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Recommended readings about Volhynia

Related to: Volhynia (Province)Book Reviews

Have you read an interesting book or article, or come across another information source that touches on Volhynia? Send us the title, author, publisher, place and year of publication, or other relevant information for inclusion on this page. Or send an entire book review for inclusion on our Reviews of Books about Volhynia page.


There is a book, Survivors, by Jacob Biber, about his and his wife's survival in the forests and villages around Maciejow (between Kovel and Luboml) during the war.

Richard Tasgal
tasgal@math.tau.ac.il
8 Apr 1998


The Einsatzgruppen Reports. Selections from the Dispatches of the Nazi Death Squads' Campaign Against the Jews in Occupied Territories of the Soviet Union July 1941-January 1943 - edited by Yitzhak Arad, Shmuel Krawkowski, Shmuel Spector copyright 1989. Published by Holocaust Library in cooperation with Yad Vashem. The massacres of Jews in countless communities are bureaucratically detailed by the Nazis - including the Volhynia area. Authenticity of these reports was established beyond a doubt at the Nuremberg Trials.

The Black Book documents the Nazis' destruction of 1.5 million Soviet Jews. Edited by Ilya Ehrenburg and Vasily Grossman, this book was suppressed by Stalin in 1948. Culled from a collection of diaries, private letters, accounts of survivors and eyewitnesses of the total annihilation of Jews on occupied Soviet territories. It contains 140 pages of material specifically on the Ukraine including Volhynia.

The Bones of Berdichev - The Life and Fate of Vasily Grossman by John and Carol Garrard. The Free Press, a division of Simon and Schuster, 1996. This biography of Berdichev-born, Jewish writer Vasily Grossman contains extensive information for those researching the Jews of Berdichev including a partial list of massacred victims (1941-1944) in the appendix. Other Volhynia towns are referenced as well.


Some Archival Sources for Ukrainian-Jewish Genealogy compiled by Aleksander Kronik and Sallyann Sack. Published by Avotaynu Inc. 1997. This 94-page monograph includes an alphabetical list of towns in Ukraine that documents have survived for. They are predominantly housed in the state archive collections of Kiev, Zhitomir, Lviv and in Warsaw. It is not a thorough compilation, but will provide the researcher with a solid starting point for locating Ukrainian-Jewish records.

The Holocaust in the Soviet Union - Studies and Sources on the Destruction of the Jews in the Nazi-Occupied Territories of the USSR, 1941-1945 edited by Lujan Dobroszycki and Jeffrey S. Gurock with a forward by Richard Pipes. Published by M. E. Sharpe 1993. This academic book provides a series of articles including information on captured Nazi documents, Yizker-Bikher books, the location of specific records such as census materials within the Russian-Ukrainian archives and a solid bibliography of related material.

They Were True Heroes - Citizens of Ukraine - Righteous Among the Nations by Yakov Suslensky. Published in Ukraine in English by the Society Ukraine 1995. A combination of oral history and analysis of the era. Photographs, letters, and poems naming over 80 Ukrainian-Jews are included. There is no town index, but likely includes Volhynia. This book was created to honor Ukrainians that saved Jews during the Holocaust.


1920 Diary by Isaac Babel. Edited by Carol J. Avins, translated by H.T. Willetts. Published by Yale University Press 1995. This diary recounts Babel's experiences with the Cossack cavalry during the Polish-Soviet war of 1919-1920. It records the extreme cruelty of the Polish and Red armies alike toward the Jewish population in Ukraine and eastern Poland. Babel's journey takes him through Zhitomir and parts of the Volhynian countryside.

Jewish Life in The Ukraine - A Family Saga by Michael Charnofsky. Published by Exposition Press 1965. This cultural journey from Ukraine to America provides related background material for social study. The town Askovitz, located 50 km sw of Vinnitsa is the focus.

Ellen Shindelman
8 Feb 1998
grapevyn@erols.com


Since in his note re: Odessa Norman mentioned Grimsted's valuable book, I thought I would add that she is a very interesting scholar and the author of a number of fascinating books and articles. One recent article which may be of interest to some history@infoukes readers is entitled 'Displaced Archives and Restitution Problems on the Eastern Front in the Aftermath of the Second World War', which focuses heavily on Ukrainian archives and was published in a journal entitled Contemporary European History, Vol. 6, No. 1 (1997).


