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Genocide: Critical Issues of the Holocaust was initially intended to serve as a companion volume to the film, Genocide, recipient of the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature of 1981. Selections from the script, written by Professor Martin Gilbert and Rabbi Marvin Hier, thus introduce the sections of the book. In addition, the first and last chapters are directed to exploring the Holocaust through film.
The book, however, stands on its own as a study of the critical issues of the Holocaust, many of which are raised in the film itself. It consists of specially commissioned articles, appearing for the first time, that survey the whole range of Holocaust scholarship. The essays are written by experts in the fields of European, American, and Jewish history, psychology, religion, and theology. While viewing the Holocaust as a unique event, we have attempted to show the context of Western and Jewish history. A number of essays trace the history and lifestyle of European Jews prior to 1939. Others consider aspects of modern Antisemitism. The book continues to explore the postwar aftermath of the destruction of European Jewish life, including an essay on the establishment of the State of Israel. Although not every topic could be covered (for example, the persecution of homosexuals, the physically and emotionally disabled, and Gypsies), we have attempted to address issues that are frequently ignored; for example: Sephardic Jews, spiritual and physical responses to the persecution, and the problems of rescue.
Numerous individuals have contributed to the successful completion of this project. We wish to thank Simon Wiesenthal; Rabbi Marvin Hier, the founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center; and the Board of Directors for their recognition that scholarship must always be the cornerstone of the Center's activities.
We are deeply grateful to Dr. Stuart Kelman, for his counsel and educational concerns; Ms. Shelly Usen, for her careful technical assistance in the preparation of the text; our friend and colleague Rabbi Abraham Cooper, who supported this work from its inception; Mr. Martin Mendelsohn, who saw to various legal considerations; and Mr. Seymour Rossel and his staff, for publishing and distributing this work. We thank Ms. Ruby Johnson for her assiduous and expert typing of the manuscript.
We could not have completed this book without the love, patience, and counsel of the following people. Daniel Landes would like to thank his wife, Sheryl Robbin; Alex Grobman would like to thank his wife, Marlene, and his sons Elon, Ranan, and Ari; Sybil Milton would like to thank Henry Friedlander.
DANIEL LANDES ALEX GROBMAN SYBIL MILTON
Simon Wiesenthal Center-Museum of Tolerance Library & Archives