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Jewish Councils

Seminar questions:

What was the function of the Jewish Councils for the Germans?

What are the critical dilemmas Trunk brings up?

Could the Jews realistically understand the Germans' plans with them?

What is Diner's argument on the counterrationality?

Core readings:

Isaiah Trunk, Judenrat: The Jewish councils in Eastern Europe under Nazi occupation (New York: Stein and Day, 1977), ch 16.

Essays from Dan Diner, Beyond the conceivable: Studies on Germany, Nazism, and the Holocaust (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000), 117-137.

Further readings:

Havi ben Sasson, Ghetto Police, The YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe.

Philip Friedman, Roads to Extinction: Essays on the Holocaust (New York: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1980).

Anna Hájková, "The Last of the Self-Righteous: Claude Lanzmann’s version of Benjamin Murmelstein," histoire@politique 18 September 2014,

Calel Perechodnik, Am I a Murderer?: Testament of a Jewish Ghetto Policeman, ed. and trans. Frank Fox (Boulder, Colo., 1996).

Katarzyna Person, Jewish Police in the Warsaw Ghetto (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, forthcoming winter 2021).

Beate Meyer, A fatal balancing act : the dilemma of the Reich Association of Jews in Germany, 1939-1945(New York: Berghahn, 2013)

Doron Rabinovici, Eichmann's Jews : the Jewish administration of Holocaust Vienna, 1938-1945 (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2011).

Aharon Weiss, “The Relations between the Judenrat and the Jewish Police,” in Patterns of Jewish Leadership in Nazi Europe 1933–1945: Proceedings of the Third Yad Vashem International Historical Conference, ed. Yisrael Gutman and Cynthia J. Haft (Jerusalem, 1979), pp. 201–217, 228–233.