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Theresienstadt 1941–1945

Theresienstadt 1941–1945
The Face of a Coerced Community


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  • Date Published: April 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521881463

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About the Authors
  • First published in 1955, with a revised edition appearing five years later, H. G. Adler's Theresienstadt, 1941–1945 is a foundational work in the field of Holocaust studies. As the first scholarly monograph to describe the particulars of a single camp - the Jewish ghetto in the Czech city of Terezin - it is the single most detailed and comprehensive account of any concentration camp. Adler, a survivor of the camp, divides the book into three sections: a history of the ghetto, a detailed institutional and social analysis of the camp, and an attempt to understand the psychology of the perpetrators and the victims. A collaborative effort between the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Terezin Publishing Project makes this authoritative text on Holocaust history available for the first time in the English language, with a new afterword by the author's son Jeremy Adler.

    • A foundational work in Holocaust literature
    • Has not appeared in the English language until now
    Read more


    • Finalist, 2017 Holocaust Award, in Memory of Ernest W. Michel, Jewish Book Council

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Adler's Theresienstadt 1941–1945, completed in London and first published in German in 1955, is monograph as monument. … A meticulous chronicle that is at once a sober and self-aware sociology of the absurd, a memoir in which the writer does not appear, and a penetrating ethnographic study. … Both a masterpiece of scholarship and a literary event …' J. Hoberman, BookForum

    'The value of Adler's work is that it does not just deal with one ghetto, but with the exercise of particular forms of power and the possibilities of human autonomy, with the 'coerced community' and the 'administered human being'. In this way, as Adler's son Jeremy points out in his afterword, it has exercised a profound influence on later writers, from Raul Hilberg and Hannah Arendt, to W. G. Sebald.' Peter Pulzer, The Times Literary Supplement

    'This immensely significant and moving chronicle is an indispensable resource. Essential.' J. Hardin, Choice

    'More than sixty years after its original publication, H. G. Adler's Theresienstadt remains indispensable to anyone who has more than a casual interest in what was among the most perverse and strange sites of incarceration in the Nazi empire. Although sadly few people realize it, Adler's book is also essential reading for anyone engaged in trying to understand the Holocaust.' Ben Barkow, German Historical Institute London Bulletin

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2017
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521881463
    • length: 882 pages
    • copublisher: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) and the Terezin Publishing Project (TPP)
    • dimensions: 261 x 184 x 50 mm
    • weight: 1.78kg
    • contains: 1 map
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. History:
    1. The Jews in the 'Protectorate', 1939–41
    2. Theresienstadt: history and establishment
    3. Deportations to and from Theresienstadt
    4. Closed camp: November 1941/July 1942
    5. 'Ghetto': July 1942/summer 1943
    6. 'Jewish settlement area': summer 1943/September 1944
    7. Decline and dissolution
    Part II. Sociology:
    8. Administration
    9. The transport
    10. Population
    11. Housing
    12. Nutrition
    13. Labor
    14. Economy
    15. Legal conditions
    16. Health conditions
    17. Welfare
    18. Contact with the outside world
    19. Cultural life
    Part III. Psychology:
    20. The psychological face of the coerced community.

  • Author

    H. G. Adler
    H. G. Adler (1910–88), poet, novelist, and scholar, was deported with his family to the Theresienstadt Ghetto in 1942. From there, they were moved to Auschwitz and then to the outlying camps of Buchenwald. Eighteen members of his family, including his first wife Gertrud Klepetar, perished in the camps. He returned to his birthplace of Prague in 1945, and then went into voluntary exile in the United Kingdom in 1947, where he wrote a total of twenty-seven books, including the celebrated Holocaust novels The Journey, Panorama, and The Wall. He received several prizes for his work, including the Leo Baeck Prize for Theresienstadt, 1941–1945.


    Belinda Cooper, World Policy Institute, New York
    Belinda Cooper is a Senior Fellow at the World Policy Institute in New York and an adjunct professor at New York University's Center for Global Affairs and Columbia University's Institute for the Study of Human Rights. She has written for a wide variety of publications in German and English and has translated German scholarly books and articles for twenty-five years.

    General Editor

    Amy Loewenhaar-Blauweiss, Bard College, New York
    Amy Loewenhaar-Blauweiss is founding director of the Terezin Publishing Project. She teaches at Bard College and is the curator of the Music in the Holocaust, Jewish Identity and Cosmopolitanism series for Bard's Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and the Humanities. She is author of the forthcoming book Songs in the Wilderness: Music in the Holocaust and Betrayal of 'Bildung'.


    Jeremy Adler, King's College London
    Jeremy Adler is Emeritus Professor of German and Senior Research Fellow in the Department of German at King's College London. The author or editor of numerous books, he is a member of the German Academy of Language and Literature.

    Assisted by

    Benton Arnovitz


    • Finalist, 2017 Holocaust Award, in Memory of Ernest W. Michel, Jewish Book Council

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