09 May 2010

New York: Yad Vashem Encyclopedia of Ghettos, May 13

Following six years of research, the new groundbreaking Yad Vashem Encyclopedia of the Ghettos During the Holocaust will be launched May 13, in New York.

The two-volume work (US$150 via the Yad Vashem site) covers all ghettos - more than 1,100 - established by the Nazis in Europe during the Holocaust. It includes 250 photos, 62 maps, essays and a DVD of realtime ghetto war footage.

According to Yad Vashem chair Avner Shalev, the work is the result of pioneering research, and contains information on conditions, administration, leadership and coping methodologies, gathered together in one major work.

The book will be launched at New York University's Juan Carlos Center, 53 Washington Square South, at 6pm on Thursday, May 13, The symposium is organized by the American Society for Yad Vashem, and the Encyclopedia’s distributor, NYU Press, featuring Professor Omer Bartov and Prof. Dan Michman.

Bartov - the Birkelund Distringuished Professor of European History at Brown University - has spoken at several international Jewish genealogy conferences and is well-known to Jewish genealogists.

“This encyclopedia presents scholars and laymen for the first time with a comprehensive view of the ghetto phenomenon which was so central to Jewish life during the Holocaust,” commented BartovUniversity.

According to Yad Vashem's chief historian Prof. Dan Michman, also a contributor to the work: “More than a technical inventory covering over 1,100 ghettos that existed under the Nazis and their allies, it reflects an historiographic understanding that ghettos were implemented only for Jews, and, as such, the phenomenon is conceptually separate from the concentration camps.


A series of introductions explain the historical origins and the emergence of the ghettos, their characteristics and regional differences, as well as the sources and nature of the photographic material left behind. Each entry, written by experts in the field, includes the city’s present location, wartime name and geographical coordinates; and, where applicable, sections on life prior to World War II; the Soviet occupation; German -Nazi occupation; the ghetto setup; ghetto institutions and communal life; murder, terror and killing operations; underground and resistance; and number of survivors at liberation.
For more information, see Yad Vashem's website.

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