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Lvov Ghetto Diary Hardcover – Jan 1991

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press (Jan 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0870237268
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870237263
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 15.2 x 24.1 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,830,029 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon.com: 2 reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The German Nazi Extermination of Lwow (Lviv)-Area Jews 2 Aug 2012
By Jan Peczkis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This work discusses the German entry into the area in 1941, the first wave of killings, the Janowska concentration camp, the local massacres, and the dispatching of Jews to the Belzec death camp. The author survived the Holocaust by being hidden by Ukrainian bishop Sheptytskyi (Szeptycki).

The Judenrat was reckoned by the Germans as the executive branch of the Gestapo. (p. 14). It was the Germans (and not the Poles and Ukrainians) who took everything of value from the Jews. (pp. 14-15). The author has a mixed portrayal of Ukrainians, Poles, and Jews themselves. For instance, some Jewish ghetto police risked their lives to save Jewish families from death, while others made what Kahane calls a "good living" by blackmailing fellow Jews. (p. 17).

There was an unwritten international law, honored even by barbarians, that warranted a condemned man to go free if the rope snapped during a hanging. When this happened to a Jew, the Germans just got stronger rope and repeated the hanging. (pp. 73-74).

In common with many Holocaust-related authors, Kahane struggled with God's permitting of what took place. However, he prayed that his 86 year-old mother would die naturally before the Nazis would kill her, and his prayer was answered. (p. 76).

Not only some Christians, but also some Jews, tried to explain the Holocaust as God's punishment of the Jews. Kahane himself entertained such notions, as he wrote, "Some endeavor to explain the horrors of the Holocaust as being a punishment inflicted upon European Jewry for the sin of assimilation they had committed." (p. x).

The author struggled to explain the locals' hatred of Jews. "I cannot say that the Jews are completely blameless. Certainly, a peasant would have been angry with a Jewish land tenant who took a key to the church as a mortgage. More than once a Jewish innkeeper would get a peasant drunk and then swindle him and even steal his property. Nor were the weights and measures used by Jewish storekeepers always accurate. But how can one blame a whole people for the sins of individual land tenants or storekeepers?" (p. 11). [The informed reader will undoubtedly realize that Kahane seems to forget that collectivist reprisal is part of the human condition. For instance, when Jews sided with Communists to get back at Polish anti-Semites, they were also causing the deaths of Poles (including children) who had never done anything against Jews.]

Kahane presents a touching portrayal of how the remaining Jews managed to get the materials together to have a Passover seder in April 1943. Sewirski, the Polish manager of the factory, knew about the secret and helped out. (p. 116).

Bishop Andrei Sheptytskyi (Szeptycki) came from a long-Polonized Ukrainian family. Resisting the pressures of his parents, he became Ukrainized. One brother, Kliment, followed this path, while another, Stanislaw, resisted this. Stanislaw became a general and remained a Pole until his death. (p. 121). Andrei Sheptytskyi played an active role against Polonized Ukrainians and the Polish government. (p. 122).
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
a must read, fascinating, gripping, compelling. I read it in one sitting 4 April 2011
By bamber12 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful book written with passion, and an extensive understanding of the spiritual warfare against the Jews and their spiritual resistance. Rabbi kahane reports firsthand on the cruel actions of many Ukrainians. Archbishop Sheptytskyi is portrayed in contrast to his countrymen as a shining example of moral behavior. it's regrettable that this book is out of print.
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