A very good idea. I have a book called Ikh krov i segodnya govorit, by Samuil Gil, about survivors and resistance in SouthWest Ukraine covering Volynia partly. It is in Russian, but I am trying to organize a subscribers list to pay for an English translation, of which every subscriber would receive a copy and which Mr. Gil would be able to show something to publishers. Meanwhile, he has copies in Russian for sale and can be reached at 718-236-8604, or 8320 Bay Parkway, apt.C2G, Brooklyn, NY 11214. I did a post to JewishGen listing all the cities and towns, and he has other archival material and is willing to help anyone. Please feel free to add this book to your posted list.


From: Martin Horowitz
I heartily second the motion, especially since a simple list of the books on Ms. Shindelman's shelf will be an excellent start. I have two titles to add: Gil,Samuil. Krov ikh i segodnya govorit (Their Blook Cries Out To This Day):On the Holocaust and the Heroism of the Jews of the Cities and Towns of Ukraine, NY, 1995 Prime Printing Media Services, 1223 Avenue U, Brooklyn, NY 11229 tel.718-375-5967. The Gil book is a serious collection of lists of names, personal memoirs, and even lists of righteous Gentiles who saved Jews in the Western Ukraine. It is in Russian but well worth perusing by anyone with an interest in Volynia, Jewish life in Volyn etc. 100 Evreiskikh Mestechek Ukrainy (Historical Guide: 100 Shtetls of Ukraine) eds.Benyamin Lukin and Boris Khaimovich.

A very detailed and scholarly ethnographic treatment of 100 Shtetls, with place and name indices, plus interesting, illustrated articles on synagogue architecture, graveyards, and the Jewish history of the region. 117 illustrations and 17 maps and diagrams. The book is published by the Inst. for Investigation of the Jewish Diaspora (Petersburg Jewish University). (In Russian.)
email:irina@jewuni.spb.ru


I too am very much interested in locating books concerning Ukrainian Jewish History and genealogy. My family is from Turyisk in the Ukraine. We have books such as 'Konin' 'Wanderings- History of the Jews', by Chaim Potok 'Where Once We Walked.' I am especally interested in the time frame before the first world war. I believe that all of my known family emigrated to the US prior to the Holocaust. Do you currently have any titles that you would recommend? I am in need of background as I am trying to write a family history. I cannot read Hebrew or Yiddish, so please recommend only those titles that are in English.
Thank You.
Please reply to,
Rogerh@xpressweb.com


I think you have a very good idea of pooling information on the material [books] that those of the Volhyn SIG have in their possession. Following is my list, with a few annotations on each. I am a free lance researcher and am at Yad Vashem very often. I would be willing to check Yizkor Books, at no charge, when I am there on assignments, as long as it doesn't take too much time. A full check, i.e. photocopying the index, translating it & checking for names would entail charges.

Bibliography of Books on Volhyn

Jewish Partisans & Fighters of Volyn, In their Memory Published by the Council for the Commemoration of the Jewish Partisans & Fighters of Volyn During the Second World War, 1997. [Hebrew, printed in Israel; no addresses of publisher, committee members or organization, 120 pages, has very short English section]
Spector, Shmuel. The Holocaust of Volhyhian Jews 1941-1944. Yad Vashem & The Federation of Volhynian Jews. Jerusalem, 1990. [Translated from Hebrew, 383 pages]

Secondary sources:

Dubnow, Simon. History of the Jews in Russia & Poland from the Earliest Times Until the Present Day, 3 Volumes. Philadelphia, Jewish Publication Society, 1920. [Translated from Russian - has many references to Volhyn & its cities]
Jewish Documentary Sources in Russia, Ukraine & Belarus: A Preliminary List. Edited by Dorit Sallis & Marek Web. The Jewish Theological Seminary of America, New York, 1996. [section on the Ukraine contains material relevant to Volhyn, 164 pages]

With Best Wishes,
Shalom Bronstein

Have you read an interesting book or article, or come across another information source that touches on Volhynia? Send us the title, author, publisher, place and year of publication, or other relevant information for inclusion on this page. Or send an entire book review for inclusion on our Reviews of Books about Volhynia page.


