The World Reacts to the Holocaust (Hardcover)

By David S. Wyman, Charles H. Rosenzveig

Johns Hopkins University Press, 9780801849695, 944pp.

Publication Date: September 24, 1996

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The vast body of knowledge assembled about the Holocaust has reconstructed nearly every aspect of that tragedy. Monographs, document collections, memoirs, oral histories, novels, and films have all contributed to an understanding of the events that shocked the world into stunned silence in 1945. But what happened in the aftermath--as stunned silence gave way to a full realization of the horror--has not been as thoroughly studied. Indeed, there exists no systematic examination of how countries around the world have responded to the Holocaust after 1945.

Sponsored by the Holocaust Memorial Center and under the editorship of David S. Wyman, The World Reacts to the Holocaust is a major new reference work that chronicles, country-by-country, the impact of the Holocaust on world history. Covering twenty-two countries and the United Nations, the volume carefully traces the contentions and controversies involved in the efforts to come to terms with the Holocaust, from the attitudes and perceptions of 1945 to the political, economic, and cultural legacies of the 1990s.

Following a standard format, the essays, all written by prominent scholars, begin with a brief history of the Jews in each country prior to the Holocaust. They next address the characteristics of the Jewish settlements, the presence of anti-Semitism and any related violence, the role of Jews in the society, and the nature of the relationship between Jews and non-Jews. A brief narrative of the Holocaust in each country follows. Among the issues examined are the extent of the human destruction, the degree of collaboration, Jewish reactions, and efforts to save the Jews. The essays then proceed to the post-World War II era and recount the treatment of Holocaust survivors upon their return; the postwar trials of war criminals; the changes in the culture and economy of the postwar Jewish community and its position in the society; the political, literary, and historical responses to the Holocaust; and the evolving attitudes toward Jews and Jewish culture.

Contributors: Irving Abella * Franklin Bialystok * Randolph L. Braham * David Cesarani * Frederick B. Chary * Deb rah Dwork * Andrew Ezergailis * Seymour Maxwell Finger * Zvi Gitelman * Radu Ioanid * Dermot Keogh * Tetsu Kohno * David Kranzler * Dov Levin * Robert M. Levine * Andrei S. Markovits * Meir Michaelis * Beth Simone Noveck * Dalia Ofer * Bruce F. Pauley * Jeffrey M. Peck * Charles H. Rosenzveig * Livia Rothkirchen * Milton Shain * Michael C. Steinlauf * Robert-Jan van Pelt * David Weinberg * David S. Wyman

About the Author

David S. Wyman is Josiah DuBois Professor of History and of Judaic Studies, Emeritus, at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His previous publications include The Abandonment of the Jews: America and the Holocaust, 1941-1945 and Paper Walls: America and the Refugee Crisis, 1938-1941. He is also the editor of the thirteen-volume America and the Holocaust. Charles H. Rosenzveig is the founder and executive vice president of the Holocaust Memorial Center in West Bloomfield, Michigan, the first free-standing Holocaust center in the United States.