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The Jews in Poland-Lithuania and Russia: 1350 to the Present Day

Hosted By: YIVO

For centuries, Poland and Russia formed the heartland of the Jewish world. Until World War II, this area was home to over forty percent of world Jewry: nearly three and a half million Jews lived in Poland, and nearly three million more lived in the Soviet Union. Although the majority of American and European Jews originate from Eastern Europe, the history of this life and civilization is not well known, or has been reduced to a story of persecution and martyrdom. In his masterful three-volume history, ‘The Jews in Poland and Russia: 1350 to the Present Day’, Polonsky avoids sentimentalism and mythologizing, and provides a comprehensive and detailed account of this great civilization. From the towns and shtetls where Jews lived, to the emergence of Hasidism and the Haskalah movement, to the rise of Jewish urbanization, and Polish-Jewish relations during World War II, Polonsky’s book dispels myths about this culture, while demonstrating the importance of Poland and Russia as a great center of Jewish life.

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