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The Warsaw Diary of Adam Czerniakow: Prelude…

The Warsaw Diary of Adam Czerniakow: Prelude to Doom

by Adam Czerniakow

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The diary of Adam Czerniakow, who was chairman of the Jews in Warsaw, Poland between 1939 and 1942. A fundamentally decent if unextraordinary man, he committed suicide to avoid having to deport the people of the Warsaw Ghetto to their deaths. Czerniakow's diary is quite laconic -- many entries are just a few sentences long -- but provides many details of his efforts on the behalf of the Warsaw Jews.

Obscure references are demystified in the footnotes. There are also some black and white photographs of ghetto scenes, an appendix of ghetto-related documents and letters, and two introductions totaling seventy pages which provide more information on the life and death of Czerniakow and the story of the Warsaw Ghetto.

This is hardly a gripping read, but it is essential if you want to know the story of the Warsaw Jews. Czerniakow worked as best he could from them, but he and they were lost from the start. ( )
  meggyweg | Mar 26, 2009 |
  icm | Oct 3, 2008 |
Extremely abbreviated daily descriptions of Warsaw immediately following the German invasion; followed by the excruciatingly incremental, falsely legal destruction of the Jewish population. Written by the Community leader.
  tmph | Oct 19, 2007 |
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September 6, 1939 -- I could not sleep from midnight to 5 in the morning.
I, who never exploited anyone and never lived at anyone's expense, have been paying for those who did just that.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0812825233, Hardcover)

Adam Czerniakow was a Polish Jew who killed himself on July 23, 1942--on the face of it not an uncommon occurrence in those times. But there is more to the story than the tragic death of one man among so many millions. Czerniakow was for almost three years the chairman of the Warsaw Judenrat--a Jew, devoted to his people, who served as the Nazi-sponsored "mayor" of the Warsaw Ghetto. His personal dealings with the German authorities bring to this daily record of events a depth of knowledge, accuracy of detail, and panorama of view that was possible to no other participant in the epic prelude to the final doom of the largest captive Jewish community in Eastern Europe. This secret journal is not only the testimony of an unbearable personal burden but the documentary of the Ghetto's terminal agony. It is the most important diary to emerge from the Holocaust. Edited by Raul Hilberg, Stanislaw Staron and Josef Kermisz; translated by Stanislaw Staron and the staff of Yad Vashem. 420 pages; 16 pages of b&w photos; 6 x 9 inches.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:30 -0400)

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Reprint of the English version of the Czerniakow diary, which first appeared in a Hebrew translation in 1968. A unique document of the Jewish catastrophe, it encapsulates the constriction of the Warsaw Jews before they were swept away by deportations, and it describes the multiplicity of their problems.… (more)

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