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International Holocaust Remembrance Day

To mark the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp on the 27th of January, the United Nations has recognized this day as International Holocaust Remembrance Day in memory of the people murdered by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. For more information on developing educational programs to instill the memory of the tragedy in future generations to prevent genocide from occurring again please visit The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme webpage.

In recognition of this year’s anniversary, Berghahn would like to showcase a range of Holocaust related titles, including our War and Genocide Series, which reflects a growing interest in the study of war and genocide within the framework of social and cultural history. We are pleased to offer a 25% discount on any of our Print Genocide Studies titles for the next 30 days . At checkout, simply enter the code IHR17.

New and recently-published titles can be found in our latest History Catalogue.


New in Paperback 

MATTERS OF TESTIMONY
Interpreting the Scrolls of Auschwitz
Nicholas Chare and Dominic Williams

 

“Chare and Williams have applied a multidisciplinary approach using methods drawn from history, literature, art, psychology, photography, and the study of material culture to analyze these documents, which are often referred to as the Scrolls of Auschwitz, an allusion to the Dead Sea Scrolls. Like the Dead Sea Scrolls, the damaged documents are often very difficult to read and interpret. A valuable contribution to Holocaust scholarship, the field of eyewitness testimony, and the documentation of traumatic events… Highly Recommended.” · Choice

In 1944, members of the Sonderkommando—the “special squads,” composed almost exclusively of Jewish prisoners, who ensured the smooth operation of the gas chambers and had firsthand knowledge of the extermination process—buried on the grounds of Auschwitz-Birkenau a series of remarkable eyewitness accounts of Nazi genocide. This careful and penetrating study examines anew these “Scrolls of Auschwitz,” which were gradually recovered, in damaged and fragmentary form, in the years following the camp’s liberation. It painstakingly reconstructs their historical context and textual content, revealing complex literary works that resist narrow moral judgment and engage difficult questions about the limits of testimony.

Check out Nicholas Chare and Dominic Williams’s piece on Slate’s The Vault and also Searching for Feelings: The Scrolls of Auschwitz and Son of Saul on the Berghahn Blog.

Read Introduction: Matters of Testimony

 

Forthcoming

CHILDREN IN THE HOLOCAUST AND ITS AFTERMATH
Historical and Psychological Studies of the Kestenberg Archive
Edited by Eva Fogelman, Sharon Kangisser Cohen, and Dalia Ofer

 

The testimonies of individuals who survived the Holocaust as children pose distinct emotional and intellectual challenges for researchers: as now-adult interviewees recall profound childhood experiences of suffering and persecution, they also invoke their own historical awareness and memories of their postwar lives, requiring readers to follow simultaneous, disparate narratives. This interdisciplinary volume brings together historians, psychologists, and other scholars to explore child survivors’ accounts. With a central focus on the Kestenberg Holocaust Child Survivor Archive’s over 1,500 testimonies, it not only enlarges our understanding of the Holocaust empirically but illuminates the methodological, theoretical, and institutional dimensions of this unique form of historical record.

 

THE GERMANS AND THE HOLOCAUST
Popular Responses to the Persecution and Murder of the Jews
Edited by Susanna Schrafstetter and Alan E. Steinweis

Volume 6, Vermont Studies on Nazi Germany and the Holocaust

 

For decades, historians have debated how and to what extent the Holocaust penetrated the German national consciousness between 1933 and 1945. How much did “ordinary” Germans know about the subjugation and mass murder of the Jews, when did they know it, and how did they respond collectively and as individuals? This compact volume brings together six historical investigations into the subject from leading scholars employing newly accessible and previously underexploited evidence. Ranging from the roots of popular anti-Semitism to the complex motivations of Germans who hid Jews, these studies illuminate some of the most difficult questions in Holocaust historiography, supplemented with an array of fascinating primary source materials.

Read Introduction: The German People and the Holocaust

 

Forthcoming in Paperback

ANXIOUS HISTORIES
Narrating the Holocaust in Jewish Communities at the Beginning of the Twenty-First Century
Jordana Silverstein

 

“Anxious Histories invites scholars and educators to consider Holocaust education from a series of thought-provoking dimensions. It ought to spur further research to enrich the knowledge base at both the theoretical and practical levels. The book adds to our understanding of the contents and discontents of Holocaust education in Jewish high schools in diaspora contexts at the beginning of the 21st century. Its treatment of a crucial and timely topic in our field renders it a valuable work. For its innovative claims about the roles of both anxiety and assimilation in how Jewish educators teach the Holocaust, it merits our careful attention.” · Journal of Jewish Education

