The Diary of Samuel Golfard and the Holocaust in Galicia
By (author) Wendy Lower
Publication date:22 August 2011
Length of book:198 pages
The Diary of Samuel Golfard and the Holocaust in Galicia examines the contents and context of a rare diary written by a Jewish man from Nazi-occupied Poland. Serving as both a record and an artifact of Samuel Golfard’s life, the diary details his attempt to make sense of and resist the event that ultimately destroyed him. Wendy Lower integrates photographs, newspaper articles, documents, and testimonies to create a more complete picture of Golfard’s experiences and writings. She also traces the diary’s own journey after Golfard’s death, from 1943 Poland to the present day.
This volume combines a powerfully emotional personal narrative with concise and cohesive historical analysis in a way that other source-based books do not. Moreover, it is of great use to both scholars and students. While specialists and historians will surely find Golfard’s testimony textually rich, multi-dimensional, and challenging, the educational value of this volume is substantial. The book is short enough for students to digest easily, and perhaps more important, the historical background and editorial comments make the text a stand-alone work containing all one needs to truly engage with Samuel Golfard’s diary. Lower has produced an accessible yet historically complex commentary on a very special testimony—one that scholars and educators alike will certainly want on their shelves.