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Description - The Last Days of the Jerusalem of Lithuania by Herman Kruk

For five horrifying years, the librarian Herman Kruk recorded his own experiences and those of others, determinedly documenting the life and daily resistance of European Jews in the deepening shadow of imminent death. This chronicle includes all recovered pages of Kruk's diaries and provides an eyewitness account of the annihilation of the Jewish community of Vilna. The widely scattered pages of the diaries, collected here, have been deciphered, translated and annotated for this volume. Kruk describes events both public and private in entries that start in September 1939, when he fled the German attack on Warsaw and became a refugee in Vilna, "the Jerusalem of Lithuania". His diaries go on to recount the two tragic years of the Vilna Ghetto and a subsequent year in death camps in Estonia. Kruk penned his final diary entry on September 17, 1944, managing to bury the small, loose pages of his manuscript just hours before he and other camp inmates were shot to death. Kruk's writings make real the personal and global tragedy of the Vilna Jews and their courageous efforts to maintain an ideological, social and cultural life even as their world was being destroyed. The diaries record the reality of daily ghetto and camp life, rumours about the world war raging outside the walls, reactions to the endless persecution, and stories of instances in which Lithuanian peasants tried to save Jews from death.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780300044942
ISBN-10: 0300044941
Format: Hardback
(234mm x 156mm x 43mm)
Pages: 808
Imprint: Yale University Press
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publish Date: 10-Sep-2002
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Herman Kruk

Benjamin Harshav is J. & H. Blaustein Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature, Yale University. Barbara Harshav has translated more than twenty-five books of fiction and nonfiction from French, German, Hebrew, and Yiddish into English. She teaches translation theory and practice at Yale University.