There is a book, Survivors, by Jacob Biber, about his and his wife's survival in the forests and villages around Maciejow (between Kovel and Luboml) during the war.

Richard Tasgal
tasgal@math.tau.ac.il
8 Apr 1998


The Einsatzgruppen Reports. Selections from the Dispatches of the Nazi Death Squads' Campaign Against the Jews in Occupied Territories of the Soviet Union July 1941-January 1943 - edited by Yitzhak Arad, Shmuel Krawkowski, Shmuel Spector copyright 1989. Published by Holocaust Library in cooperation with Yad Vashem. The massacres of Jews in countless communities are bureaucratically detailed by the Nazis - including the Volhynia area. Authenticity of these reports was established beyond a doubt at the Nuremberg Trials.

The Black Book documents the Nazis' destruction of 1.5 million Soviet Jews. Edited by Ilya Ehrenburg and Vasily Grossman, this book was suppressed by Stalin in 1948. Culled from a collection of diaries, private letters, accounts of survivors and eyewitnesses of the total annihilation of Jews on occupied Soviet territories. It contains 140 pages of material specifically on the Ukraine including Volhynia.

The Bones of Berdichev - The Life and Fate of Vasily Grossman by John and Carol Garrard. The Free Press, a division of Simon and Schuster, 1996. This biography of Berdichev-born, Jewish writer Vasily Grossman contains extensive information for those researching the Jews of Berdichev including a partial list of massacred victims (1941-1944) in the appendix. Other Volhynia towns are referenced as well.


Some Archival Sources for Ukrainian-Jewish Genealogy compiled by Aleksander Kronik and Sallyann Sack. Published by Avotaynu Inc. 1997. This 94-page monograph includes an alphabetical list of towns in Ukraine that documents have survived for. They are predominantly housed in the state archive collections of Kiev, Zhitomir, Lviv and in Warsaw. It is not a thorough compilation, but will provide the researcher with a solid starting point for locating Ukrainian-Jewish records.

The Holocaust in the Soviet Union - Studies and Sources on the Destruction of the Jews in the Nazi-Occupied Territories of the USSR, 1941-1945 edited by Lujan Dobroszycki and Jeffrey S. Gurock with a forward by Richard Pipes. Published by M. E. Sharpe 1993. This academic book provides a series of articles including information on captured Nazi documents, Yizker-Bikher books, the location of specific records such as census materials within the Russian-Ukrainian archives and a solid bibliography of related material.

They Were True Heroes - Citizens of Ukraine - Righteous Among the Nations by Yakov Suslensky. Published in Ukraine in English by the Society Ukraine 1995. A combination of oral history and analysis of the era. Photographs, letters, and poems naming over 80 Ukrainian-Jews are included. There is no town index, but likely includes Volhynia. This book was created to honor Ukrainians that saved Jews during the Holocaust.


1920 Diary by Isaac Babel. Edited by Carol J. Avins, translated by H.T. Willetts. Published by Yale University Press 1995. This diary recounts Babel's experiences with the Cossack cavalry during the Polish-Soviet war of 1919-1920. It records the extreme cruelty of the Polish and Red armies alike toward the Jewish population in Ukraine and eastern Poland. Babel's journey takes him through Zhitomir and parts of the Volhynian countryside.

Jewish Life in The Ukraine - A Family Saga by Michael Charnofsky. Published by Exposition Press 1965. This cultural journey from Ukraine to America provides related background material for social study. The town Askovitz, located 50 km sw of Vinnitsa is the focus.

Ellen Shindelman
8 Feb 1998
grapevyn@erols.com


Since in his note re: Odessa Norman mentioned Grimsted's valuable book, I thought I would add that she is a very interesting scholar and the author of a number of fascinating books and articles. One recent article which may be of interest to some history@infoukes readers is entitled 'Displaced Archives and Restitution Problems on the Eastern Front in the Aftermath of the Second World War', which focuses heavily on Ukrainian archives and was published in a journal entitled Contemporary European History, Vol. 6, No. 1 (1997).


