Tomorrow, Yad Vashem will host a symposium marking the publication of David Silberklang's new book, "Gates of Tears: The Holocaust in the Lublin District." This is the first book to be published in English that examines the Lublin District during the Holocaust. The symposium will take place on Thursday, November 20, 2014 with the generous support of the Gutwirth Family Fund and in memory of the late Professor Israel Gutman who was the Academic Advisor of Yad Vashem and former Deputy Chairman of the International Auschwitz Council. Gutman was also the Chief Historian at Yad Vashem and the Head of the International Institute for Holocaust Research. Prof. Gutman passed away in Jerusalem, Israel in 2013. The symposium will take place in the Yad Vashem Auditorium from 9:30-13:00. There will be simultaneous translation in Hebrew and English.
The symposium will include remarks from Avner Shalev, Yad Vashem Chairman, David Silberklang, senior historian at Yad Vashem’s International Institute for Holocaust Research, and editor of "Yad Vashem Studies", who will discuss "Between Destruction, Liberation, and Returning to Life: The Jews in the Lublin District 1944-1945." Additional speakers include Joanna Zętar, from the Brama Grodzka Center in Lublin who will address "Memory of the Place: Jewish Life in Lublin before World War II" and Havi Dreifuss, Director of The Center for Research on the Holocaust in Poland, Yad Vashem and Tel Aviv University, who will discuss "The Lublin District: Between 'Wild East' and Experimental Territory." Guests will also hear some insights from Academic Advisor of Yad Vashem, Yehuda Bauer on Gates of Tears.
"Gates of Tears" examines the Holocaust in the Lublin District, an area central to Nazi anti-Jewish policy. Its analysis traces forced population movements and forced labor which were both constants in German policy. Many hid or fled the deportations to death camps and forced labor, fearing a more extreme version of earlier experience, yet unable to grasp the “Final Solution.” Lublin was a contradictory district – few ghettos yet little survival. Jews could not affect their collective fate. As Rabbi Tzvi Elimelech Talmud wrote in his last letter, “No hope remained…only the gates of tears have not been locked before us.”