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Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 31Poland and Hungary: Jewish Realities Compared$
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François Guesnet, Howard Lupovitch, and Antony Polonsky

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781906764715

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781906764715.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 20 September 2021

Ben-Zion Gold

Ben-Zion Gold

26 July 1923—20 April 2016

(p.545) Ben-Zion Gold
Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 31

Antony Polonsky

Liverpool University Press

This chapter provides an obituary for Ben-Zion Gold, a long-time member of the Board of the American Association of Polish Jewish Studies and was director of Harvard Hillel from 1958 until he retired in 1990. He grew up in a traditional religious Jewish family in Radom in central Poland and described his childhood in a beautifully written and moving memoir, The Life of Jews in Poland before the Holocaust (2007). In it he related his experiences as a student in a number of yeshivas, most notably in the preparatory programme of the Yeshiva Hakhmei Lublin which had opened just a few years earlier in 1930 in the imposing building which still stands and has been returned to the Jewish community of Poland. His parents, three sisters, and brother were murdered in the Holocaust. Ben-Zion attributed his survival to his religious faith and claimed that his experiences in German concentration camps 'deepened his attachment to Judaism and strengthened him in his devotion to his heritage'. But he was also well aware that the world of unquestioning faith in which he had been brought up could not be recreated after the Nazis' devastating revelation of what humanity was capable of.

Keywords:   Ben-Zion Gold, religious Jewish family, Poland, yeshivas, Yeshiva Hakhmei Lublin, Jewish community, Holocaust, religious faith, German concentration camps, Judaism

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