Together and Apart in Brzezany

Together and Apart in Brzezany

Poles, Jews, and Ukrainians, 1919-1945
Shimon Redlich
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 05/03/2002
Format: Hardback 39 b&w photos, 5 maps, 1 index
ISBN: 978-0-253-34074-0
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2001-02 National Jewish Book Award Finalist

... by reconstructing the history/experience of Brzezany in Jewish, Ukrainian, and Polish memories [Redlich] has produced a beautiful parallel narrative of a world that was lost three times over.... a truly wonderful achievement." —Jan T. Gross, author of Neighbors

Shimon Redlich draws on the historical record, his own childhood memories, and interviews with Poles, Jews, and Ukrainians who lived in the small eastern Polish town of Brzezany to construct this account of the changing relationships among the town’s three ethnic groups before, during, and after World War II. He details the history of Brzezany from the prewar decades (when it was part of independent Poland and members of the three communities remember living relatively amicably "together and apart"), through the tensions of Soviet rule, the trauma of the Nazi occupation, and the recapture of the town by the Red Army in 1945. Historical and contemporary photographs of Brzezany and its inhabitants add immediacy to this fascinating excursion into history brought to life, from differing perspectives, by those who lived through it.

Author Bio

Shimon Redlich, born in Poland and a survivor of the Holocaust, is an internationally distinguished specialist on the history of the Jews in Eastern Europe. He holds degrees from Hebrew University, Harvard University, and New York University. Redlich holds the Solly Yellin Chair in Lithuanian and East European Jewry and lectures on modern European history at Ben-Gurion University, Israel. His publications include War, Holocaust and Stalinism: A Documented History of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee in the USSR and Propaganda and Nationalism in Wartime Russia.


““Professor Redlich has made a remarkable effort to transcend narrow ethnic perspectives in telling this sad and shocking story. . . . This is a moving and impressive book. . . . Its significance extends far beyond the context of local or regional history.” —Antony Polonsky “. . . by reconstructing the history/experience of Brzezany in Jewish, Ukrainian, and Polish memories [Redlich] has produced a beautiful parallel narrative of a world that was lost three times over. . . . a truly wonderful achievement.” —Jan T. Gross Noted historian and Holocaust survivor Shimon Redlich tells the tragic story of the multiethnic community of Brzezany, in eastern Galacia, in the years 1919-1945, based on historical sources and on the memories of its former inhabitants, including those of the author.”

“Redlich (Ben-Gurion Univ.) wears several hats: he is a Holocaust survivor, a historian, and a sentimental returnee to his childhood hometown, Brzezany. He endeavors to meld a strand of idyllic memory of life in a multicultural town where Poles, Jews, and Ukrainians lived side by side with the nightmare that the Germans brought to his community. Since the author was only five years old when WW II began, he relied mostly on the historian in his persona to reconstruct the story of his and the town's travails. The narrative is basically chronological, beginning with the Soviet occupation of Brzezany and ending with the Red Army's return in 1944. The book's core is about the Holocaust, how the town's Jews were killed, and how part of Redlich's family managed to survive with the help of local Ukrainians. Each chapter is introduced, before the historian takes over, by the child's memories in italics. Redlich tells his tale without bitterness or stereotyping any of the people with whom he grew up. Well footnoted, the book is recommended for all college and public libraries.”
 — A. Ezergailis, Ithaca College , 2002dec CHOICE.

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Table of Contents

Preliminary Table of Contents:

Preface and Acknowledgments
A Note on Transliteration
ONE: My Return
TWO: Close and Distant Neighbors
THREE: The Good Years, 1919–1939
FOUR: The Soviet Interlude, 1939–1941
FIVE: The German Occupation, 1941–1944
SIX: The Aftermath, 1944–1945
SEVEN: Their Return
Concluding Remarks
Abbreviations of Names of Archives
Bibliography and Abbreviations