Published Memoirs of Holocaust Survivors

  • Robert Rozett


For most scholars of the history of the Holocaust, survivor memoirs are regarded as an important reservoir of information. Given the many lacunae in the more traditional sources of documentation regarding events from the point of view of the Jews who experienced them, survivor memoirs, like other personal accounts — oral testimony and diaries — are a crucial wellspring for filling these gaps in our knowledge. It is a point of some debate as to just how reliable such accounts are, especially those given many years after the events that they describe. The recent controversy about the supposed memoir published by Benjamin Wilkomirski highlighted this discussion to the extreme.1 After much probing and contention, it seems that Wilkomirski fabricated the story in which he claimed to have experienced the Holocaust as a very young Jewish child in Poland.2 Of course it would be absurd to equate with a sham the guileless accounts of tens of thousands of Jews who experienced the Holocaust.


Personal Account Communist Regime Holocaust Survivor Library Catalogue Firm Core 
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  1. 1.
    Benjamin Wilkomirski, Fragments: Memories of a Wartime Childhood (New York: Schocken Books, 1996).Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Christopher Browning, Nazi Policy, Jewish Workers, German Killers (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), pp. 89–115.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    Lawrence Langer, Holocaust Testimonies: The Ruins of Memory (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1991), p.xv.Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    Ehe Wiesel, All Rivers Run to the Sea: Memoirs (New York: Knopf, 1995), p.17.Google Scholar
  5. 10.
    Asher Cohen, The Halutz resistance in Hungary 1942–1944, (Boulder, Colorado, Social Science Monographs, 1986), p.3.Google Scholar
  6. 11.
    Dalia Ofer, ‘Israel’, in The World Reacts to the Holocaust, ed. David S. Wyman (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), pp.836–923.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Rozett

There are no affiliations available

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