Read Introduction: Holocaust Historiography, Anxiety and the Formulations of a Diasporic Jewishness

 

New in Paperback

JEWISH MEDICAL RESISTANCE IN THE HOLOCAUST
Edited by Michael A. Grodin
Foreword by Joseph Polak
Afterword by Yulian Rafes

 

“[Grodin] compiled a fascinating series of articles documenting a little-known aspect of the Holocaust: medical resistance by Jewish physicians and health care workers… The articles cover a wide range of topics related to health care… [and] are fascinating to read. They inspire both compassion for those affected and awe of the courage of the health care professionals who risked their own lives to assist and save fellow Jews. Their sanctification of life, the core Jewish value, is duly honoured here. Libraries supporting programs in medical history, Holocaust studies, and bioethics will definitely want this book for their collections.” · Association of Jewish Libraries Reviews

Based on archival materials and featuring memoirs of Holocaust survivors, this volume offers a rich array of both tragic and inspiring studies of the sanctification of life as practiced by Jewish medical professionals. More than simply a medical story, these histories represent the finest exemplification of a humanist moral imperative during a dark hour of recent history.

Read Introduction

 

in Paperback!

A FATAL BALANCING ACT
The Dilemma of the Reich Association of Jews in Germany, 1939-1945
Beate Meyer
Translated from the German by William Templer

 

“One of the more remarkable things about Meyer’s study is her almost total lack of criticism of the various Jewish leaders in the RJD and the RR.… Meyer sees the work of the RJD and the RR in a very different light. She argues that these Jewish leaders worked continuously through various phases of Nazi Germany’s ever-changing policies on the “Jewish Question” to find ways to ameliorate such policies…a masterful study of a phase of the Shoah that needs further exploration.” · Holocaust and Genocide Studies

“The author grounds her analysis in an imporessive array of sources unearthed in dozens of archives in Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Czech Republic…Meyer’s work is a much needed addition to the fields of German-Jewish and Holocaust history and deserves a broad readership beyond specialists.” · German Studies Review

Read Introduction

 

Forthcoming in Paperback

TOPOGRAPHIES OF SUFFERING
Buchenwald, Babi Yar, Lidice
Jessica Rapson

 

“Jessica Rapson has written a fascinating book… that can be immensely inspiring. One may not agree with her all the time, but this makes her discourse contribution even more valuable.” · H-Soz-Kult

Commentary on memorials to the Holocaust has been plagued with a sense of “monument fatigue”, a feeling that landscape settings and national spaces provide little opportunity for meaningful engagement between present visitors and past victims. This book examines the Holocaust via three sites of murder by the Nazis: the former concentration camp at Buchenwald, Germany; the mass grave at Babi Yar, Ukraine; and the razed village of Lidice, Czech Republic. Bringing together recent scholarship from cultural memory and cultural geography, the author focuses on the way these violent histories are remembered, allowing these sites to emerge as dynamic transcultural landscapes of encounter in which difficult pasts can be represented and comprehended in the present. This leads to an examination of the role of the environment, or, more particularly, the ways in which the natural environment, co-opted in the process of killing, becomes a medium for remembrance.

Read Introduction

 

THE ANATOMY OF MURDER
Ethical Transgressions and Anatomical Science during the Third Reich
Sabine Hildebrandt
Foreword by William E. Seidelman

 

“With this book Sabine Hildebrandt submits an important piece of work to the public, a work that is always absorbing, and needs to be taken very, very seriously. It truly presents a milestone in the research and reappraisal of one of the darkest chapters in the history of medicine. On the basis of thorough new research and a meticulous collection of existing data, it analyzes concisely, objectively, and consistently the position and development of the medical discipline of anatomy during the Third Reich…It would be more than appropriate to include this important book as a standard text in the medical curriculum on the history of medicine. Also, this work can be recommended warmly and without reservations to the general public.” · Annals of Anatomy

Of the many medical specializations to transform themselves during the rise of National Socialism, anatomy has received relatively little attention from historians. While politics and racial laws drove many anatomists from the profession, most who remained joined the Nazi party, and some helped to develop the scientific basis for its racialist dogma. As historian and anatomist Sabine Hildebrandt reveals, however, their complicity with the Nazi state went beyond the merely ideological. They progressed through gradual stages of ethical transgression, turning increasingly to victims of the regime for body procurement, as the traditional model of working with bodies of the deceased gave way, in some cases, to a new paradigm of experimentation with the “future dead.”

