Chernaya Kniga S Kraenymi Stranitsami: Tragedy and Heroism of Bellorussian Jewry, by Levin, Vladimir, and David Meltser. VIA Press, November, 1996. 590 pages. ISBN: 1885563051 (paperback).
The Black Book with the Red Pages [the literal translation of the title] is the first book that records the activity of Jewish underground in Byelorussia during World War II. The work is based on the documents from the Archives of former KGB in Byelorussian Republic that became available after the collapse of the communist regime in the former USSR. The actual testimonials of Holocaust witnesses represent the most valuable aspect of the book. Professor David Meltser is a historian, author of about 10 books on the history of Bulgaria. He has lived in the United States since 1992. Vladimir Levin is a writer and a journalist, a 30-year TASS (Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union) veteran, and an author of about 15 books.
Collaboration in the Holocaust: Crimes of the Local Police in Belorussia and Ukraine, 1941-44, by Martin Dean [Research Fellow at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum]. St Martins Press [now part of Palgrave, "Slavic Studies": www.palgrave-usa.com], November, 1999. 263 pages. 5 1/2" X 8 1/4"; ISBN: 0-312-22056-1 (hardcover; list price: US $40.00).
From the publisher's catalog: "Using powerful eye-witness descriptions, from the towns and villages of Belorussia and Ukraine, Martin Dean's book reveals how local policemen collaborated with the Nazis. Outnumbering German police manpower in these areas, the local police were the foot-soldiers of the Holocaust in the East. . . What was the role played by local police volunteers in the Holocaust? Martin Dean's new book reveals local policemen as hands-on collaborators of the Nazis. They brutally drove Jewish neighbors from their homes and guarded them closely on the way to their deaths. Some distinguished themselves as ruthless murders."
Contents: The Soviet Occupation of Eastern Poland, 1939-41 * "Operation Barbarossa" * Mass Killings in the Autumn of 1941 * Local Police Organization, 1941-44 * The Ghetto "Liquidations" of 1942-43 * Partisan Warfare, 1942-44 * Post-War Fates of Collaborators and Survivors * Conclusion: Local Collaboration in the Holocaust * Appendix A: Demography of the Holocaust in the East * Index
Defiance: The Bielski Partisans, Tec, Nechama. Oxford University Press; New York; Oxford, 1993. 276 pages, heavily footnoted; Includes bibliographical references (p. -255) and index. ISBN: 0-19-507595-1; Call Numbers: 940.5318 TEC; and DS135.B38 T33 1993.
Sub-subtitle: The story of the largest armed rescue of Jews by Jews during World War II.
Takes place in western Belarus.
For a very interesting news article about the three brothers who led this rescue (the late Tuvia Bielski, and his younger brothers Zus and Asael), see the New York Times article from May 28, 2000, "Heroes Among Us," by Peter Duffy. (In addition to the New York Times' commercial archives, this article is available through many public libraries.)
There is also a children's book based on the same events: Escape to the Forest, written by Ruth Yaffe Radin and published in March, 2000, by HarperCollins Juvenile Books. Sheila Garberman of Maple Shade, N.J., provided the details for this 80-page children's novel.
A major studio, movie version of this book/events is scheduled for a December 2008 release, is titled Defiance, stars Daniel Craig, is directed by Edward Zwick, and was filmed in Lithuania.
The Destruction of Slonim Jewry: The Story of the Jews of Slonim
During the Holocaust, by Nachum Alpert Max Rosenfeld (Translator). Holocaust Library, January, 1989. Hardcover, 379 pages; ISBN: 0896041360. Paperback, 379 pages; ISBN: 0896041379.
Synopsis: Alpert, who lived in Slonim, describes the destruction of its Jewish community by the Gernams during World War II. This book was originally written in 1947 while the author was living in the Soviet Union. He revised it later to include information and views that the Soviet government would not permit in the first edition.
Review (from The Library Journal): "Originally written in Yiddish by Holocaust survivor Alpert in 1947 within the constraining guidelines of the Stalinist regime, this book was expanded and enriched by the author when he left the Soviet Union over 30 years later. It relates the final years (September 1939-September 1942) of his native Slonim, Byelorussia, when it was controlled first by the Soviets and then by the Nazis. Alpert strove to memorialize the 25,000 slain Jews of Slonim, and he painstakingly details names, places, and actions, and reconstructs dialog garnered from oral testimonies, thus giving the book a novel-like feeling. There is a wealth of intimate information on the Slonim's inner life--including the barbaric Nazi tactics. Almost half the book focuses on Jewish partisans in the forests, illuminating their activities and their relationship to Soviet partisans. This important account of a community adds to the accumulating knowledge of Nazi actions against Jews and the Jewish response." Benny Kraut, University of Cincinnati.
