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Records Relating to Memorial Books of Jewish Co... | Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust

Memorial books of Jewish Communities that vanished in the Holocaust are also known as the Yizkor Books. They were published by the postwar Jewish associations of the descendants and survivors of the vanished in the Holocaust communities. These Jewish organizations are commonly regarded as Jewish Landsmanschaften. A memorial book dedicated to a given community is often a collective writing. Overall, such a synthetic work comprises a historical survey beginning with the time when the community was first mentioned, through its formative years and further to their prewar history, ending with the narration of the Holocaust and its aftermath. Personalia and commemorative advertisements often complement the memorial books.

Although not authored by professional historians or scholars, these volumes may serve as primary sources, especially with regard to the micro-history and family history. Largely, the majority of memorial books are written in Yiddish, however some are in Hebrew. Sometimes publications would also have an introductory article in English or Polish.

Jewish communities during in Diaspora and in Israel commenced the project on memorialization in the postwar years, continuing this work well into the 1960s and 1970s. Many of the memorial books were published in Israel, while it is not uncommon to see publications compiled and printed in North and South America, South Africa, and occasionally in European countries.

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