New York: Forward Association, 1947. Hardcover. Oblong 4to. 575pp. 21 x 27 cm. Red cloth with woodcut-illustrated paste-down and gold lettering. Binding protected by modern mylar. Illustrated title-page. This 1947 publication is the finest photographic documentary of Jewish life in Eastern Europe during the 1920's and 30's. It has never been superseded. In addition to choosing from some thousands of postcards and family photographs submitted by readers of the Yiddish "Daily Forward", the editors were able to reproduce images previously published in the Forward's Rotogravure section by the photographers Alter Kacyzna and M. Kipnis. Additionally, the now famous images of Roman Vishniak were first presented to the public in this work. Profusely illustrated with b/w reproductions of photographs. In two parts: 1) Jewish Cities. 2) Jewish People. Text in Yiddish and English. Very minor scuffing along the bottom edge of the front cover, minor sunning to the spine, with gilt lettering slightly fadded. Tight copy with binding in very good+, interior in near fine condition. Protected in modern mylar. One of the most powerful photographic works on Eastern European Jewry ever published. vg+ to near fine. Item #51560
"In presenting this book to our readers we intend to give them the picture of the Jewish world in Eastern Europe as it existed during the 1920's and 1930's previous to the Second World War. This world does not exist any longer. It is a vanished world, the world of East European Jewry, that world in which for centuries the greatest concentration of Jewish people in history lived and worked. On the eve of the Second World War over seven million Jews resided in that part of Eastern Europe which was swept by Hitler's divisions in the years 1939-45. If we also include sections of Southern and Western Europe (the Balkans, Italy, France, Belgium, Holland and Scandinavia), the Jewish population under Nazi rule may be estimated at approximately 7.8 million persons. More than 9,400,000 Jews lived in the whole of Europe in 1939. Only about 3,700,000 are left now including the "Displaced Persons" in the UNRRA camps and those repatriated from Soviet Russia and Poland. Five million of these were exterminated in the death camps and the ghettos. About seven hundred thousand perished from starvation, deportation, epidemics and as a result of military operations. The East European period of Jewish history ended in the greatest catastrophe known to mankind."
Raphael Abramovitch was a 20th century Russian Jewish political activist. As a Marxist he was part of the Jewish Bund. He took part in the Russian Revolution on the side of the Mensheviks. After the Bolshevik victory he fled to Germany, France and eventually to the United States. Abramovitch was a vocal opponent of both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.