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Groundbreaking New Yad Vashem Encyclopedia of the Ghettos to be launched in New York May 13, 2010

This encyclopedia presents scholars and laymen for the first time with a comprehensive view of the ghetto phenomenon Prof. Omer Bartov

9 May 2010

After 6 years of research, the groundbreaking new Yad Vashem Encyclopedia of the Ghettos During the Holocaust will be launched in New York on May 13, 2010. The 2-volume Encyclopedia of the Ghettos covers all the ghettos established by the Nazis in Europe during the Holocaust and includes 250 photographs, 62 maps, essays and a DVD of wartime footage of ghettos filmed in real time during the Holocaust.

“The Encyclopedia is the outcome of pioneering research on the unique phenomenon of ghettos,” said Avner Shalev, Chairman of Yad Vashem. “With information on conditions, administration, leadership and coping methodologies that have never before been gathered together into one encyclopedia, it is a valuable resource for anyone interested in the history of the Holocaust.”

A special symposium marking the publication of the Yad Vashem Encyclopedia of the Ghettos during the Holocaust will be held at the Juan Carlos Center, 53 Washington Square South, NYC, on May 13 at 18:00. Organized by the American Society for Yad Vashem, and the Encyclopedia’s distributor NYU Press, the event will feature Prof. Omer Bartov and Prof. Dan Michman.

“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,” said Prof. Dan Michman, Chief Historian of Yad Vashem and a contributor to the Encyclopedia.

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.

“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.” – Omer Bartov, John P. Birkelund Distinguished Professor of European History, Brown University.