New books from Tłomackie Street

Wide foto  ih

Our Institute runs a publishing house which publishes around a dozen titles a year, not counting the issues of the, widely respected in scientific circles, JHI Bulletin — “Jewish History Quarterly”. Most of these books are created thanks to the researchers working in the Institute and based on our wide library collection and our archives.

For years we have regularly published the testimonies of those who survived the Holocaust, some from the archives of the JHI and some sent to us by private individuals. Just a couple days ago we premiered Jewish children during the Holocaust period. Early testimonies 1944–1948. Children’s accounts from the collections of the Central Jewish Historical Commission edited by Olga Orzeł, containing fifty-five moving accounts from children who survived the war. In 2015 we plan to publish Zila Rennert’s memoirs Three cattle wagons and a few other stories of the traumatic, still painful events of seventy years ago.

We are at a very advanced stage in our work on editing the writings of one of Emanuel Ringelblum’s most important collaborators from the secret group “Oneg Shabbat” — Rachel Auerbach. Her writings are being translated from Yiddish and edited by Karolina Szymaniak. 

We would especially like to recommend two publication series focused on the post-war fates of Polish Jews. The first – From the history of the Central Committee of Polish Jews- explores and describes the dynamic and multifaceted work of the CCPJ and the people and organizations connected with it. Two books were recently published in this series: Protecting Physical Safety of Jews in Post-War Poland. Special Commissions at the Central Committee of Jews in Poland by Alina Cała and Social Court in CCPJ. Jewish community in Poland settles the war. by Andrzej Żbikowski. The publishing of further book by August Grabski and Piotr Kendziorek is planned for 2015.

Another very important series published by the Institute is the critical re-editing of the most important publications from the Central Jewish Historical Commission. These pioneering works in the field of Holocaust historiography, whose insight and detail were decades ahead of the worlds historians, will not only be remembered but also enriched by the reflections of historians and Holocaust researchers and their current knowledge, thanks to Ewa Koźmińska-Frejlak who heads this publishing project. The first book in this series The Fight and the Holocaust of the Bialystok Ghetto by Szymon Datner came out in the spring of 2014. In 2015 we plan to publish further books, amongst other the work of Janina HeschelesThrough the eyes of a 12-Year-Old Girl depicting the shocking fates of the Jews from Lviv and described by the surprisingly mature and sophisticated language of a child. 

Out of the recently published titles we can proudly present the works of our colleagues from the Institute: Discovering Jewish Praga. Case studies and materials. edited by Zofia Borzymińska — a rich and important compendium of varsavianistic knowledge and a monograph by Halina Grubowska The One who was Saving Jews. About Irena Sendler.  

A considerable element of the Institutes publishing work is the translation of important and inspiring writing by foreign authors. In the last months of 2014 we published the translation of Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi’s Zachor. Jewish History and Jewish Memory. and Adam Steinsaltz’s The Thirteen Petalled Rose: A Discourse on the Essence of Jewish Existence and Belief. In 2015 we will publish further translations of works which have become part of the literary canon: Holocaust Testimonies: The Ruins of Memory by Lawrence L. Langer and Rethinking the Holocaust by Yehuda Bauer.

Recently the JHI has started publishing the chosen works from the winners of the Majer Bałaban Contest. We published Piotr Pęziński’s book At the Crossroads. Jewish Youth in PRL 1956–1968 which has received a lot of interest both in Poland and abroad. In 2015 we plan to publish the doctoral dissertation of this year’s winner Anna Rosner The Social and Economic Changes Among the Jews Living in London in the Second Half of the 19th Century. 

These are not all the achievements of future publishing plans of the Institute. However we have realized we’ve been a bit too closed mouthed and selfish, keeping all the news of publications secret and our New Year’s Resolution is: we will loudly and enthusiastically inform you of all the new and worthwhile books we publish so that they can bring joy, wisdom and an understanding of the fascinating world of Polish Jews to an even wider audience of demanding readers! 

This is what we wish Ourselves and You in 2015 

The Publishing Department of the Jewish Historical Institute

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