Laura Jockusch, Collect and Record: Jewish Holocaust Documentation in Early Postwar Europe (Oxford University Press, 2012).
Laura Rockusch has performed a inspiring service in producing her book, Collect and Record. Contrary to many people’s assumptions that Holocaust survivors were quiet, traumatized, passive from the war’s end to the Eichmann trial in 1961, she examines how Jews in Poland, France, and in Displaced Person Camps in Germany and Austria immediately set work to gather anything they could on what he just happened to their people during the 12 years of the Third Reich.
There were precursors for this kind of work; for example, at the end of World War I, the number of Jews killed in Ukraine in pogroms numbered between 50,000 and 100,00. Researchers then sought to gather accounts from witnesses and survivors. Here’s one message: “Brothers! A curse of terrible pogroms is befalling Jewish villages and towns, and the world does not know, we ourselves do not know or know only very little about it. This must not be concealed! Everything must be told and written down. It is a duty for every Jew who has come or comes from the devastated Jewish towns to report everything that he has seen, for the news must not be lost.” Khurbn-Forshung was the name given to this activity—Yiddish for “Destruction Research.” Read the rest of this entry »