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Awakening Lives
Awakening Lives
Autobiographies Of Jewish Youth In Poland Before The Holocaust

Author:Jeffrey Shandler

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Number of Pages:437

Hard Cover


Chosen by the American Library Association as one of "The Best of the Best from the University Presses: Books You Should Know About," 2003

Selected as an outstanding book by University Press Books for Public and Secondary School Libraries

The candid and passionate writings in these autobiographies not only reveal the personal struggles, ambitions, and dreams of fifteen young Polish Jews in the 1930s, they also offer remarkable insight into the nature of ordinary Jewish life in Poland during the years between the world wars. Later authors often view this moment through lenses tinted by nostalgia or horror. But these young writers, unaware of the catastrophic future, tell their life stories with the urgency and fervor of adolescents, coming of age during a period of manifold new opportunities and challenges.

The autobiographies presented in the volume are selected from hundreds that were written for contests in the 1930s conducted by the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, then based in Vilna. The words of the selected nine male and six female authors now speak across the chasm of history, providing unique testimony on Jewish life in the final years before the Holocaust.

Yale University Press