Combining rich documentation selected from the five-volume series on Jewish Responses to Persecution, this text combines a carefully curated selection of primary sources together with basic background information to illuminate key aspects of Jewish life during the Holocaust. Many available for the first time in English translation, these letters, reports, and testimonies, as well as photographs and other visual documents, provide an array of first-hand contemporaneous accounts by victims. With its focus on highlighting the diversity of Jewish experiences, perceptions and actions, the book calls into question prevailing perceptions of Jews as a homogenous, faceless, or passive group and helps complicate students' understanding of the Holocaust. While no source reader can comprehensively cover this vast subject, this volume addresses key aspects of victim experiences in terms of gender, age, location, chronology, and social and political background. Selected from vast archival collections by a team of expert scholars, this book provides a wealth of material for discussion, reflection, and further study on issues of mass atrocities in their historical and current manifestations.
The book's cover photograph depicts the 1942 wedding of Salomon Schrijver and Flora Mendels in the Jewish quarter of Amsterdam. Salomon and Flora Schrijver were deported via Westerbork to Sobibor where they were murdered on July 9, 1943. USHMMPA (courtesy of Samuel Schryver).
Jurgen Matthaus and Emil Kerenji are historians at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.