Synopses & Reviews
"An indispensable sourcebook... Emphasis falls on the variegated, often joyful, culture of the Polish Jews, on what existed before the garden was ruined." --Geoffrey Hartmann, The New Republic
"From these marvelous selections, one can see an entire culture unfolding." --Curt Leviant, New York Times Book Review
"This newly revised version of the classic study... is a pleasure for the eye and the soul! One of the seminal studies of the impact of the Shoah on European Jewry, it is even more moving in its new incarnation than in its original version. More than a collection of studies of books of remembrance and mourning, this volume asks how one can mourn for a world lost and still live in the present and the future." --Sander L. Gilman
"Kugelmass and Boyarin have done a splendid job of combing the vast memorial book literature to select the most revealing accounts of Jewish life in interbellum Poland. Ordinary people speak in this volume with an immediacy and poignancy that cannot help but touch the reader. In the time since it first appeared, From a Ruined Garden has become a classic. Its reappearance in an updated and expanded form is most welcome." --Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett
"In this magnificent collection, the editors combine a profound 'feel' for the vanished world of Polish Jewry, the anthologist's skill at selecting the telling example, and the anthropologist's sophisticated understanding of how these testimonies should be read. A marvelous introduction to this rich literature." --Peter Novick
Polish Jewish survivors of the Holocaust compiled memorial books to preserve the memory of their destroyed communities. They describe daily life in the shtetl as well as everyday life during the Holocaust and the experiences of returning survivors. These memories paint a haunting picture of a way of life lost forever.
In the years after World War II, Polish Jewish survivors of the Holocaust who had made their way to the Americas and Israel compiled memorial books to preserve the memory of their destroyed communities. FROM A RUINED GARDEN gathers some 77 sections from the nearly 1,000 memorial books published. The texts describe daily life in the shtetl as well as everyday life during the Holocaust and the experiences of returning survivors. 26 photos.
About the Author
Jack Kugelmass is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, author of The Miracle of Intervale Avenue: The Story of a Jewish Congregation in the South Bronx and Masked Culture: The Greenwich Village Halloween Parade, and editor of Between Two Worlds: Ethnographic Essays on American Jewry.
Jonathan Boyarin, an anthropologist and ethnographer, is author of Polish Jews in Paris: The Ethnography of Memory, Storm from Paradise: The Politics of Jewish Memory, and Thinking in Jewish.
Zachary M. Baker is Head Librarian at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.