This history of Jewish Bialystok during World War II provides an in-depth analysis of one of the largest Jewish communities to pass from Soviet to German occupation, and it enhances our understanding of the response of Polish Jewry to the Holocaust. The Bialystok community's fate is representative of many other Jewish communities in Poland and Lithuania, but unlike other communities, Bialystok Jews left an unusually large documentary record. Exhaustive research in archival sources including first-person testimonies and memoirs enables Bender to create a multifaceted account of the motivations of Jewish communal leaders as well the attitudes and behavior of ordinary men and women as they grappled with an inhumane occupation and severe adversity. Bender's conclusion, in which she compares the history of the Bialystok community and ghetto to several other major communities, including Warsaw and Vilna, makes the volume an even richer contribution to the study of Polish Jewry during the Holocaust.
Publisher: University Press of New England