The painted ceiling of the Chodorow synagogue (17th c., reconstruction  of Bet ha-Tefutzot).The Temple of Lwow. Postcard, early 20th c.Maurycy Gottlieb.  Jews Praying in the Synagogue on Yom Kippur, 1878

"Jews of Galicia: A History." Lesson Ten

“Holocaust: Destruction and Afterlife”

Sadly, the lesson ends this journey with the destruction of nearly the entirety of Galician Jewry and most of East European Jewry overall. As with a couple of the earlier classes, this lecture will provide a general framework while the readings will bring the Galician story to the fore. This class follows a chronological narrative, beginning with Nazi policy between 1939-41, particularly the ghettos, and then examining their move towards the “Final Solution” and the evolution of means to accomplish it, particularly the Einsatzgruppen and the death camps. Then it’ll look at the experience of Soviet Jews in particular (Galicia was occupied by the Soviet Union after 1939) and the issue of local non-Jewish reactions and of Jewish resistance. Clearly one lecture cannot be comprehensive, but it at least provides in an introduction into the basic narrative of the Holocaust and some of the key issues with which historians grapple.