( Download Book ) ♧ Shtetl: The Life and Death of a Small Town and the World of Polish Jews ⚔ MOBI eBook or Kindle ePUB free

I ve read about half of the book will finish later.Eva Hoffman has written a very balanced and nuanced presentation of life for both Jews and ethnic Poles in the years between the wars and during the holocaust It was a very tough time for Poland Nobody behaved perfectly They had their differences and difficulties In the 20 years of independence 1919 39 , they came a long way, albeit with some reversals But for the Germans, who regarded both Jews and ethnic Poles as subhuman, they might ha I ve read about half of the book will finish later.Eva Hoffman has written a very balanced and nuanced presentation of life for both Jews and ethnic Poles in the years between the wars and during the holocaust It was a very tough time for Poland Nobody behaved perfectly They had their differences and difficulties In the 20 years of independence 1919 39 , they came a long way, albeit with some reversals But for the Germans, who regarded both Jews and ethnic Poles as subhuman, they might have worked things out Jake Pfau selected this book on samizdat and then never posted again Forgive my snark, but it sucks being him This book inspired some decent discussions and was appreciated by all You still suck, Jake. In Shtetl, Eva Hoffman attempts to tell the troubled and complex story of relations between Poles and Jews from medieval times until the Holocaust through the lens of one small, not particularly famous Polish village called Bransk Hoffman s writing is superb, and approaches the subject with a calm even handedness that tries to dig deeper than the stereotypes that modern day Poles and Jews have of each other I ve actually read this twice, and it was well worth the re read. Hoffman effectively presents the story of Polish Jewish coexistence which occurred over about 1000 years as a long experiment in multiculturalism avant la lettre 9 Her claim that from the perspective of today, aspects of Eastern European history are beginning to look presciently relevant, and to foreshadow some of the dilemmas with which advanced contemporary societies are struggling This is particularly true of the problems of pluralism and ethnic coexistence 9 along with specific Hoffman effectively presents the story of Polish Jewish coexistence which occurred over about 1000 years as a long experiment in multiculturalism avant la lettre 9 Her claim that from the perspective of today, aspects of Eastern European history are beginning to look presciently relevant, and to foreshadow some of the dilemmas with which advanced contemporary societies are struggling This is particularly true of the problems of pluralism and ethnic coexistence 9 along with specific details from both the general history of Poland and the eastern Polish town shtetl of Bran sk the accent goes over the n successfully refute the unfortunate popular belief that Poles are inherently anti Semitic Her argument offers sociological and psychological perspectives on the story of the relationship of the two groups, as well as some impressionistic characterizations the last when she s trying to get us to imagine some aspects of life in Bran sk She handles the very complex subject without the oversimplifications or overgeneralizations that have often been used to excuse, condemn, or idealize.As a non historian, I can t speak to the appropriateness of the book being categorized as history I know that to the extent that I wanted it to be history, I wanted to see farprimary historical sources though she lists a respectable number in the bibliography and a wider variety of secondary sources on the history of Poland However, based on her other works that I ve read, I don t know that she was trying to write a history rather, I think her book defies being straight jacketed into any one particular genre Perhaps that sappropriate for a book intended for the general public rather than a specialized academic audience.I strongly recommend that people read this work for a variety of reasons, one of the most important being her comment in the epilogue If we are to live together in multicultural societies, then in addition to cultivating differences, we need a sense of a shared world This does not preclude the possibility of preserving and even nurturing strong cultural, spiritual, and ethnic identities in the private realm, nor does it suggest collapsing such identities into a universal human nature ( Download Book ) ♆ Shtetl: The Life and Death of a Small Town and the World of Polish Jews ⚖ An unforgettable evocation of the lost world of Polish Jewry, Shtetl is a beautifully written Village Voice mining of the deep rifts in Polish Jewish relations in the small town of Bransk With understanding and sensitivity, Shtetl limns the culture that influenced Christian villagers decisions to conceal or betray Jewish neighbors when the Nazis invaded A New York Times Notable Book Non fiction about the history of the Polish people and the Jewish people in a small town a shtetl in Bransk, Poland The history helps illuminate the relationship between the two groups during WWII It reads like a text book, but it is very informative and interesting. interesting view on Eastern European History and Multiculturalism. I want to read twentybooks like this There should be a book like this for every Jewish community in Poland.I ve always craved this kind of glimpse into day to day life And I really, really needed this added nuance to my view of the Polish Jewish relationship It s easy to view Eastern European Jewish culture as purely smothered and oppressed But that takes away the agency of the Jews who lived there, and it turns the non Jews in the surrounding communities into cardboard cutouts Eva Ho I want to read twentybooks like this There should be a book like this for every Jewish community in Poland.I ve always craved this kind of glimpse into day to day life And I really, really needed this added nuance to my view of the Polish Jewish relationship It s easy to view Eastern European Jewish culture as purely smothered and oppressed But that takes away the agency of the Jews who lived there, and it turns the non Jews in the surrounding communities into cardboard cutouts Eva Hoffman takes square aim at that kind of reductiveness, leaving plenty of room for both ugliness and a tentative and lost sense of community.In a strange way, this was also one of the most affecting Holocaust narratives I ve ever read I think it s because Shtetl didn t make the Shoah seem as inevitable, as much of a foregone conclusion as books solely about that event will After reading through hundreds of years of sporadic violence, natural disaster, invasions and mundane persistence and co existence, the Holocaust as a completely external event, as a happening of pure evil that came with an invading army and moral chaos, sort of felt like an act of God The complete destruction of this community somehow felt evenpowerful for the fact that it came from the outside, and because it tore apart the fabric of a surprisingly durable community with such ruthless efficiency.All that said still four stars The book takes 50 or 60 pages to really get started, with the whole first section being an overview of the history of Polish Jews up until 1800 or so That history was really interesting to me, and I learned all sorts of facts, but it still felt a little rushed and dense and was really just a prelude to the author s true story So one star lost there.PS The small interactions the author has with amateur Polish historians and average Polish townspeople are completely complex and tense and fascinating too I d definitely like to readabout the current dynamic The author is objective on her main concern to explore the relationship between Poles and Jews over the span of some 800 years She gives credit to the record thatJews lived in Poland than any other European country because they found it aacceptable nation to maintain their separate culture, language, and religion She is very brief about German Nazi anti Semitism She describes the German soldiers frightening hard faces They were hardly individual they were embodiments of an a The author is objective on her main concern to explore the relationship between Poles and Jews over the span of some 800 years She gives credit to the record thatJews lived in Poland than any other European country because they found it aacceptable nation to maintain their separate culture, language, and religion She is very brief about German Nazi anti Semitism She describes the German soldiers frightening hard faces They were hardly individual they were embodiments of an abstract force p 245 Credit is due to the author to set the record straight to therecent media created perception that refers to Polish concentration camps This falsifying of history is difficult to understand But it comes up still Even President Obama referred to Polish death camps while awarding a medal of honor to a Polish hero of WWII in May 2012 The author explains that the only thing Polish about the camps is German decision to locate them where their victims lived so they wouldn t have to transport them to Germany, Austria or elsewhere.Her research is quite extensive and her background is impressive The early history part is a bit muddled I wish it were better organized Somewhat disappointing mainly because I am interested in the period between 1905 and the onset of WWI, and Eva Hoffman s focus is on very early 17th C history and WWII Understandable because the primary source of information is the Yizgor book from the Polish shtetl of Bransk, but not as useful to me Hoffman is the former editor of the NYTimes Book Review, so her language is fluid and the writing is complex but very comprehensible A good history, just not what I needed.