Page 73 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 3

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CRITICS SAY
Reviews of some important books of the year culled
from various periodicals
Compiled
b y
Louis
R
i t t e n b e r g
The Black Book of Polish Jewry.
Edited
b y J
acob
A
p e n s z l a k
.
New York,
R
oy
P
u b l i s h e r s
.
343 pages.
Aside from being a graphic exposure of Nazi brutality to the Jewish population of
Poland,
The Black Book of Polish Jewry
may, by virtue of its richly documented
data and detailed facts and figures, prove to be an invaluable source book for
creative writers who might feel inclined to deal with the story of what is probably
the greatest catastrophe of modern times.
From this encyclopedic “Black Book,” sponsors of the Jewish cause may draw
examples ad infinitum of the effects of the “New Order’s” race consciousness on
Jewish social, religious, economic and cultural activities.
Although the editors of the work under consideration have limited their account
only to the Jews in German-occupied Poland, this restriction, of course, does not
imply that the Jew has been left untouched in other parts of Nazi Europe.
In attacking the Jews of Poland, German racial “authorities,” such as Goebbels
and Rosenberg, believed that they were striking at the very heart of all Jews. In
addition to the local Polish Jewry butchered in the medieval ghettos of Poland, tens
of thousands were also brought from Germany and German-enslaved countries of
Europe to be destroyed in those hells-on-earth, the monstrous concentration camps
of Oswiecim, Lublin, Treblinka and nameless others. The grand-scale, methodical
Nazi design to crush the spirit and body of the Jew defies any parallel in the entire
history of mankind. According to a report made a year ago, 1,500,000 of the
1,800,000 Jews who perished at the hands of the Germans had been methodically
and cold-bloodedly slaughtered.
The first part of this book abounds in eyewitness accounts, official reports,
photographs and documents depicting the appalling savagery of the Nazi treat-
ment of the Jews, of their enforced transfers of whole communities, of the compul-
sory slave labor, of the blitz-pogroms, of the vandalism, of the exploitation of
economic resources — of all, in short, which has given the book its title. More
personal insults, such as the shearing of the beards of all orthodox Jews and rabbis,
the violation of Rosh Hashanah and the ridicule of the Hatikvah, perhaps can only
be fully appreciated by the Jews.
There is no editorial comment in the text of the volume. Facts are presented as
facts, simple and unmitigated, substantiated by documentary proofs and references,
all of which serve to offer an absolutely unbiased picture of the great horror. Part
Two is a unique history of the thousand-year-old cultural heritage of the Jews in
Poland which has been utterly devastated. Long after the end of active hostilities
this book will serve as a perennial testimonial of barbarity.
— W a l t e r B a r a
in
The New York Times Book Review
Downfall.
B y Z
a lma n
S
h n e o u r
.
New York,
R
oy
P
u b l i s h e r s
.
252 pages.
The theme of Mr. Shneour’s story is the Warsaw ghetto during the German
invasion of World War I. The Hun, the Nazi of today in embryo, showed his
familiar proclivities for looting. Jews, in their eyes, might be undesirable, but
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