Read Introduction


War and Genocide Series

“The Berghahn series Studies on War and Genocide has immeasurably enriched the English-language scholarship available to scholars and students of genocide and, in particular, the Holocaust.” · Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions

 

Volume 24

MICROHISTORIES OF THE HOLOCAUST
Edited by Claire Zalc and Tal Bruttmann

 

How does scale affect our understanding of the Holocaust? In the vastness of its implementation and the sheer amount of death and suffering it produced, the genocide of Europe’s Jews presents special challenges for historians, who have responded with work ranging in scope from the world-historical to the intimate. In particular, recent scholarship has demonstrated a willingness to study the Holocaust at scales as focused as a single neighborhood, family, or perpetrator. This volume brings together an international cast of scholars to reflect on the ongoing microhistorical turn in Holocaust studies, assessing its historiographical pitfalls as well as the distinctive opportunities it affords researchers.

Read Introduction: Towards a Microhistory of the Holocaust

 

Volume 20 Forthcoming in Paperback

THE GREATER GERMAN REICH AND THE JEWS
Nazi Persecution Policies in the Annexed Territories 1935-1945
Edited by Wolf Gruner and Jörg Osterloh

 

“Much remains to be learned about the Holocaust in the occupied regions, but this collection helps fill the gap.” · Holocaust and Genocide Studies

Between 1935 and 1940, the Nazis incorporated large portions of Europe into the German Reich. The contributors to this volume analyze the evolving anti-Jewish policies in the annexed territories and their impact on the Jewish population, as well as the attitudes and actions of non-Jews, Germans, and indigenous populations. They demonstrate that diverse anti-Jewish policies developed in the different territories, which in turn affected practices in other regions and even influenced Berlin’s decisions. Having these systematic studies together in one volume enables a comparison – based on the most recent research – between anti-Jewish policies in the areas annexed by the Nazi state. The results of this prizewinning book call into question the common assumption that one central plan for persecution extended across Nazi-occupied Europe, shifting the focus onto differing regional German initiatives and illuminating the cooperation of indigenous institutions.

Read Introduction

 

Volume 19 In Paperback!

THE DARK SIDE OF NATION-STATES
Ethnic Cleansing in Modern Europe
Philipp Ther

 

“This instructive text offers a useful analysis of ethnic cleansing that drills into acts often conflated with genocide… Neatly written in a case study style, the chapters help readers understand the complex interplay of cultural bias and the politics of nation-states… The annotated bibliography that concludes the text is excellent, providing a range of sources that touch on country-specific literature and collective memory. This well-researched text will empower readers to carefully consider the intersections and differences between ethnic cleansing and genocide. – Highly Recommended.” · Choice

“This is a very fine book worthy of wide scholarly attention. Unlike most other scholars, who see genocide and ethnic cleansing as closely interrelated, Philipp Ther emphasizes the differences between them… I admire its clarity and succinctness and the mastery of a vast material demonstrated by its author. His erudition and courage let him make new and surprising connections and offer truly illuminating insights.” · Slavic Review

Read Introduction 

 

Volume 18 In Paperback!

JUDGING ‘PRIVILEGED’ JEWS
Holocaust Ethics, Representation, and the ‘Grey Zone’
Adam Brown

 

“Brown… deals in detail with the touchiest aspect of the Holocaust, so-called privileged Jews, and he does so with scholarly thoroughness…Highly recommended.” · Choice

“This is a well-written, original, and important book that breaks new ground by providing a detailed analysis of this group of victims, thereby deep-ening our understanding of the Holocaust and our appreciation of the complexities of human nature in extreme circumstances.” · Jewish Book Council Review

Brown provides an important contribution to Holocaust Studies as he carefully builds upon Primo Levi’s “grey zone” in order to explore the passing of moral judgment by writers and artists on those “privileged” Jews who served their Nazi masters…This is an extremely fine choice for any setting devoted to difficult ethical choices, whether the audience is Jewish or not, whether the reader or sponsoring group is religious or not…  a thought-provoking read. · Association of Jewish Libraries Reviews

 

Volume 17 In Paperback!

