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Editors' Introduction

This is an unusual document of great importance. Much of the survival literature, published and unpublished, deals with the victims’ experiences in concentration camps. Much less is known about the persecution and suffering of those victims who never saw the insides of such camps.

Most of the Jews from such areas as Bucovina, Rumania, Transylvania and Transnistria, etc., did not experience the horrors of the killing camps. That does not mean that they were spared any suffering. Quite the contrary: they were moved into ghettos, forced into inhuman living conditions, and chased from one community to another in order to create "Judenrein" towns and villages. In this process they were tortured, beaten, and worked to death. Very few survived.

The importance of this memoir is twofold. On the one hand, it reports in concrete and merciless detail a phase of the Holocaust that is not well known. On the other hand, it underlines the oversimplifications of those analysts who characterize the Holocaust in terms of technological sophistication, bureaucratic efficiency, and ideological commitment. Clearly, historic hatred and a permissive regime were quite sufficient to produce the same results.

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