Dictionary of the Holocaust: Biography, Geography, and Terminology

Dictionary of the Holocaust: Biography, Geography, and Terminology

Dictionary of the Holocaust: Biography, Geography, and Terminology

Dictionary of the Holocaust: Biography, Geography, and Terminology


This concise, easy-to-use resource on the Holocaust is rich in factual and statistical information, and provides a comprehensive compilation of the people and terms that are essential for an understanding of the Holocaust. In 2,000 entries, it profiles major personalities, covers concentration and death camps, cities and countries, and significant events. Also included are important terms translated from German, French, Polish, Yiddish, and twelve other languages. Biographical entries give a brief history, the person's significance, and their historical context. Geographical entries pinpoint exact locations using other cities or countries as landmarks, and give the number of Jewish inhabitants before Nazi occupation, and the percentage of Jews killed. Historical background is provided for such events as Kristallnacht and the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, and entries on concentration and death camps give details on the nationalities interned, the camp's specific location, and its history.


As the Holocaust recedes into history, human memory of it fades. What was once known graphically and directly by the first generation will become acquired knowledge for the next. True, word-of-mouth recollections will be passed on anecdotally by a few survivors to their children, but, for the most part, this transmission of memory and its details will be exceptional. Future generations will need all the help possible to learn about a complex event increasingly moving into the distant past. That is precisely why this Dictionary of the Holocaust is such a timely publication.

The Dictionary is an essential teaching aid at the moment when the average person's knowledge of Holocaust events becomes increasingly general, lacking precision, and factual content. An almost predictable repertoire of fifty or so words make up the sum total of the Holocaust vocabulary the typical collegeeducated graduate will carry through life: names such as Hitler, Goering, and Goebbels; places such as Auschwitz and Warsaw Ghetto; and terms such as Einsatzgruppen, SS, and Gestapo. Clearly these are insufficient for an intelligible grasp of the Final Solution and the issues it embodies. What is needed is a handy reference book to supplement introductory readings about the Holocaust, most of which suffer from insufficient detail to flesh out various aspects of the Holocaust reality.

Thanks to the yeoman's task rendered byEric Joseph Epstein andPhilip Rosen, the Dictionary compilers, this wealth of basic detail has now been made accessible in compact form. Their alphabetically arranged, itemized text consists of three categories of Holocaust information: biographic, geographic, and terminological.

Thanks to condensed, information-packed sketches, central players in the Holocaust drama spring to life; place names allow the student/reader to pinpoint . . .

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