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The Last Days of the Jerusalem of Lithuania: Chronicles from the Vilna Ghetto and the Camps, 1939-1944

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For five horrifying years in Vilna, the Vilna ghetto, and concentration camps in Estonia, Herman Kruk recorded his own experiences as well as the life and death of the Jewish community of the city symbolically called “The Jerusalem of Lithuania.” This unique chronicle includes many recovered pages of Kruk’s diaries and provides a powerful eyewitness account of the annihila For five horrifying years in Vilna, the Vilna ghetto, and concentration camps in Estonia, Herman Kruk recorded his own experiences as well as the life and death of the Jewish community of the city symbolically called “The Jerusalem of Lithuania.” This unique chronicle includes many recovered pages of Kruk’s diaries and provides a powerful eyewitness account of the annihilation of the Jewish communities of Eastern Europe. This volume includes the Yiddish edition of Kruk’s diaries, published in 1961 and translated here for the first time, as well as many widely scattered pages of the chronicles, collected here for the first time and meticulously deciphered, translated, and annotated. Kruk describes vividly the collapse of Poland in September, 1939, life as a refugee in Vilna, the manhunt that destroyed most of Vilna Jewry in the summer of 1941, the creation of a ghetto and the persecution and self-rule of the remnants of the “Jerusalem of Lithuania,” the internment of the last survivors in concentration camps in Estonia, and their brutal deaths. Kruk scribbled 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 and their bodies burnt on a pyre. Kruk’s writings illuminate the tragedy of the Vilna Jews and their courageous efforts to maintain an ideological, social, and cultural life even as their world was being destroyed. To read Kruk’s day-by-day account of the unfolding of the Holocaust is to discern the possibilities for human courage and perseverance even in the face of profound fear.


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For five horrifying years in Vilna, the Vilna ghetto, and concentration camps in Estonia, Herman Kruk recorded his own experiences as well as the life and death of the Jewish community of the city symbolically called “The Jerusalem of Lithuania.” This unique chronicle includes many recovered pages of Kruk’s diaries and provides a powerful eyewitness account of the annihila For five horrifying years in Vilna, the Vilna ghetto, and concentration camps in Estonia, Herman Kruk recorded his own experiences as well as the life and death of the Jewish community of the city symbolically called “The Jerusalem of Lithuania.” This unique chronicle includes many recovered pages of Kruk’s diaries and provides a powerful eyewitness account of the annihilation of the Jewish communities of Eastern Europe. This volume includes the Yiddish edition of Kruk’s diaries, published in 1961 and translated here for the first time, as well as many widely scattered pages of the chronicles, collected here for the first time and meticulously deciphered, translated, and annotated. Kruk describes vividly the collapse of Poland in September, 1939, life as a refugee in Vilna, the manhunt that destroyed most of Vilna Jewry in the summer of 1941, the creation of a ghetto and the persecution and self-rule of the remnants of the “Jerusalem of Lithuania,” the internment of the last survivors in concentration camps in Estonia, and their brutal deaths. Kruk scribbled 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 and their bodies burnt on a pyre. Kruk’s writings illuminate the tragedy of the Vilna Jews and their courageous efforts to maintain an ideological, social, and cultural life even as their world was being destroyed. To read Kruk’s day-by-day account of the unfolding of the Holocaust is to discern the possibilities for human courage and perseverance even in the face of profound fear.

41 review for The Last Days of the Jerusalem of Lithuania: Chronicles from the Vilna Ghetto and the Camps, 1939-1944

  1. 5 out of 5

    Peggy Walt

    An amazing find....ordered from Sweden and devoured this gripping chronicle of life in the Vilna Ghetto and then in camps in and near Riga. Again the overwhelming realization of how much was lost in the Shoah.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rasa

    Labai plati ir daug gyvenimo sričių apimanti kronika. Gausu faktų, atpažįstamų (ir jau neišlikusių) vietovių aprašymų, emocinių išgyvenimų fiksavimo. Verta susipažinti!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sara

  4. 5 out of 5

    Trina

  5. 4 out of 5

    Holly Beth

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ronny ( expensive chick)$$$$$$$

  7. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

  8. 4 out of 5

    Audrius Dambrauskas

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rita

  10. 5 out of 5

    Nikki Anderson

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lorri

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jamie Gates

  13. 5 out of 5

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  14. 5 out of 5

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  15. 5 out of 5

    jennet wheatstonelllsl Proc

  16. 4 out of 5

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  17. 4 out of 5

    Rina Ralls

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    Diana Slapikaite

  19. 5 out of 5

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    Liz Strauss

  21. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

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  23. 4 out of 5

    Marjorie

  24. 4 out of 5

    Dr.Nouf AlKaabi

  25. 5 out of 5

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    Ruth

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    Jenny

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lynne

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  31. 5 out of 5

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  35. 4 out of 5

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  36. 5 out of 5

    Dr. Steve

  37. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea

  38. 5 out of 5

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  39. 4 out of 5

    TypeFace

  40. 4 out of 5

    Vizara

  41. 5 out of 5

    Emma Campbell

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