Emanuel Ringelblum and Reuven Ben-Shem's War Writings

Perceptions of space in the Warsaw Ghetto

Nizan, Victoria 

History and politics were two important concepts defining Jewish identity prior to the Second World War. This book explores how these were expressed in the war writings of Emanuel Ringelblum and Reuven Ben-Shem, inmates at the Warsaw Ghetto. Each produced different accounts in purpose and style, Ringelblum's diary was a historical record whereas Reuven Ben-Shem's was personal, primarily intended to inform the world what had happened to his family. Despite their vast political differences, one thing stands out, Jewish history defined their personal identity, and they derived moral and political inspiration from it.

Scrutiny of the diaries suggests that the range of topics and how they were recorded reflects traditional approaches to appropriacy, resulting in a focus predominantly on the public sphere, leaving us to speculate the private arena. The book examines relationships between physical spaces in the Warsaw Ghetto, and how they were conceived. That is, how writing reflected the disruption of Jewish spaces by blurring boundaries between the private and public spheres resulting in abjection. The more Jews were crowded into progressively dwindling space, the more the private became public.

310 pages  26 black and white illustrations  hardback

Copyright: 30/10/2024

Temporarily out of stock.