The House at Ujazdowskie 16

The House at Ujazdowskie 16

Jewish Families in Warsaw after the Holocaust
Karen Auerbach
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 06/13/2013
Format: Hardback 16 b&w illus.
ISBN: 978-0-253-00907-4
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In a turn-of-the-century, once elegant building at 16 Ujazdowskie Avenue in the center of Warsaw, 10 Jewish families began reconstructing their lives after the Holocaust. While most surviving Polish Jews were making their homes in new countries, these families rebuilt on the rubble of the Polish capital and created new communities as they sought to distance themselves from the memory of a painful past. Based on interviews with family members, intensive research in archives, and the families' personal papers and correspondence, Karen Auerbach presents an engrossing story of loss and rebirth, political faith and disillusionment, and the persistence of Jewishness.

Author Bio

Karen Auerbach is Kronhill Lecturer in East European Jewish History at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. A former journalist, she reported for the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Star-Ledger of Newark, and the Forward.


“In a turn-of-the-century, once elegant building in the center of Warsaw, ten Jewish families atypically began reconstructing their lives after the Holocaust, creating new communities as they sought to distance themselves from the memory of a painful past.”

“Filled with strongly drawn portraits of fascinating individuals . . . Auerbach's book is an immense work of retrieval. She expands the range of Polish history, of Jewish history, and of the borderlands between them.”
 — Michael Steinlauf, author of Bondage to the Dead: Poland and the Memory of the Holocaust

“Poignant and nuanced, this work is an important contribution. . . . Highly recommended.”
 — Choice

“Auerbach’s work deserves the highest praise as it is the first attempt at a comprehensive study of Jewish assimilation across generational lines covering the last eighty years of post-Holocaust Poland. . . . Auerbach’s book is undoubtedly an achievement. Beautifully written and skillfully contextualized, her study of Jewish assimilation in postwar Poland will become a must read for everyone interested in twentieth-century Polish-Jewish history.”
 — H-Poland H-Net Reviews

“Amply illustrated with photographs of the families whose lives Auerbach chronicles, the book reverberates with hope and trembles with the tentative efforts of the people to rekindle the flames of their humanity after inestimable loss and trauma.”
 — Jewish Book Council

“This is an interesting and often moving tableau about the efforts of some wounded people to overcome their personal tragedies while redefining their communal loyalties.”
 — Booklist

“This imaginative and innovative monograph offers quite a new way of looking at the development of Jewish identity in People’s Poland. . . . This book is certainly essential reading for all those interested in the history of postwar Poland and its Jewish minority.”
 — Slavic Review

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Table of Contents

Glossary of names
1 "History Brushed Against Us": The Adlers and the Bergmans
2 The Jewish Families of 16 Ujazdowskie Avenue, 1900-1948
3 "The Entire Nation Builds Its Capital": Ujazdowskie Avenue and Reconstructed Warsaw
4 "Stamp of a Generation": Parents and Children
5 "Ostriches in the Wilderness": Children and Parents
6 "Finding the Eradicated Traces of the Path": Seeds of Revival
Epilogue: Present and Past
Bibliography and works cited

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