By Tuvia Friling
Eliezer Gruenbaum (1908–1948) was once a Polish Jew denounced for serving as a Kapo whereas interned at Auschwitz. He was once the communist son of Itzhak Gruenbaum, the main popular secular chief of interwar Polish Jewry who later turned the chairman of the Jewish Agency’s Rescue Committee through the Holocaust and Israel’s first minister of the inner. In gentle of the father’s excessive placement in either Polish and Israeli politics, the denunciation of the more youthful Gruenbaum and his suspicious demise in the course of the 1948 Arab-Israeli battle upload intrigue to an issue that actually facilities at the query of what constitutes—and how will we evaluate—moral habit in Auschwitz.
Gruenbaum—a Jewish Kapo, a communist, an anti-Zionist, a secularist, and the son of a polarizing Zionist leader—became an emblem exploited via competitors of the pursuits to which he used to be associated. Sorting via this Rashomon-like tale in the cultural and political contexts during which Gruenbaum operated, Friling illuminates key debates that lease the Jewish group in Europe and Israel from the Nineteen Thirties to the Sixties.
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Yoram Kaniuk has been hailed as one of the main cutting edge, terrific novelists within the Western World” (The big apple Times), and The final Jew is his exhilarating masterwork. Like Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s 100 Years of Solitude, The final Jew is a sweeping saga that captures the stricken historical past and tradition of a complete humans in the course of the prism of 1 kin. From the chilling establishing scene of a soldier returning domestic in a fog of conflict trauma, the radical strikes backward via time and throughout continents until eventually Kaniuk has succeeded in bringing to lifestyles the 20th century’s so much unsettling legacy: the anxieties of contemporary Europe, which begat the Holocaust, and in flip the start of Israel and the swirling cauldron that's the center East. With the unforgettable personality of Ebenezer Schneersonthe eponymous final Jewat its middle, Kaniuk weaves an inventive tapestry of Jewish id that's alternately tragic, absurd, enigmatic, and heartbreaking.
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Additional resources for A Jewish Kapo in Auschwitz: History, Memory, and the Politics of Survival
During the final week, delegates received urgent cables calling on them to return home. Many left before the congress adjourned, fearing that borders would be closed. The congress’s standing committee had decided a few days previously to cut the congress short by a week. But then Chaim Weizmann, president of the Zionist Organization, appeared before the standing committee on Thursday, August 24, and proposed that the congress be adjourned that very night and not the next day, and his proposal was accepted.
They viewed the civil war in Spain as a continuation of their own campaigns against real or imagined exploiters of the working class. Romantics, who longed to do something and to change the world, found in Spain something to latch on to. As Arthur Koestler wrote, for bohemians, intellectuals, and leftists, Spain was Greenwich Village on a revolutionary junket. For the many Jews who volunteered to fight, the Spanish Civil War was a front in the campaign against Europe’s burgeoning fascism, Nazism, and Â�antisemitism.
It was in the German interest not to impel the French authorities to resist the German occupation or to cause Pétain to decamp to Allied-controlled North Africa. 14 But it was only Jews who held French citizenship who benefited. The 150,000 Jews in France who were foreign nationals were prey to the Nazis’ talons. The French regime arrested and interred them, and then handed them over to the Germans. When roundups commenced in Paris, people could easily deny that Jews were being arrested simply because they were Jews.
A Jewish Kapo in Auschwitz: History, Memory, and the Politics of Survival by Tuvia Friling