THE NAZI GENOCIDE OF THE ROMA
Reassessment and Commemoration
Edited by Anton Weiss-Wendt

 

“One does not usually praise the introduction to a collection of essays, whose principal function is to provide thematic continuity to a diverse body of works. But in this particular case Weiss-Wendt’s lengthy introduction goes beyond the norm, providing not only continuity but also giving the reader a very scholarly, in-depth overview of the evolution of Roma Holocaust studies…It is this introduction of fresh perspectives and new evidence that makes this book so important. Roma Holocaust studies has long suffered from a dearth of concrete evidence that more fully details the fate of this understudied group. Weiss-Wendt helps to fill this void by opening new pathways of research and discussion for this important dimension of the Holocaust.” · The Russian Review

 

For a full list of titles in the series please visit the series webpage.


Making Sense of History Series

Bridging the gap between historical theory and the study of historical memory,this series crosses the boundaries between both academic disciplines and cultural, social, political and historical contexts.

 

Volume 21

MARKING EVIL
Holocaust Memory in the Global Age
Edited by Amos Goldberg and Haim Hazan

 

Talking about the Holocaust has provided an international language for ethics, victimization, political claims, and constructions of collective identity. As part of a worldwide vocabulary, that language helps set the tenor of the era of globalization. This volume addresses manifestations of Holocaust-engendered global discourse by critically examining their function and inherent dilemmas, and the ways in which Holocaust-related matters still instigate public debate and academic deliberation. It contends that the contradiction between the totalizing logic of globalization and the assumed uniqueness of the Holocaust generates continued intellectual and practical discontent.

Read Preface

 

Volume 19 New in Paperback

JEWISH HISTORIES OF THE HOLOCAUST
New Transnational Approaches
Edited by Norman J. W. Goda

 

For many years, histories of the Holocaust focused on its perpetrators, and only recently have more scholars begun to consider in detail the experiences of victims and survivors, as well as the documents they left behind. This volume contains new research from internationally established scholars. It provides an introduction to and overview of Jewish narratives of the Holocaust. The essays include new considerations of sources ranging from diaries and oral testimony to the hidden Oyneg Shabbes archive of the Warsaw Ghetto; arguments regarding Jewish narratives and how they fit into the larger fields of Holocaust and Genocide studies; and new assessments of Jewish responses to mass murder ranging from ghetto leadership to resistance and memory.

Read Introduction

 

Volume 18 Forthcoming in Paperback

VANISHED HISTORY
The Holocaust in Czech and Slovak Historical Culture
Tomas Sniegon

 

“Overall, this is an informative book [that]… may be especially useful for readers interested in the ongoing development of historical narratives in Europe generally, and in the Czech and Slovak Republics in particular.” · Holocaust and Genocide

About 270,000 out of the 360,000 Czech and Slovak casualties of World War II were victims of the Holocaust. Despite these statistics, the Holocaust vanished almost entirely from post-war Czechoslovak, and later Czech and Slovak, historical cultures. The communist dictatorship carried the main responsibility for this disappearance, yet the situation has not changed much since the fall of the communist regime. The main questions of this study are how and why the Holocaust was excluded from the Czech and Slovak history.

 

For a full selection of titles please visit series webpage.


Berghahn Jounals

German Politics and Society

 

German Politics and Society is the only American publication that explores issues in modern Germany from the combined perspectives of the social sciences, history, and cultural studies. The journal provides a forum for critical analysis and debate about politics, history, film, literature, visual arts, and popular culture in contemporary Germany. Every issue includes contributions by renowned scholars commenting on recent books about Germany.

Featured Article:

Latent but Not Less Significant: The Holocaust as an Argumentative Resource in German National Identity Discourse
Eunike Piwoni

 

French Politics, Culture & Society 

 

French Politics, Culture & Society explores modern and contemporary France from the perspectives of the social sciences, history, and cultural analysis. It also examines France’s relationship to the larger world, especially Europe, the United States, and the former French Empire.

Featured Article:

Francophonie and Sephardic Difference in the Postwar United States
Nadia Malinovich

 

European Judaism
A Journal for the New Europe

 

For over 40 years, European Judaism has provided a voice for the postwar Jewish world in Europe. It has reflected the different realities of each country and helped to rebuild Jewish consciousness after the Holocaust.

Featured Article: 

Fetishizing the Holocaust: Comedy and Transatlantic Connections in Howard Jacobson’s Kalooki Nights
David Brauner

 

Journal of Educational Media, Memory, and Society

 

JEMMS explores perceptions of society as constituted and conveyed in processes of learning and educational media. The focus is on various types of texts (such as textbooks, museums, memorials, films) and their institutional, political, social, economic, and cultural contexts.

Featured Article:

The Holocaust in the Textbooks and in the History and Citizenship Education Program of Quebec
Sivane Hirsch and Marie McAndrew