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Download Hidden History of the Kovno Ghetto epub

by United States Holocaust Memorial Museum,Dennis B. Klein

Documents the lives of the Jews that were spared from execution and sent to Kovno, Lithuania
Download Hidden History of the Kovno Ghetto epub
ISBN: 0821224573
ISBN13: 978-0821224571
Category: History
Subcategory: World
Author: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum,Dennis B. Klein
Language: English
Publisher: Bulfinch Pr; 1 edition (October 1, 1997)
Pages: 255 pages
ePUB size: 1743 kb
FB2 size: 1492 kb
Rating: 4.5
Votes: 930
Other Formats: lrf lit lrf txt

This book covers information on a very brief time in the history of this village. Would have had more info on prior time.
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Although the Warsaw ghetto is the most famous ghetto from the Holocaust, there were many others. After Vilna, Kovno was the second largest Jewish city in Lithuania. 95% of the Lithuanian Jews were slaughtered in the Holocaust. What makes Kovno unique is the single minded effort that the Jewish leaders took to documenting ghetto life for future generations. No detail was too big or too small. They captured diaries, art work, photographs (often illegally), poetry, songs, official documents, German orders, day-to-day administrative paperwork. Although much was destroyed in the liquidation of the Kovno Ghetto in 1943 and 1944, a surprising amount of documentation survived.

The United States Holocaust Museum put on an exhibit about the Kovno ghetto, and this oversize volume is the companion book. There are a series of historical essays to put Kovno in the context of Lithuania during WW2 and to describe what occurred over the course of the ghetto from 1941-1943, and as a concentration camp 1943-1944. The largest portion of the book are the annotated documentary photographs, drawings, translated poems and songs, ephemera and more. These objects bring to life the people who worked and died in the ghetto. They provide an unparalleled view on what the daily life was like. We see how the Jews struggled and occasionally triumphed in the face of unbelievable adversity. You cannot read this book and not be moved by the humanity even when surrounded by and oppressed by the horrors of the Holocaust.

The extensive documentation of the Jewish inhabitants of the Kovno Ghetto speaks for itself and tells the story of people who strived for some semblance of normalcy, when it seemed that world was crumbling before their eyes.
This book was in my library's Genealogy section, and you're not allowed to take Genealogy books out of the library. But I liked it enough to sit in the library and read it, in two sittings.

This a quick read, because it has loads of pictures: photos of the ghetto and its inhabitants, and also pictures of artifacts such as ration cards, work certificates, yellow stars, etc. It's more like a museum exhibit than a simple book. Because of the format I think young people would be able to get something out of the book too, although it is clearly written for adults. Certainly it probably has the most information on the Kovno/Kaunas ghetto all in one place.

Both researchers and the ordinary person interested in the Holocaust would enjoy this.

Bonus: pages from the diary of Ilya Gerber are printed in this book; you can read extracts from the diary in Alexandra Zapruder's Salvaged Pages: Young Writers' Diaries of the Holocaust.
This over-sized 255 page volume is based a November 1991 through October 1999 U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum exhibit on the experiences of Kovno Ghetto residents during World War II, as they secretly photographed and artistically recorded them.

In addition, the volume contains many images of Ghetto work documents and other Nazi-issued papers, and even the luggage tags of Jews transported from Germany and Austria for murder at "Fort IX," a fortification built near Kovno specifically to murder Jews, which executions began on June 24, 25, and 27, 1941, following the Nazi invasion of Lithuania.

On October 28, 1941, the Germans separated 30,000 Jews from the square in Kovno, those to the left survived at least temporarily, and those to the right, were immediately marked for brutalization and ultimate death. for the time being, 20,000 remained. Everyone left lost a family member, and mourning set upon the community.

Needless to say, their lot was not easy, and most ultimately succumbed.

This is a valuable testament to horrors suffered in the Holocaust by one community, horrors that were repeated in every other ghetto across Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Poland and so on.


--Alyssa A. Lappen
An excellent work on one town's experience in the Holocaust. It contains an excellent array of documents from the time, hidden at great risk by the inhabitants. This book should dissuade any reader of the notion that the Jews of Europe did not fight back.