Cover image for Life between memory and hope : the survivors of the Holocaust in occupied Germany
Life between memory and hope : the survivors of the Holocaust in occupied Germany
Mankowitz, Zeev W.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Cambridge University Press, 2002.
Physical Description:
xii, 335 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library DS135.G332 M36 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



This is the remarkable story of the 250,000 Holocaust survivors who converged on the American Zone of Occupied Germany from 1945 to 1948. They envisaged themselves as the living bridge between destruction and rebirth, the last remnants of a world destroyed and the active agents of its return to life. Much of what has been written elsewhere looks at the Surviving Remnant through the eyes of others and thus has often failed to disclose the tragic complexity of their lives together with their remarkable political and social achievements. Despite having lost everyone and everything, they got on with their lives, they married, had children and worked for a better future. They did not surrender to the deformities of suffering and managed to preserve their humanity intact. Mankowitz uses largely inaccessible archival material to give a moving and sensitive account of this neglected area in the aftermath of the Holocaust.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

After their liberation by US troops in 1945, Holocaust survivors faced the challenge of finding a renewed sense of security and purpose in their lives. In this highly detailed and important contribution to postwar Jewish history, Mankowitz (Hebrew Univ. of Jerusalem) details the extraordinarily resilient spirit of the She'erith Hapleitah (the Hebrew phrase for the "surviving remnants") from early 1945 until the UN partition of Palestine in November 1947. Mankowitz carefully dissects their responses to the conditions of everyday life (the existence of the "gray market," revival of Yiddish newspapers and culture, emergence of political activism and Zionism); efforts to restore their self-esteem and prepare for the future (through education and agricultural training); and their reactions to the disconcerting combination of ignorance, antisemitism, and desperation that prevailed among the US military, UN Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, and German authorities. In contrast to Ruth Gay's Safe among the Germans (2002), Mankowitz's book argues that most of the members of She'erith Hapleitah came to embrace Zionism and sought Palestine as their ultimate destination. Based on extensive archival research and a firm command of the Yiddish press, this book provides a sensitive and persuasive assessment of the immediate postwar experiences of the survivors. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Graduate students and faculty. M. Shevin-Coetzee formerly, George Washington University

Table of Contents

Abbreviations and note on spelling and dates
1 The occupation of Germany and the survivors: an overview
2 The formation of SheâÇÖerith Hapleitah: November 1944-July 1945
3 SheâÇÖerith Hapleitah enters the international arena: July-October 1945
4 Hopes of Zion: September 1945-January 1946
5 In search of a new politics: unity versus division
6 The Central Committee of the Liberated Jews in Bavaria
7 The politics of education
8 Two voices from Landsberg: Rudolf Valsonok and Samuel Gringauz
9 Destruction and remembrance
10 The surviviors confront Germany
11 SheâÇÖerith Hapleitah towards 1947
Concluding remarks

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