Between the Wires


Between the Wires

The Janowska Camp and the Holocaust in Lviv

Waitman Wade Beorn

400 pages
28 photographs, 4 illustrations, 2 maps, 3 tables, index


August 2024


$70.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

Between the Wires tells for the first time the history of the Janowska camp in Lviv, Ukraine. Located in a city with the third-largest ghetto in Nazi-occupied Europe, Janowska remains one of the least-known sites of the Holocaust, despite being one of the deadliest. Simultaneously a prison, a slave labor camp, a transit camp to the gas chambers, and an extermination site, this hybrid camp played a complex role in the Holocaust.

Based on extensive archival research, Between the Wires explores the evolution and the connection to Lviv of this rare urban camp. Waitman Wade Beorn reveals the exceptional brutality of the SS staff alongside an almost unimaginable will to survive among prisoners facing horrendous suffering, whose resistance included an armed uprising. This integrated chronicle of perpetrators, victims, and bystanders follows the history of the camp into the postwar era, including attempts to bring its criminals to justice.

Author Bio

Waitman Wade Beorn is an associate professor of history at the University of Northumbria in Newcastle, UK. He is the author of Marching into Darkness: The Wehrmacht and the Holocaust in Belarus and The Holocaust in Eastern Europe: At the Epicenter of the Final Solution.


“A masterful microhistory of the Holocaust. Exploring a major, though now widely forgotten site of Nazi terror from every angle, Between the Wires offers an intensely powerful close-up view of everyday life and death, bringing the Holocaust as a whole into sharper focus. Moving, compelling, perceptive, and thought-provoking, it is an important contribution to our understanding of the Nazi extermination of European Jewry.”—Nikolaus Wachsmann, author of KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps

“This outstanding book resurrects the history of one of the most notorious, and least known sites of slave labor and genocide in World War II. The Janowska Camp, located in Lviv, Ukraine, witnessed the mass murder of up to 80,000 people, mostly Jews, between 1941 and 1944. A place of extraordinary inhumanity, even by Nazi standards, it was also a transition point for hundreds of thousands of Jews in Galicia transported to the Belzec extermination camp. And yet, until Waitman Beorn took it upon himself to reconstruct the horrors that occurred there, it largely disappeared from historiography and memory. This is not an easy book to read, but a necessary one, and we should all be thankful to its author for his tenacious research and unflinching, courageous narrative of atrocity, resistance, and survival.”—Omer Bartov, author of Anatomy of a Genocide: The Life and Death of a Town Called Buczacz

Between the Wires is original, finely researched and written, and a deeply compelling account of a place of terrible crimes. . . . I hope this book might induce others to take the steps in the city of Lviv to recognize the full extent of what happened.”—Philippe Sands, author of East West Street: On the Origins of “Genocide” and “Crimes Against Humanity”

“This history of the Janowska camp and the atrocities committed there as well as in the nearby Sand execution site is based on profound expert knowledge. These parts of the book enrich the research available with a wealth of details about perpetrators, victims, and practices of violence. Where possible the author takes a micro-historical and biographical approach in order to condense and vividly present the complexity of the events.”—Thomas Sandkühler, professor in the Department of History of Humboldt University in Berlin

“A remarkable book. . . . The range of sources Between the Wires consults is outstanding, giving it a panoptic feel. It has used the trial testimony to excellent effect, and it also includes local histories, victim diaries, survivor memories, and more.”—Mark Roseman, author of Lives Reclaimed: A Story of Rescue and Resistance in Nazi Germany

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
1. City of Lions
2. Ein Furioso
3. The Devil’s Workshop
4. A Tragic Life
5. Cerberus Awakens
6. Behind the Wires
7. Here Be Monsters
8. The Spider’s Web
9. Holokaustos
10. Testify for Us All

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