"The pages of Nitzotz are a persuasive testimony to the courage and resilience of the human spirit under the most trying circumstances. . . . In addition to a striking document of the epoch, we find here an answer to a nagging question: how will memory of the Holocaust be preserved when witnesses are no longer alive? Readers of this remarkable book will rest assured that the spark will be kept ablaze through successor generations."—Jan T. Gross, Princeton University
Under the brutal conditions of the Dachau-Kaufering concentration camp, a handful of young Jews resolved to resist their Nazi oppressors. Their weapons were their words. During the Soviet occupation of Kovno and, after the German invasion, within the Kovno ghetto, the members of Irgun Brith Zion circulated an underground journal, Nitzotz (Spark). In its pages, they debated Zionist politics and laid plans for postwar settlement in Palestine. When the Kovno ghetto was liquidated, several contributors to Nitzotz were deported to the Kaufering satellite camps of Dachau. Against all odds, they did not lay down their pens.
Nitzotz is the only Hebrew-language publication known to have appeared consistently throughout the Nazi occupation anywhere in Europe. Its authors believed that their intellectual defiance would insulate them against the dehumanizing cruelty of the concentration camp and equip them to lead the postwar effort for the physical and spiritual regeneration of European Jewry. Laura Weinrib presents this remarkable document to English readers for the first time. Along with a translation of the five remaining Dachau-Kaufering issues, the book includes an extensive critical introduction. Nitzotz is a testament to the resilience of those struggling for survival.
Laura M. Weinrib is a Samuel I. Golieb Fellow in legal history at New York University School of Law. Her grandfather Shlomo Frenkel Shafir was the editor of Nitzotz during the Dachau-Kaufering years and after liberation.
6 x 9, 216 pages, 36 black and white illustrations