Cover image for The Complete black book of Russian Jewry
Title:
The Complete black book of Russian Jewry
Author:
Ėrenburg, Ilʹi͡a, 1891-1967.
Publication Information:
New Brunswick, NJ : Transaction Publishers, [2002]

©2002
Physical Description:
xxxvi, 579 pages ; 27 cm
Language:
English
Added Uniform Title:
Chernai͡a kniga. English.
ISBN:
9780765800695
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

The Complete Black Book of Russian Jewryis a collection of eyewitness testimonies, letters, diaries, affidavits, and other documents on the activities of the Nazis against Jews in the camps, ghettoes, and towns of Eastern Europe. Arguably, the only apt comparism is to The Gulag Archipelago of Alexander Solzhenitsyn. This definitive edition of The Black Book, including for the first time materials omitted from previous editions, is a major addition to the literature on the Holocaust. It will be of particular interest to students, teachers, and scholars of the Holocaust and those interested in the history of Europe.

By the end of 1942, 1.4 million Jews had been killed by the Einsatzgruppen that followed the German army eastward; by the end of the war, nearly two million had been murdered in Russia and Eastern Europe. Of the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust, about one-third fell in the territories of the USSR. The single most important text documenting that slaughter is The Black Book, compiled by two renowned Russian authors Ilya Ehrenburg and Vasily Grossman. Until now, The Black Bookwas only available in English in truncated editions. Because of its profound significance, this new and definitive English translation of The Complete Black Book of Russian Jewryis a major literary and intellectual event.

From the time of the outbreak of the war, Ehrenburg and Grossman collected the eyewitness testimonies that went into The Black Book. As early as 1943 they were planning its publication; the first edition appeared in 1944. During the years immediately after the war, Grossman assisted Ehrenburg in compiling additional materials for a second edition, which appeared in 1946 (in English as well as Russian).

Since the fall of the Soviet regime, Irina Ehrenburg, the daughter of Ilya Ehrenburg, has recovered the lost portions of the manuscript sent to Yad Vashem. The texts recovered by Ms. Ehrenburg include numerous documents that had been censored from the original manuscript, as well as items that had been hidden by the Grossman family. In addition, she verified and, where appropriate, corrected the accuracy of documents that had already appeared in earlier editions of The Black Book.

the USSR. The single most important text documenting that slaughter is The Black Book, compiled by two renowned Russian authors Ilya Ehrenburg and Vasily Grossman. Until now, The Black Bookwas only available in English in truncated editions. Because of its profound significance, this new and definitive English translation of The Complete Black Book of Russian Jewryis a major literary and intellectual event.

From the time of the outbreak of the war, Ehrenburg and Grossman collected the eyewitness testimonies that went into The Black Book. As early as 1943 they were planning its publication; the first edition appeared in 1944. During the years immediately after the war, Grossman assisted Ehrenburg in compiling additional materials for a second edition, which appeared in 1946 (in English as well as Russian).

Since the fall of the Soviet regime, Irina Ehrenburg, the daughter of Ilya Ehrenburg, has recovered the lost portions of the manuscript sent to Yad Vashem. The texts recovered by Ms. Ehrenburg include numerous documents that had been censored from the original manuscript, as well as items that had been hidden by the Grossman family. In addition, she verified and, where appropriate, corrected the accuracy of documents that had already appeared in earlier editions of The Black Book.

Ehrenburg, has recovered the lost portions of the manuscript sent to Yad Vashem. The texts recovered by Ms. Ehrenburg include numerous documents that had been censored from the original manuscript, as well as items that had been hidden by the Grossman family. In addition, she verified and, where appropriate, corrected the accuracy of documents that had already appeared in earlier editions of The Black Book.


Author Notes

Grossman, a graduate in physics and mathematics from Moscow University, worked first as a chemical engineer and became a published writer during the mid-1930s. His early stories and novel deal with such politically orthodox themes as the struggle against the tsarist regime, the civil war, and the building of the new society.

