Memorial Books of Eastern European Jewry

Essays on the History and Meanings of Yizker Volumes

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About the Book

From the Russian civil wars through the Nazi years, the Jews of Eastern Europe were targets of violence during the first half of the twentieth century. During the Holocaust especially, entire communities were wiped out. In response, survivors sometimes compiled memorial books, or Yizker books, in an attempt to preserve historical, biographical, and cultural information about their shtetls.
This multipart collection provides a concise history of the memorial books and their cultural contexts; eight analytical essays on or using Yizker books; key reviews, in some cases translated from the Yiddish, from the 1950s and later; and a bibliographic overview of secondary sources and collections.

About the Author(s)

The late Rosemary Horowitz was a professor of English at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. She published extensively on Jewish topics.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Rosemary Horowitz

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 302
Bibliographic Info: 9 photos, notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2011
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4199-0
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8006-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Part I: History
1  A History of Yizker Books (Rosemary Horowitz) 7
2  Israel as the Cradle of Yizker Books (Michlean Amir) 28
Part II: Landmark Essays
3  Landsmanshaftn Literature in the United States During the Past Ten Years (Philip Friedman) 43
4  Review of Yizker Books—1953 (Jacob Shatzky) 54
5  Review of Yizker Books—1955 (Jacob Shatzky) 68
6  A Survey and Evaluation of Yizker Books (Elias Schulman) 81
7  “Memorial Books” as a Source for Research into the History of Jewish Communities in Europe (Abraham Wein) 89
Part III: Studies of Yizker Books
8  Reception of Memorial Books in Poland (Monika Adamczyk-Garbowska) 107
9  “To Hold Our Own Against Silence” (Adina Cimet) 122
10  “Write This as a Memorial in the Book”—A Jewish Pattern for Memory (Roni Kochavi-Nehab) 143
11  Blood Ties: Leib Rochman’s Yiddish War Diary (Jan Schwarz) 163
Part IV: Studies Using Yizker Books
12 Authenticating the Historical Fiction of Uri Orlev (Rosemary Horowitz) 183
13  Yizker Books and Photographic Form (Daniel Magilow) 200
14  The Others in Yizker Books (Rivka Parciak) 222
15  Klezmer Memories in Yizker Books (Yale Strom) 244
Part V: Bibliography
16  A Survey of Reference Books (Rosemary Horowitz) 261
17  A Survey of Collections (Amy Burnette and Rosemary Horowitz) 265
About the Contributors 289
Index 291

Book Reviews & Awards

“A useful tool to a better understanding of how to read a yizker book. It clarifies the nature of the genre and how yizker books can be used”—Religious Studies Review.