The Image of the Jew in Soviet Literature: The Post-Stalin Period, Blum, Jakub, & Vera Rich: published for the Institute of Jewish Affairs, London, by Ktav Publishing House, Inc., New York, 1984. [276 pp.; 5" x 8"],
Call Number: 891.709 BLU
In two parts: Part I: Soviet Russian Literature (Jakub Blum; a pseudonym for an East European scholar who came to the West some years ago), pages 3-97, and Part II: Jewish Themes and Characters in Belorussian Texts (Vera Rich), pages 100-271.
The Jews of Bielorussia during World War II; by Shalom Cholawsky. Gordon & Breach Publishing Group, 1997. Hardcover, 320 pp.; ISBN: 905-7021-93-5.
The Jews of Khazaria; by Kevin Alan Brook. 360 pages, 6" x 9" size, Jason Aronson Inc., publishers; 3rd printing, September 2002: ISBN 0-7657-6212-9 (paperback/softcover). Originally published April, 1999, ISBN 0-7657-6032-0 (1st & 2nd printings: cloth/hardcover).
"The Jews of Khazaria recounts the eventful history of the Turkic kingdom of Khazaria, which was located in eastern Europe and flourished as an independent state from about 650 to 1016."
"The Jews of Khazaria draws upon the latest archival, linguistic, and archaeological discoveries. For instance, the book contains archaeological data from sites such as Chelarevo (Serbia), Ellend (Hungary), Sarkel (Russia), Balanjar (North Caucasus), Semikarakovskoye (Russia), Navahradak (Belarus), and Birka (Sweden)."
Further details on the WWW (including many Web sites from which the book can be purchased): The Jews of Khazaria
The Jews of Moscow, Kiev and Minsk: Identity, Antisemitism, Emigration; by Robert J. Brym, Rozalina Ryvkina, Howard Spier (Editor). New York University Press, Hardcover (April 1994): ISBN: 0814712266; Paperback Reissue edition (October 1995): ISBN: 0814712304; Dimensions (in inches): 0.59 x 8.53 x 5.45.
The Minsk Ghetto: Soviet-Jewish Partisans Against
the Nazis; by Hersh Smolar. U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Shop Memorial Council; Hardcover (December 1989): ISBN: 0896040682.
Reb Elchonon: The Life and Ideals of Rabbi Elchonon Bunim
Wasserman of Baranovich; by Aharon Sorski. Mesorah Pubns Ltd; Paperback, 416 pages; (January, 1982): ISBN: 0899064515.
Russia's First Modern Jews: The Jews of Shklov; by David E. Fishman. New York University Press; Hardcover, 198 pages; (February, 1995): ISBN: 0814726143.
From the Publisher: Long before there were Jewish communities in the land of the tsars, Jews inhabited a region which they called medinat rusiya, 'the land of Russia.' Prior to its annexation by Russia, 'the land of Russia' was not a center of rabbinic culture. But in 1772, when it was absorbed by Tsarist Russia, this remote region was severed from the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth; its 65,000 Jews were thus cut off from the heartland of Jewish life in Eastern Europe. Forced into independence, these Jews set about forging a community with its own religious leadership and institutions. The three great intellectual currents in East European Jewry - Hasidism, Rabbinic Mitnagdism, and Haskalah - all converged on Eastern Belorussia, where they clashed and competed. In the course of a generation, the community of Shklov - the most prominent of the towns in the area - witnessed an explosion of intellectual and cultural activity. The intrusion of modernity came through several avenues, including interaction with members of the Russian aristocracy and contact with Moses Mendelssohn and his circle of Enlightened Jews in Berlin. This intrusion led to a transformation of local Jewish culture and thought. Hebrew works of art and science flourished. Projects to reform Jewish education along European lines abounded. And activist efforts began to secure the political and social emancipation of Russian Jewry. This book focuses on the social and intellectual odysseys of merchants, maskilim, and rabbis, and their varied attempts to combine Judaism and European culture. David Fishman here chronicles the remarkable story of these first modern Jews of Russia.
Stranitzii Istorii Yevreev Belarusi: Kratkii nauchno-populyarnii ocherk; by Yuffe, E. G.; Arti-feks Publishers, Mensk, 1996. 294 pp.; ISBN: 985-6119-04-9; Publication made possible throught the assistance of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.
In Russian; numerous, small B&W illustrations; several maps; with bibliography; index of names; plus subject index.
Title in English: Pages from the History of Jewish Belarus: A Concise Scientific-Popular Essay.
Although I have only seen this material in Russian (and I have limited Russian skills), this book appears to be an important, current resource for those interested in the history of (Jewish) Belarus.
The table, "Important Dates in the History of Jewish Belarus," is especially interesting and covers the years from June 24, 1388 (record of first Jewish settlement in Belarus), through March 17, 1996 (The first Belarus national festival of Jewish culture); pages 209-222.