Grossman served as a war correspondent during World War II, publishing a series of sketches and stories about his experiences. Along with Ehrenburg, he edited the suppressed documentary volume on the fate of Soviet Jews, The Black Book. In 1952 the first part of his new novel, For the Good of the Cause, appeared and was sharply criticized for its depiction of the war. The censor rejected another novel, Forever Flowing (1955), which was circulated in samizdat and published in the West. The secret police confiscated a sequel to For the Good of the Cause, the novel Life and Fate, in 1961, but a copy was smuggled abroad and published in 1970. Grossman's books were issued in the Soviet Union in the late 1980s and have met with both admiration and, on part of the nationalist right wing, considerable hostility.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 1

Choice Review

Originally scheduled for publication in 1947 by the Soviet government, the Jewish authors of this volume became victims of Stalin's antisemitic purge following the end of WW II, and the book was forbidden publication. Thanks to the efforts of Irina Ehrenburg, Ilya's daughter, a documented edition of The Black Book--the full text of the book that Ehrenburg and Grossman completed in 1946 and were prevented from publishing in 1947--was published by a Jewish publishing house in Vilnius in 1993. Based on eyewitness testimonies, letters, diaries, and other documentary evidence, the book describes in detail the Nazi massacres at Babi Yar, Minsk, Auschwitz, Treblinka, Vilnius, and other areas of German-occupied Russia and Poland. This new and definitive English translation is a major literary and intellectual event and will remain the indispensable account of the Nazi genocide against the Jews in the Soviet Union, where about one-third of the six million Jews who died in the Holocaust were annihilated by the Germans. Of particular use to students, teachers, and scholars of the Holocaust, this book should be included in all library collections. All levels. J. Fischel Millersville University


