The Holocaust: Voices of Scholars is a collection of 24 personal essays-reflections of eminent scholars and experts in research into the history of the Holocaust. Individuals, who for the greater part of their life have researched Extermination, write about their difficulties, questions, and most important points of reflection. They do so on the basis of their own experiences and thoughts, not avoiding criticism as well as creating new visions and demands for the future. The book was edited by Dr Jolanta Ambrosewicz-Jacobs, the director of the Holocaust Studies Center at Jagiellonian University in Cracow.
The new publication consists of three parts:
- Part one describes how the Holocaust is seen in the context of ethics and Jewish-Christian relations;
- Part two, the longest, deals with the current status of research into Extermination, shown from interesting and important perspectives, such as the psychiatric angle and the concept of collective memory;
- The final part is a kind of epilog, which tries to answer the question, if hope should be a part of humanity.
These essays are something much more than just a conventional and a dry enumeration of facts and provoke the reader to bring forward the fundamental questions related to personal responsibility for the contemporary world – noted Dr. Piotr M.A. Cywiński, director of the State Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau, in the introduction to the book. He wrote that there is a specific responsibility of researchers and those teaching the next generations about the Holocaust, so this collection of reflection and experience can play an important role in our collective sense of responsibility for today and tomorrow.
„The book presents the reflections of these scholars and public figures whose work involves the subject of the Holocaust. We asked them to write about difficulties they have faced, and we posed several questions to them: Do the analytical tools of the scholar, the researcher, the philosopher, the sociologist, the artist, prove weak or ineffective in dealing with the Holocaust? More than sixty years after the liberation of Auschwitz, are we intelectually and emotionally baffled by the genocide the Nazis commited there? If so, what are the paths taken to overcome this? How and why continue work on this most perplexing subject?” — wrote Dr. Jolanta Ambrosewicz-Jacobs in the introduction.
Szewach Weiss, former Israeli ambassador to Poland, wrote about the book: “The Holocaust put people in a situation that they should have never found themselves in. Because of this, it is difficult to ask questions on the subject and we should appreciate the work of those who do ask.”
Among the authors are eminent researchers and authorities from various countries: Yehuda Bauer, Michael Berenbaum, Eleonora Bergman, Ian Kershaw, Stanisław Krajewski, Zdzisław Mach, Dalia Ofer, Nechama Tec, Feliks Tych, Jonathan Webber, Elie Wiesel, Jan Woleński and Moshe Zimmermann.