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Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 1Poles and Jews: Renewing the Dialogue$
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Antony Polonsky

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9781904113171

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781904113171.001.0001

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Yechiel Szeintuch, editor. Yitzhak Katzenelson, Yidishe getoksovim: Varshe 1940-1943 [Yiddish Ghetto Writings: Warsaw 1940-1943]. Israel: Ghetto Fighters' House & Hakibbutz Hameuchad. 1984. Pp. x, 770.

Yechiel Szeintuch, editor. Yitzhak Katzenelson, Yidishe getoksovim: Varshe 1940-1943 [Yiddish Ghetto Writings: Warsaw 1940-1943]. Israel: Ghetto Fighters' House & Hakibbutz Hameuchad. 1984. Pp. x, 770.

Chapter:
(p.401) Yechiel Szeintuch, editor. Yitzhak Katzenelson, Yidishe getoksovim: Varshe 1940-1943 [Yiddish Ghetto Writings: Warsaw 1940-1943]. Israel: Ghetto Fighters' House & Hakibbutz Hameuchad. 1984. Pp. x, 770.
Source:
Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 1
Author(s):

David G. Roskies

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781904113171.003.0050

This chapter discusses Yitzhak Katzenelson's Yiddish Ghetto Writings: Warsaw 1940–1943 (1984), which was edited by Yechiel Szeintuch. With this scholarly edition of Yitzhak Katzenelson's complete ghetto writings, the study of Yiddish literary creativity during the Holocaust has made a quantum leap forward. Both in his general introduction and in the prefaces to each of the thirty-six works, Szeintuch has thoroughly demystified the Holocaust by making history and biography into the central keys for a proper understanding of its literature. He has grounded each and every text, no matter how fragmentary, both in the personal events of the author's life and in the facts of the Holocaust as they were made known to Warsaw's Jewish intelligentsia. Szeintuch insists on checking each motif against the poet's pre-war writing and against all available sources on the ghetto itself, from the Zionist underground press with which Katzenelson was closely affiliated, to the vast body of memoir literature. What emerges is a unique portrait of one writer's attempt to adapt — linguistically, psychologically, and artistically — to the systematic murder of all that he held dear.

Keywords:   Yitzhak Katzenelson, Yechiel Szeintuch, ghetto writings, Yiddish literary creativity, Holocaust, Warsaw, Jewish intelligentsia, Zionist underground press, memoir literature, systematic murder

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