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Life and Loss in the Shadow of the Holocaust: A Jewish Family's Untold Story Hardcover – July 19, 2011

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (July 19, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521899915
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521899918
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 5.9 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,393,231 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Life and Loss in the Shadow of the Holocaust offers a richly-textured account of the Kaufmann-Steinberg family during the Second World War. Expertly illuminated by Rebecca Boehling and Uta Larkey, it is based on an extraordinarily full set of correspondence between family members with diverse perspectives. Among the many strengths of this superb study is the extent to which it challenges persistent notions concerning gender roles, relations with non-Jewish Germans, and attitudes toward traditional Judaism within German Jewry." -Michael Berkowitz, author of The Crime of My Very Existence: Nazism and the Myth of Jewish Criminality

"Based on a unique collection of private documents, Rebecca Boehling's and Uta Larkey's story of the fragmentation, destruction and regeneration of the Kaufmann-Steinberg family in the Holocaust is disturbing, saddening and intriguing -- an outstanding book, as powerful as the famous diaries of Victor Klemperer and the renowned letters of Lily Jahn." -Thomas Kühne, author of Belonging and Genocide: Hitler's Community, 1918-1945.

"The authors have eloquently evoked the pain of a family scattered over three continents by Nazi persecution. Using gender and intergenerational analyses of a recently discovered cache of 600 letters, they have shown how increasing persecution forced German Jews to address the heart-wrenching question of whether to "go or to stay." This unique correspondence between siblings and their elders as well as among siblings also documents the ultimate terror of trying to escape Germany as the noose tightened, first around the younger ones, who managed to flee, and then around the older ones. This collective family biography will be hard to forget: it reveals the sheer agony of family decisions, the maddening frustration of emigration and immigration red tape, and the deafening silence of the people left behind." -Marion Kaplan, author of Between Dignity and Despair: Jewish Life in Nazi Germany

"It is scholarship that impresses not only with its vigor, but with its narrative pull and its strong but quiet moral commitment to memory and its power." -UMBC's Alumni Magazine

"The haunting nature of these letters provides great poignancy and makes this collection an outstanding addition to Holocaust collections." -Booklist

"The book is an excellent resource for historical novelists and for anyone fascinated by the decade leading up to World War II in Germany." -Kristen Hannum, Historical Novels Review

Book Description

A family's recently discovered correspondence provides the inspiration for this fascinating and deeply moving account of Jewish family life before, during and after the Holocaust. The authors show how the Kaufmann-Steinberg family was pulled apart under the pressures of living under Nazism and trace their fate in Germany, the US and Palestine.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Rosa Frank on August 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Life and Loss... Is a very well researched, sensitive and elegantly written book. It tells a fascinating story where Nazism is first a sombre background, but soon becomes the centerpiece leading to the Holocaust. Love, pain, despair and resilience woven into 20th century European history.. It also brings an understanding of the central role of the women of the family throughout the process.
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