jewsand#8221; and and#8220;other Jews,and#8221; that is, those living in districts annexed to Romania after the First World War and in areas occupied and annexed to the Romanian military administration after the Soviet invasion in June 1941. The Jews of the Regat, the core Romanian principality, suffered pogroms, decrees, and degradation, but on the whole they survived the Holocaust.
Contradicting long-held assumptions, Ancel shows that Romanians were largely responsible for murdering their Jewish communityand#8212;one of the largest in Europe before the warand#8212;and although its survival rate was the highest in Europe, the survival rate in areas where Jews were liquidated was one of the lowest.
About the Author
Jean Ancel (1940and#8211;2008) was a Romanian-born Israeli independent historian and a research associate of Yad Vashemand#8217;s International Institute for Holocaust Research. He is the author and editor of numerous books, including Wilhelm Filderman: Memoirs and Diaries, Volume 1, 1900and#8211;1940 (Yad Vashem and Tel Aviv University, 2004); The Economic Destruction of Romanian Jewry (Yad Vashem, 2007); and Prelude to Mass Murder: The Pogrom in Iaand#351;i, June 29, 1941 (Yad Vashem, forthcoming).