Ghettostadt: Ód and the Making of a Nazi City

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Harvard University Press, 2008 - History - 395 pages
2 Reviews

Under the Third Reich, Nazi Germany undertook an unprecedented effort to refashion the city of Lódz. Home to prewar Poland’s second most populous Jewish community, this was to become a German city of enchantment—a modern, clean, and orderly showcase of urban planning and the arts. Central to the undertaking, however, was a crime of unparalleled dimension: the ghettoization, exploitation, and ultimate annihilation of the city’s entire Jewish population.

Ghettostadt is the terrifying examination of the Jewish ghetto’s place in the Nazi worldview. Exploring ghetto life in its broadest context, it deftly maneuvers between the perspectives and actions of Lódz’s beleaguered Jewish community, the Germans who oversaw and administered the ghetto’s affairs, and the “ordinary” inhabitants of the once Polish city. Gordon Horwitz reveals patterns of exchange, interactions, and interdependence within the city that are stunning in their extent and intimacy. He shows how the Nazis, exercising unbounded force and deception, exploited Jewish institutional traditions, social divisions, faith in rationality, and hope for survival to achieve their wider goal of Jewish elimination from the city and the world. With unusual narrative force, the work brings to light the crushing moral dilemmas facing one of the most significant Jewish communities of Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe, while simultaneously exploring the ideological underpinnings and cultural, economic, and social realities within which the Holocaust took shape and flourished.

This lucid, powerful, and harrowing account of the daily life of the “new” German city, both within and beyond the ghetto of Lódz, is an extraordinary revelation of the making of the Holocaust.

  

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Review: Ghettostadt: Lodz and the Making of a Nazi City

User Review  - Deodand - Goodreads

While reading this book I had to remind myself that it was non-fiction. Horwitz could've written a dry albeit sad book about Lodz, or he could've written something dripping with pathos and romance ... Read full review

Review: Ghettostadt: Lodz and the Making of a Nazi City

User Review  - Adam - Goodreads

Horwitz's previous workon the close relationship between the Mauthausen concentration camp and its surrounding communities seemingly paves the way for this exploration of the city of Lodz ... Read full review

Contents

Prologue
1
Autumn 1939 Conquest
8
A City without Jews
30
The Enclosure
62
The Ghetto Will Endure
91
The Ghetto and the City of the Future
113
Banishment
143
Departure Worry and Disappearance
159
Give Me Your Children
192
Who Shall Live and Who Shall Die?
232
Numbered Are the Days
266
Epilogue
311
Notes
325
Acknowledgments
383
Index
385
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Gordon J. Horwitzis Associate Professor of History atIllinois Wesleyan University.

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