A very good idea. I have a book called Ikh krov i segodnya govorit, by Samuil Gil, about survivors and resistance in SouthWest Ukraine covering Volynia partly. It is in Russian, but I am trying to organize a subscribers list to pay for an English translation, of which every subscriber would receive a copy and which Mr. Gil would be able to show something to publishers. Meanwhile, he has copies in Russian for sale and can be reached at 718-236-8604, or 8320 Bay Parkway, apt.C2G, Brooklyn, NY 11214. I did a post to JewishGen listing all the cities and towns, and he has other archival material and is willing to help anyone. Please feel free to add this book to your posted list.


From: Martin Horowitz
I heartily second the motion, especially since a simple list of the books on Ms. Shindelman's shelf will be an excellent start. I have two titles to add: Gil,Samuil. Krov ikh i segodnya govorit (Their Blook Cries Out To This Day):On the Holocaust and the Heroism of the Jews of the Cities and Towns of Ukraine, NY, 1995 Prime Printing Media Services, 1223 Avenue U, Brooklyn, NY 11229 tel.718-375-5967. The Gil book is a serious collection of lists of names, personal memoirs, and even lists of righteous Gentiles who saved Jews in the Western Ukraine. It is in Russian but well worth perusing by anyone with an interest in Volynia, Jewish life in Volyn etc. 100 Evreiskikh Mestechek Ukrainy (Historical Guide: 100 Shtetls of Ukraine) eds.Benyamin Lukin and Boris Khaimovich.

A very detailed and scholarly ethnographic treatment of 100 Shtetls, with place and name indices, plus interesting, illustrated articles on synagogue architecture, graveyards, and the Jewish history of the region. 117 illustrations and 17 maps and diagrams. The book is published by the Inst. for Investigation of the Jewish Diaspora (Petersburg Jewish University). (In Russian.)
email:irina@jewuni.spb.ru


I too am very much interested in locating books concerning Ukrainian Jewish History and genealogy. My family is from Turyisk in the Ukraine. We have books such as 'Konin' 'Wanderings- History of the Jews', by Chaim Potok 'Where Once We Walked.' I am especally interested in the time frame before the first world war. I believe that all of my known family emigrated to the US prior to the Holocaust. Do you currently have any titles that you would recommend? I am in need of background as I am trying to write a family history. I cannot read Hebrew or Yiddish, so please recommend only those titles that are in English.
Thank You.
Please reply to,
Rogerh@xpressweb.com


I think you have a very good idea of pooling information on the material [books] that those of the Volhyn SIG have in their possession. Following is my list, with a few annotations on each. I am a free lance researcher and am at Yad Vashem very often. I would be willing to check Yizkor Books, at no charge, when I am there on assignments, as long as it doesn't take too much time. A full check, i.e. photocopying the index, translating it & checking for names would entail charges.

Bibliography of Books on Volhyn

Jewish Partisans & Fighters of Volyn, In their Memory Published by the Council for the Commemoration of the Jewish Partisans & Fighters of Volyn During the Second World War, 1997. [Hebrew, printed in Israel; no addresses of publisher, committee members or organization, 120 pages, has very short English section]
Spector, Shmuel. The Holocaust of Volhyhian Jews 1941-1944. Yad Vashem & The Federation of Volhynian Jews. Jerusalem, 1990. [Translated from Hebrew, 383 pages]

Secondary sources:

Dubnow, Simon. History of the Jews in Russia & Poland from the Earliest Times Until the Present Day, 3 Volumes. Philadelphia, Jewish Publication Society, 1920. [Translated from Russian - has many references to Volhyn & its cities]
Jewish Documentary Sources in Russia, Ukraine & Belarus: A Preliminary List. Edited by Dorit Sallis & Marek Web. The Jewish Theological Seminary of America, New York, 1996. [section on the Ukraine contains material relevant to Volhyn, 164 pages]

With Best Wishes,
Shalom Bronstein

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