Table of Contents

David PattersonIrving Louis HorowitzHelen SegallIrina EhrenburgVasily GrossmanVasily GrossmanVladimir LidinEfim GekhmanVera InberL. BazarovG. SmolyarBasya PikmanA. SutskeverMeir ElinI. IosadeCaptain E. GekhtmanVasily GrossmanV. ApresyanP. Antokolsky and V. KaverinB. MarkAcademician I. P. TraininMajor Berhhard Bechler
Translator's Prefacep. i
Forewordp. v
Introductionp. xiii
Introduction to the Russian Editionp. xvii
From the Editors of The Black Bookp. xxi
Prefacep. xxiii
Part 1 The Ukraine
Kiev: Babi Yar, an article based on documentary materials and depositions from the people of Kievp. 3
The Murder of the Jews of Berdichevp. 12
Talnoep. 20
Resistance in Yarmolitsy (Kamenets, Podolsk District)p. 21
How the Woman Dr. Langman Perished (Sorochitsy)p. 21
In the Town of Chmelnik (Vinnitsa District)p. 22
In the Village of Yaryshevp. 27
In the Settlement of Tsybulevop. 28
In the Village of Yaltushkovp. 28
In My Hometown (Brailov)p. 29
What I Survived in Kharkovp. 37
Pyotr Chepurenko, Witness to the Piryatin Massacrep. 41
The Death of the Jewish Collective Farm Workers in Zelenopolp. 41
Letters from Dnepropetrovsk, Letters from the Indikt couplep. 42
The Day of 13 October 1941p. 46
The Story of A. M. Burtsevap. 46
The Story of I. A. Revenskayap. 47
The Story of B. I. Tartakovskayap. 48
A Letter from Military Officer Granovsky (Ekaterinopol)p. 49
The Diary of Sarra Gleikh (Mariupol)p. 50
Odessap. 55
Chernovitsy under the German-Romanian Occupationp. 65
The Story of Rakhil Fradis-Milner (Chernovitsy)p. 70
The Extermination of the Jews of Lvovp. 76
Thirteen Days in Hiding: The Story of Lily Herts (Lvov)p. 86
My Comrade the Partisan Yakov Barer (A Letter from Boris Khandros)p. 91
In the Penyatsky Forests: A Letter from an Intelligence Officer (Lvov District)p. 92
The Germans in Radzivillov (Krasnoarmeisk)p. 93
A Letter from Syunya Deresh (Izyaslav)p. 98
Letters from Orphansp. 99
German-Romanian Brutality in Kishinev (Moldavia)p. 99
Part 2 Belorussia
The Minsk Ghettop. 109
Leaders of the Underground Fighters in the Minsk Ghettop. 138
The Young Women from Minskp. 154
The Story of an Old Manp. 155
In the Village of Goryp. 158
The Murder of the Jews of Glubokoe and Other Villagesp. 159
The Story of Engineer Pikman from Mozyrp. 169
The Story of Dr. Olga Goldfainp. 172
Brest, Depositions and Documentary Testimony of the Residents of Brestp. 176
The Tragedy of My Life, a letter from Red Army soldier Kiselevp. 184
A Letter from Red Army Soldier Gofman (Krasnopole, Mogilev District)p. 185
In the Pitp. 185
The Story of a Little Girl from Bialystokp. 187
Lioznop. 187
Letters from Belorussian Children (From the Starye Zhuravli Settlement, Gomel District)p. 188
A Letter Written by Zlata Vishnyatskaya Prior to Her Deathp. 189
The Temchin Family from Slutsk (Passages from Letters Received by the Pilot Efim Temchin)p. 190
From Materials Compiled by the Special State Commission on the Verification and Investigation of Atrocities Committed by the German-Fascist Invaders, Depositions of Soviet Citizensp. 193
In Bialystokp. 197
The "Brenners" of Bialystok: The Story of Two Workers in the City of Bialystok, Shimon Amiel and Zalman Edelmanp. 203
Part 3 The Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic
The Smolensk Areap. 211
Shamovop. 211
Krasnyp. 212
The Fate of Isaak Rozenbergp. 213
Rostov on the Donp. 214
Doctor Kremenchuzhskyp. 217
"Where Are They Taking Us?"p. 217
In Stavropolp. 218
The Germans in Kislovodskp. 219
Essentukip. 222
The Story of Iosif Vaingertner, a Fisherman from Kerchp. 223
Yaltap. 227
Fishgoit's Reportp. 227
Murder in Dzhankoyp. 231
How Dr. Fidelev Was Murderedp. 233
The Painter Zhivotvorskyp. 235
Part 4 Lithuania
The Vilna Ghettop. 241
The First Daysp. 241
The "Hunters"p. 243
In the Lukishki Prisonp. 243
Schweinbergerp. 245
Ponaryp. 246
Three Stories of People Saved from Deathp. 246
1. The Story of Motel Gdudp. 246
2. The Story of Khiena Katzp. 247
3. The Story of Solomon Garbelp. 248
Murerp. 249
Schweinberger's Successor Martin Weissp. 250
The Fate of the Elderlyp. 252
Degnerp. 252
Grounds for the Arrest of Jewsp. 252
Weiss's Inoculations against Typhusp. 253
The Story of Fruma-Riva Burshtein of Novogrudokp. 253
Golda Krizhevskayap. 254
The Extermination of the Children in the HKP Campp. 255
Shmulik Kotlyarp. 256
Leibl Finkelshteinp. 257
The Fate of the Children Who Were Taken Awayp. 257
Clothingp. 257
Kittelp. 258
In Alfred Rosenberg's Officep. 262
Martyrs of the Ghettop. 265
Tiktinp. 265
Levitskayap. 266
A Mathematicianp. 267
The United Partisan Organization of the Vilna Ghetto (UPO)p. 268
The First Proclamationp. 268
Weaponsp. 270
The Struggle Has Begunp. 272
Sabotagep. 274
