In the Beginning Was the Ghetto
Notebooks from Lodz
Imprint: Northwestern University Press
344 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in
- Published: March 2012
From February 1942 to July 1944, Oskar Rosenfeld served in the statistics department of the Lodz ghetto. A playwright and journalist, he kept his own notes on life and conditions in the ghetto for a fictionalized account he hoped to write one day. Though Rosenfeld eventually perished at Auschwitz, In the Beginning Was the Ghetto projects his voice at last to the wider world.
"[O]ne of the most important and lasting works documenting the horrors of the Holocaust." --Booklist
"'Who in future times will believe that human beings fought each other over a potato?' So asks this utterly unsentimental, open-eyed, harrowing portrait of ghetto life during the Holocaust." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Oskar Rosenfeld's Lódz diary is one of the most extraordinary documents of life in the German 'ghettos' in occupied Central Europe that we have. Rosenfeld, a Prague intellectual, was deported to Lódz and there meticulously recorded the odd and quirky moments of life in the ghetto. He put meaning into the quotidian events in the ghetto, recording books read and borrowed, life on the street, and the daily struggle in the workshops. A well-written, torturous account of the ghetto from the point of view of one of its victims and yet one of its heroes."
—Sander L. Gilman, Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences and of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago