2006 Foreword Magazine Book of the Year Award, Bronze Medal in History
In his comprehensive examination of the Lódz Ghetto, originally published in Yiddish in 1962, historian Isaiah Trunk sought to describe and explain the tragedy that befell the Jews imprisoned in the first major ghetto imposed by the Germans after they invaded Poland in 1939. Lódz had been home to nearly a quarter million Jews. When the Soviet military arrived in January 1945, they found 877 living Jews and the remains of a vast industrial enterprise that had employed masses of enslaved Jewish laborers. Based on an exhaustive study of primary sources in Yiddish, Hebrew, Polish, German, and Russian, Isaiah Trunk, a former resident of Lódz, reconstructs the organization of the ghetto and discusses its provisioning; forced labor; diseases and mortality; crime and deportations; living conditions; political, social, and cultural life; and resistance. Included are translations of the 141 documents that Trunk reproduced in his volume.