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Potomac Books


Bringing the Dark Past to Light, Bringing the Dark Past to Light, 080322544X, 0-8032-2544-X, 978-0-8032-2544-2, 9780803225442, Edited and with an introduction by John-Paul Himka and Joanna Beata Michlic , , Bringing the Dark Past to Light, 0803246471, 0-8032-4647-1, 978-0-8032-4647-8, 9780803246478, Edited and with an introduction by John-Paul Himka and Joanna Beata Michlic

Bringing the Dark Past to Light
The Reception of the Holocaust in Postcommunist Europe
Edited and with an introduction by John-Paul Himka and Joanna Beata Michlic

2013. 792 pp.
$55.00 s

Despite the Holocaust’s profound impact on the history of Eastern Europe, the communist regimes successfully repressed public discourse about and memory of this tragedy. Since the collapse of communism in 1989, however, this has changed. Not only has a wealth of archival sources become available, but there have also been oral history projects and interviews recording the testimonies of eyewitnesses who experienced the Holocaust as children and young adults. Recent political, social, and cultural developments have facilitated a more nuanced and complex understanding of the continuities and discontinuities in representations of the Holocaust. People are beginning to realize the significant role that memory of Holocaust plays in contemporary discussions of national identity in Eastern Europe.

This volume of original essays explores the memory of the Holocaust and the Jewish past in postcommunist Eastern Europe. Devoting space to every postcommunist country, the essays in Bringing the Dark Past to Light explore how the memory of the “dark pasts” of Eastern European nations is being recollected and reworked. In addition, it examines how this memory shapes the collective identities and the social identity of ethnic and national minorities. Memory of the Holocaust has practical implications regarding the current development of national cultures and international relationships.

John-Paul Himka is a professor of history and classics at the University of Alberta. He is the author of Last Judgment Iconography in the Carpathians. Joanna Beata Michlic is the director and founder of the Hadassah–Brandeis Institute Project on Families, Children, and the Holocaust at Brandeis University and is the author of Poland’s Threatening Other (Nebraska, 2006).

"This pioneering work in the field of Holocaust studies should be a part of any library with even the most modest of holdings about the Shoah."—David M. Crowe, Journal of Interdisciplinary History

"The manner in which Nazi-occupied nations have responded to the Holocaust since the fall of communism is a subject of no small importance. Fortunately, Bringing The Dark Past To Light addresses this topic seriously and comprehensively."—Sheldon Kirshner, Times of Israel

"A remarkable collection."—Kelly McFall, New Books in Genocide Studies

"This is a magnificent work of scholarship. The essays in this substantial book provide models of balance and rectitude."—Patterns of Prejudice

“An excellent collection that addresses a very timely topic and fills a real gap in our knowledge. It will be of interest not only to specialists on the Holocaust but also to anyone—specialist and nonspecialist alike—interested in the issues and problems of postcommunist Europe.”—Samuel Kassow, professor of history at Trinity College and author of Who Will Write Our History? Rediscovering a Hidden Archive from the Warsaw Ghetto

“An extraordinary volume and a feat of editorial ingenuity. . . . No matter what you know or think about contemporary Europe and the politics of Holocaust memory, you will be enlightened and surprised by this remarkable book.”—Doris L. Bergen, Chancellor Rose and Ray Wolfe Professor of Holocaust Studies, University of Toronto, and author of War and Genocide: A Concise History of the Holocaust

Publication of this volume was assisted by a gift from Sigmund A. Rolat and by a grant from the Holocaust Educational Foundation.

This publication has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Materials Claims Against Germany.

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Atrocities on Trial
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Imaginary Neighbors
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Poland's Threatening Other
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