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The Encyclopedia of Jewish Life Before and During the Holocaust: 3 volume set

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0814793565
ISBN-10: 0814793568
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This majestic three-volume encyclopedia, abridged from a 30-volume set in Hebrew and with a foreword by Elie Wiesel, chronicles Jewish life before and during the Holocaust. Arranged alphabetically by town, thousands of entries explore centuries of Jewish life. Some entries, particularly for large cities, provide information on Jewish residents as early as the Middle Ages and discuss the fate of Jews during the Black Death persecutions (1348-1349) and various pogroms from the 17th to 20th centuries. Each entry provides vital information on the town's Jewish inhabitants on the eve of German occupation, gives the dates of Jewish roundups and mass executions and estimates how many Jews from that community survived the war. Except in very rare cases (as with Copenhagen), the survival statistics are horrifying. But the encyclopedia offers more than statistics: the numbers come to life through more than 600 black-and-white photographs, most of which are from the archives of Israel's Yad Vashem museum. Here we see the vibrancy of Jewish life before the war kolkhoz theater groups and swing bands, weddings and riotous Purim parties, shops and synagogues. Several of the photographs depict Jewish military units from WWI; others show Jewish young people looking bored in chemistry class or diligently trying to master the violin during orchestra practice. A final 56-page section entitled "In Memoriam" provides unforgettable, haunting photographs of the Holocaust itself. This three-volume set is a required acquisition for libraries and anyone interested in Jewish studies.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

These three volumes are a translation and abridgment of the 30-volume Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities published in Hebrew by Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Remembrance Authority of Israel. Over 6000 communities are profiled by an international set of scholars in these glossy, double-column pages, which are deftly illustrated and have an easy-to-read typeface. Each community is listed alphabetically in bold face by historical name, with current name, district, country at the time, and current location (e.g., Poland, today Belarus) also given as appropriate. A historical survey follows, dating from the first recorded appearance of a Jewish community to its ultimate destruction during the Holocaust. Entries on major communities (for example, Berlin) may run over ten pages; many smaller communities are given, at the very least, a long, detailed paragraph noting major industries and examining cultural and political life. Scholars, of course, will welcome these volumes, but informed lay readers, including Jewish genealogists, will find them useful and informative as well. Patrons will want to use these volumes in combination with the Encyclopaedia Judaica (1972) for their initial research on Jewish communities. Libraries should also be sure to have one of the new single-volume Holocaust encyclopedias and guides, The Holocaust Encyclopedia (LJ 5/1/01), The Encyclopedia of the Holocaust (Facts on File, 2000), or The Columbia Guide to the Holocaust (LJ 3/15/01). Highly recommended for libraries with strong Jewish studies or Holocaust holdings. Paul Kaplan, Lake Villa Dist. Lib., IL
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1824 pages
  • Publisher: NYU Press (July 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814793568
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814793565
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.6 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 16.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,989,800 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
As mentioned previously, this is a 3-volume condensation (in English) of a 30-volume Hebrew study. This is obvious if compared with some of the entries in the 1970s Encyclopedia Judaica.It is information not to be found anywhere else, particularly its entries of even the smallest European towns.I found one major fault, and several minor ones.The major fault, and one that I cannot understand, is the complete omission of any cities and towns of Bulgaria, even Sofia!One observation that is debatable, is how many volumes should have been published (and therefore made available to English-speaking readers) and, thus, if made into another volume or two, the obvious space/time limitation would not have been so obvious.Minor criticisms: Rumania, instead of Romania. Many inconsequential and trivial photos; the space could have been used for more detail in places where gross omissions occurred.It is obvious that there is no book like it. The Encyclopedia Judaica is superior for the towns/cities it mentions; but, since EJ covers much else, this set's coverage of so many more towns/cities, makes it unique and essential to anyone who desires this information. Another minor point: Why is Jewabne not mentioned?
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As history recedes into the foggy past, this wonderful work should remind future generations of their originis and what transpired in the recent past. I recommend this Encyclopedia of Jewish Life Before and During the Holocaust as a written record as well as a memorial to our immediate past families. It tells us and future generations how we came to be where we are in the present.
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Format: Hardcover
Informative, and a good reference for future genealogy research. In good condition and clean.
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The Encyclopedia of Jewish Life Before and During the Holocaust: 3 volume set
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