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Download The Jews of Warsaw, 1939-1943: Ghetto, Underground, Revolt (A Midland Book) epub

by Yisrael Gutman

It took the Nazis longer to quell the Warsaw ghetto uprising than it had taken them to defeat entire countries. How could the Jews of Warsaw―starved and persecuted, their numbers decimated by mass deportations to concentration camps, with few weapons and no aid from outside the ghetto walls―stand up to the might of the Third Reich? To address this question, the author of The Jews of Warsaw, 1939-1943 looks beyond the ghetto uprising itself to consider the broader character of Jewish public life as it took shape during the occupation and ghettoization of what had been Europe's greatest Jewish urban center. The book describes the growth and development of the resistance movement and armed struggle against the wider historical background and the development of clandestine communal activiies in the ghetto. It makes use of extensive primary and secondary materials from Jewish, German, and Polish sources to throw light on critical events. The Jews of Warsawy, 1939-1943 is a massive scholarly undertaking, at once authentic, scrupulously objective, and deeply moving.

Download The Jews of Warsaw, 1939-1943: Ghetto, Underground, Revolt (A Midland Book) epub
ISBN: 0253205115
ISBN13: 978-0253205117
Category: History
Subcategory: Military
Author: Yisrael Gutman
Language: English
Publisher: Indiana University Press (February 22, 1989)
Pages: 512 pages
ePUB size: 1137 kb
FB2 size: 1130 kb
Rating: 4.5
Votes: 557
Other Formats: docx azw docx lrf

Giving it three stars because it is hard to get into. Probably a five star text book
One of the few surviving participants of the first Warsaw Uprising, the revolt of the remaining Jewish Ghetto in April 1943, writes a detailed multi approach history of the genesis, development, eradication, resistance, and final death throes rebellion of the Jewish ghetto in Warsaw.
Yisrael Gutman conducts a review of the "life" of the Warsaw Ghetto from September of 1939 to April-May 1943. The strengths of the book are its detailed research, and the fluency of the author in several of the target languages, i.e German, Polish, Hebrew. The weakness is the absence of any review of the fierce theological debate that raged in side the Jewish community, shaped its perceptions, actions, and functions down to the last shot.
The meticulous research is evident from early in the book to the last page. Gutman quotes the pre war intent of Adolf Hitler as captured in speeches and comments to other leaders "the Jews will be annihilated here [Czechoslovakia]" and "the Jews will disappear from Europe." What Gutman also does is spend a carefully crafted paragraph on pg 11 that identifies the deeply intertwined transition from war to peace and the crumbling of policy towards Final Solution as total war engulfs first Poland, and then all of Europe. This constant evolving of competing policy programs, aims, and designs is well summarized on [13].
Using the archives of Ringleblum, as well as other primary source material, Gutman carefully reconstructs the first months of the German occupation of Warsaw [33], the setting of the conditions for "slowly boiling the frog" and the establishment of the ghetto system throughout occupied Poland. Gutman could explain better the "dumping" policies of both Soviet Russia and Germany into the General Government area of Poland, but overall explains the first stages and the establishment of the Jewish quarter well.
Gutman also does a good job of explaining the prompt establishment of active passive resistance, both as a necessity for survival, and as a way to indirectly confront and combat the occupation regime of the Nazi party and the German Army. He details the German authorities, Jewish authorities and interactions, but the section would profit from a more detailed examination of the interaction of the Polish milieu of Warsaw, good, bad, and indifferent.
Gutman also does a fine job of cross referencing other materials, such as Czeslaw Madajczyk's Policy of the Third Reich in Occupied Poland, to refer the reader to important sources of information that while additive in value, exceed the scope of Gutman's thesis. Gutman also does a concise wrap up of activities outside the ghetto, and ghettos of Nazi empire, as blitzkrieg turns to total war in Poland, and then in Central Europe and into Soviet Russia in 1941. Without trying to provide exhaustive coverage of it all, he nonetheless strives to explain the sequential impact of simultaneous forces in the war, the prosecution of occupation and economic exploitation, and as the war lengthens and worsens, the frantic search for labor and economic power to sustain the field armies of the Reich.
Without trying to provide a full context, Gutman is quick to draw many nationalities into the blame light for persecutive activities during the war and its associated Holocaust of Jewish victims. It would be instructive to the general reader if Gutman would add that Nazi Germany passed legislation, and implemented bureaucratic organs that while spreading oppressive suffering to millions, targeted only one religious and ethnic group (as defined by Rosenberg and the rest of the Party structure) for total extermination - the Jews.
Lastly, I feel that to discuss the eventual slouching toward desperate rebellion of the Nazi defined Jews of Warsaw without a detailed examination of the religious values, Zionism, competing theocratic movements, the Jewish enlightenment of the late 19th century centered on Vilnuis and Warsaw, is myopic at best. You cannot understand the true cultural, religious, and social pressures of the Jews of Central Europe in 1939 if you do not consider this dynamic. Admittedly, it is complex, difficult to understand and harder to explain, but I feel it must be surveyed for the non Jewish as well as Jewish reader to start to truly perceive how you can get so many hundreds of thousands of Jews into a tiny space, starve almost 100,000 ofthem to death, and then squeeze the rest of them back out through the Umschlagplatz to Treblinka.
Apart from this, though, Gutman does emphasize [226-227] the importance of the psychological factors affecting resistance, the will and capability to resist, and the long term debilitating effects of starvation and stress on a target population. HE also does a superb job of working the great work of Ringelblum and the Oneg Shabbat into the running dialogue on the ghetto, its internal organization, and its seeking ways to resist on multiple paths.
Lastly, in capturing the effects of the rebellion, Gutman does perhaps his best work in trying to portray the interpretation of the rebellion as it was happening by the inmates of the ghetto, the Poles in Warsaw [318-322], the Polish underground [406] the Germans [371], the Russians [318-322], and the allies still not on the continent in any force or position to seriously threaten Germany and its holdings in Poland.
The attentive reader still has much more reading to do than this single volume, but it is a superb primer that should be read carefully, and followed with a trip to Warsaw, map in hand.
By 1943, not many Jews of the Warsaw ghetto had any illusions about their fate. Hundreds of thousands of their friends and family had already been 'relocated' and the few who escaped from the 'work camps' told the ghastly story of the Nazi's Final Solution. The uprising in Warsaw was ultimately doomed, even before it began, but it is a testament to what could be accomplished if people were given the truth and a gun. Most of the key organizers knew they would die, but to die fighting rather than trapped in a death camp, was a glorious and heroic end. That they held out longer than the entire Polish army is truly amazing considering their lack of adequate weapons and training. A well-written, gripping, and inspirational story. The Jews of Warsaw derserve to be remembered for all time.
Excellent, should be used in classrooms.