A Holocaust Reader (Lucy S. Dawidowicz) pdf, epub, doc

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Lucy Schildkret Dawidowicz (June 16, 1915 – December 5, 1990), was an American historian and an author of books on modern Jewish history, in particular books on the Holocaust.

Dawidowicz was born in New York City as Lucy Bagleizer. Her parents, Max and Victoria (née Ofnaem) Schildkret were secular-minded Jews with little interest in religion. Dawidowicz did not attend a service at a synagogue until 1938.

Dawidowicz's first interests were poetry and literature. She attended Hunter College from 1932 to 1936 and obtained a B.A. in English. She went on to study for a M.A. at Columbia University, but abandoned her studies because of concerns over events in Europe. At the encouragement of her mentor, the historian Jacob Shatzky, Dawidowicz decided to focus on history, especially Jewish history. Dawidowicz made the decision to learn Yiddish and at Shatzky's urging, in 1938 she travelled to Wilno, Poland (modern Vilnius, Lithuania) to work at the Yiddish Scientific Institute (known by its Yiddish acronym as the YIVO).

Dawidowicz lived in Wilno until August 1939 when she returned to the United States. During her time at the YIVO, she became close to three of the leading scholars there, namely Zelig Kalmanovich, Max Weinreich and Zalmen Reisen. Only Weinreich survived the Holocaust and that only because he went to New York to establish a branch of the YIVO there before World War II. In particular, Dawidowicz was very close to Kalmanovich and his family, whom she described as being her real parents. During her time in Poland, she encountered anti-Semitism from the local Gentile population and her later writings on Gentile-Jewish relations in Poland were very much coloured by her memories of the time in Wilno. Dawidowicz was well known for her view that the vast majority of the Roman Catholic population in Poland was virulently anti-Semitic before and during World War II. Other historians, such as Norman Davies, have objected to the factual validity of this portrayal of Gentile-Jewish relations.

From 1940 until 1946, Dawidowicz worked as a researcher at the New York office of the YIVO. During the war, she was aware that something horrible was happening to the Jewish people of Europe, though it was not until after the war that she finally became aware of the full extent of the Holocaust.

In 1946, Dawidowicz traveled to Germany where she worked as an aid worker for the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee in the various Displaced Persons (DP) camps. During this period, she involved herself in the search for various looted YIVO books in Frankfurt. Only after the war, did she realize the full extent of the Jewish catastrophe, when she became involved with providing aid for Holocaust survivors. By her own admission, she was full of sorrow over the fate of European Jews, hatred for the Germans and pride in the tenacity of Holocaust survivors. In particular, she was filled with sadness as she realized that the world of Eastern European Jewry that she had encountered and lived among in Poland before the war had been destroyed forever, and all that was left of it were the emaciated survivors she was working with and her own memories. Moreover, Dawidowicz found it very poignant that she had left that world in August 1939; a month before the process of destruction had begun.

In 1947, she returned to the U.S. and on January 3, 1948, she married a Polish Jew named Szymon Dawidowicz. Upon her return to the U.S. she worked as a researcher for the novelist John Hersey's book The Wall, a dramatization of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. From 1948 until 1960, Dawidowicz worked as a historical researcher for the American Jewish Committee. During the same period, Dawidowicz wrote frequently for the Commentary, the New York Times and the New York Times Book Review. An enthusiastic New York Mets fan, Dawidowicz lived the rest of her life in New York. In 1985, she founded the Fund for the Translation of Jewish Literature from Yiddis

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  • File: 5 Mb
  • Release: 01.01.2006
  • ISBN: 9780874412192
  • Pages 397
  • Rating: 4.5 (2 votes)

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