Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Secret City: The Hidden J... has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Minimal signs of wear. Ships direct from Amazon!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Secret City: The Hidden Jews of Warsaw, 1940-1945 Hardcover – March 1, 2003

4.8 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$85.00
$15.99 $9.77

The Numberlys Best Books of the Year So Far
$85.00 FREE Shipping. Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This amazing and moving study sheds new light on details of the Holocaust that have up until now not been examined. Under the German occupation, "ninety-eight percent of the Jewish population of Warsaw"-480,000 Jews-perished in WWII. But while the conditions of the infamous Warsaw Ghetto and its insurrection have been detailed numerous times, this study focuses on a new area of scholarship: Jews who evaded detection or fled the ghetto. Using diaries, witness testimony, and quantitative analysis (in which he tries to ascertain the precise numbers of people in the various groups he is writing about) Paulson draws a vibrant portrait of the complexity of Warsaw life, and especially of what he calls the "secret city," a collection of 28,000 Jews not confined to the ghetto, "together with the many non-Jews who helped hide them, and the criminal element that ceaselessly hunted them." Detailing a wealth of incident-from Jews involved in complex networks of survival to those who passed for non-Jewish but were sent to work camps for being Polish-the author argues that both Jewish and non-Jewish life in Warsaw was far more complicated than has been thought. Paulson, a fellow at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, explains that this material was not examined earlier because of a "stigma attached to flight" and a valorization of resistance, such as the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. While this is more a scholarly than popular account, it is an important and fascinating analysis that calls for serious thought and reevaluation of Holocaust studies. 16 illus.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

a compelling portrait of Jews in hiding ... bestowing dignity on this specific response to Nazi persecution. -- Gabriel Finder, East European Politics and Societies, May 2004

a model of clarity for the handling of so intricate a topic -- Guillaume de Syon, History Teacher, November 2004

a model of studying the relatively neglected topic of evasion during the Holocaust ... a passionate call for historical engagement -- Tim Cole, IHR Online Reviews, April 2004

diversified sources and convincing methods ... quite novel approach ... a most significant addition to the immense Holocaust literature. -- Shimon Redlich, American Historical Review, April 2004

impresses with its careful scholarship and restrained presentation of [some] controversial ... propositions ...[tells] a very moving and important story -- Anita Shelton, History: Review of New Books, 9/22/2003
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; 1st. edition (March 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300095465
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300095463
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,889,803 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

5 star
78%
4 star
22%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 9 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This well-researched, well-documented and well-written book is a masterpiece. It is also unique in the way it deals with the subject of escape in Nazi-occupied Poland. The author desribes in great detail the life and experiences of those who chose evasion - hiding under false identities - as a response to the Holocaust. He also presents accurately and with an amazing perceptivity the relationships between the Jews in hiding and the Poles who hid them. As one who survived on the Aryan side of Warsaw, Paulsson's writings resonate with my own experiences. A terrific book!
Comment 24 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
Paulsson has made an important contribution to the field of Holocaust study with this book. It is extremely well-written, making the rather complicated topic accessible to a lay audience. There is also a good deal of technical information, which will satisfy academics in its intellectual rigor. This book is unusual - it probes many of the field's accepted dogmas, and some of its conclusions are extremely original. I would recommend this book to any researcher in the area, under- or post-graduate student of history, or even any member of the public who has an interest in the area.
Comment 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Secret City" is one of the best books I've ever read. "Secret City" could captivate not just historians, but any intelligent reader. Paulsson is not just a powerful, innovative, courageous scholar, but also a gifted writer. His style - fast-paced, spare, sprinkled with subdued, wry comments - is reminiscent of film noir.

"Secret City" tells the stories of Jews who escaped from the Nazis and lived outside the Warsaw Ghetto, and the Poles who aided them. Accounts of human endurance and skill, virtue and surrender to the demonic in one of history's worst manmade hells, are the core of the book. Endurance is a universal theme; as such, this book deserves a much wider audience than Holocaust scholars. Gambling for one's own life is a gripping motif. Some Jews, without allies, approached complete strangers and received aid and shelter. Others met horrific deaths. No sign separated Poles who would act as saints or demons. The façade of an aristocrat or a peasant, a student or a priest, even one's fellow Jew, might hide salvation or denunciation. The reader puzzles over what makes one man good, and another evil. In cases like that of Borys Pilnik (150-51), I'll be wondering how one man could save some Jews, and profit financially from the ruin of others.

Merely by taking up the topic of escape, Paulsson risks censure. He cites two superstar Holocaust scholars: Hilberg, associated with an assessment of Jewish response as "passive," and Arendt, associated with an assessment of Jewish response as "compliant" (7-8). Paulsson innovates in emphasizing "evasion." Asking, as Paulsson does, why relatively few Jews escaped leads to several problems.
Read more ›
5 Comments 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
Paulsson mixes highly original and very unoriginal thinking. He uses quantitative approaches, backed by simple statistics, in order to avoid the selective quoting of anecdotes to support predetermined conclusions. He also factors what he calls "the dog did not bark" situations (where only atypical events were recorded).
Further development needs to be made of the theme, based on quotes from Germans (p. 240) that German hatred of Poles was natural, whereas German hatred for Jews was "according to orders". If accurate, it undercuts the special victim status that many Jews claim relative to Poles, as it underlines the eventual genocidal intentions that Germans had for Poles. Parenthetically, the sentiments are probably mutual, which helps explain why Jewish hostility towards Poles appears, to this day, to be much more common and intense than Jewish hostility towards Germans.
The belittling of Polish aid to Jews, typical of Holocaust materials and discussions, evaporates in the face of Paulsson's analysis, which indicates an unexpectedly high 7%-9% Polish participation rate in the substantial aid to Jews. Pointedly, this figure would be even higher had 1) More Jews fled the ghetto (p. 35, 248), 2) There been no death penalty for aiding Jews, and 3) The privations of Aryan Warsaw had not been so severe (p. 248). Oft-repeated insinuations that Polish indifference and/or betrayals (see below) had been THE limiting factors of Jewish survival are clearly incorrect and inflammatory, and must be withdrawn.
We keep hearing of fugitive Jews as having almost zero chance of survival owing to numerous fanatically anti-Semitic Poles determined that not a single Jew escape the Holocaust. By contrast, Paulsson estimates that 6 in 7 fugitive Warsaw Jews were NOT betrayed.
Read more ›
16 Comments 32 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
Steve Paulsson detached himself from biases, preconceived ideas and any political expediency and performed commendably objective scientific research of a very difficult subject.

Many readers may find his conclusions surprising or at least unexpected. But I find his logical approach based on solid data very convincing. A lot has been written about the heroic efforts of many Poles helping the Jews, and on the other end of the spectrum criminal elements killing or denouncing the Jews hiding from the Nazis. Secret City in a very logical way demonstrates that the vast majority of the Polish population of Warsaw, even if generally negatively biased towards the Jews actually did nothing to deliberately harm them.

The conclusions of the book are based on rigorous statistical analysis of the available documents and data.
Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Secret City: The Hidden Jews of Warsaw, 1940-1945
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Secret City: The Hidden Jews of Warsaw, 1940-1945