Ties with Other Citiesp. 276
The Underground Printing Pressp. 277
Close Friendshipsp. 279
Aid to Prisoners of War and the Families of Soviet Soldiersp. 281
How We Celebrated May Day 1943p. 283
Isaak Vitenbergp. 283
"Liza Calls"p. 285
Fallen Heroesp. 287
The Struggle Continues in the Forestp. 288
The Last Act of the Tragedyp. 291
Digging Out and Escapep. 292
The Diary of E. Yerushalmi of Siauliai (Shavli)p. 294
From the Editorsp. 294
From the Editorsp. 295
A Brief Account of Events that Took Place from 28 June to 23 November 1941p. 296
The Ghettop. 296
From the Diaryp. 300
The Death Forts of Kovno (Kaunas)p. 314
The Seventh Fortp. 314
The Fourth Fortp. 315
The Sixth Fortp. 316
The Ninth Fortp. 316
1. The Mass Murder of Kovno Residents in the Fall of 1941p. 316
2. The Mass Murder of People Transported from Germany and Other West European Countriesp. 318
3. The Destruction of Mass Gravesp. 318
4. The Escape of Prisoners from the Ninth Fortp. 322
5. The Ninth Fort After the Prisoners' Escapep. 324
6. The Last Traces of the Crimesp. 325
The Kovno Ghetto Fightersp. 326
Doctor Elena Buividaite-Kutorgenep. 333
From the Diary of Doctor Elena Buividaite-Kutorgene (June - December 1941)p. 335
The Fate of the Jews of Telshiai: The Story of Galina Masyulis and Susanna Koganp. 368
Part 5 Latvia
Rigap. 379
1. The Germans Enter the Cityp. 379
2. Night over Rigap. 381
3. The First Days of the Occupationp. 382
4. The Ghettop. 386
5. Aktionp. 387
6. "Deportation" from the Ghettop. 391
7. The Jews from Germanyp. 392
8. The Salaspils Concentration Campp. 394
From the Notebook of the Sculptor Elik Rivosh (Riga)p. 396
The Story of Sema Shpungin (Dvinsk)p. 411
Part 6 The Soviet People are United
A Letter from Officers Levchenko, Borisov, and Chesnokov (Lopavshi, Rovno District)p. 419
The Peasant Woman Zinaida Vashchishina (Dombrovitsy, Rovno District)p. 420
Collective Farmer Yuliya Kukhta Saved Jewish Childrenp. 421
I Was Adopted by the Lukinsky Family: A Report by Polina Ausker-Lukinskayap. 422
The Teachers Golneva, Terekhova, and Timofeevap. 425
The Bookkeeper Zirchenkop. 426
The Story of F. M. Gontovap. 426
One Survived: The Story of Evsey Efimovich Gopsteinp. 427
The Orthodox Priest Glagolevp. 430
The Roman Catholic Priest Bronyus Paukshtisp. 435
Part 7 The Annihilation Camps
Ponary: The Story of Engineer Yu. Farberp. 439
In the Khorol Concentration Campp. 453
The Camp at Klooga (Estonia)p. 457
From the Editorsp. 457
Zaintraub, a Student from the Vilnius Universityp. 457
Anolikp. 459
E. Yerushalmip. 460
Vatsnikp. 461
Benyamin Anolik, Juniorp. 462
Treblinkap. 462
The Children from the Black Roadp. 483
The Uprising at Sobiborp. 487
The Report of the Special State Commission for the Verification and Investigation of Atrocities Committed by the German Fascist Invaders and Their Accomplices in the Monstrous Crimes of the German Government in Auschwitzp. 500
Reichsfuhrer SS Himmler, Organizer of the Auschwitz Annihilation Campp. 501
German Fascist Professors and Physicians: Murderers of the Prisoners in Auschwitzp. 503
At Auschwitz the German Executioners Murdered Citizens of Every Country in Europep. 506
Auschwitz: The Mass Production of Deathp. 507
Murderers of Childrenp. 510
The Extermination of the Intelligentsiap. 511
The Hitlerite Plunderersp. 512
The Hitlerite Thugs Murdered More than Four Million People in Auschwitzp. 513
Calling the German-Fascists to a Serious Accountingp. 514
A Girl from Auschwitz (No. 74233)p. 514
Twenty-Six Months in Auschwitz: The Story of Mordecai Tsirulnitsky, Former Inmate No. 79414p. 522
1. In the Village of Ostrinop. 522
2. In the Kelbasino Campp. 524
3. The First Months in Auschwitzp. 524
4. At the Factoryp. 528
The Story of Former Prisoner of War M. Scheinmanp. 532
The Warsaw Ghetto Uprisingp. 542
Part 8 Executioners
The Racial Politics of Hitlerism and Anti-Semitismp. 561
Himmler's Order (From Freies Deutschland, No. 23, 19 December 1943)p. 564
Text of a German Dispatch Found in the Region of Rossoshi among Staff Documents of the 15th German Police Regiment, Concluding Reportp. 564
Executionersp. 566
From the Deposition of Captain Salog, Police Regiment Commanderp. 567
Excerpts from the Diary of Prisoner of War Karl Johannes Drexel, Lance Corporalp. 574
From the Deposition of Private First Class Christian Farberp. 574
An Excerpt from the Protocol of the Cross-Examination of the Prisoner of War Lance Corporal Erich Heubaump. 575
From the Deposition of the Prisoner of War Corporal Heinrich Michael Wenkriechp. 576
From the Deposition of Wolfgang Janikop. 577
From the Protocol of the Cross-Examination of the Prisoner of War Private First Class Albert Enderp. 577
Protocol of the Interrogation of Wilhelm Sudbrakp. 578