The Holocaust & the Exile of Yiddish
a Mayrent Research Seminar with
Thursday, November 30th
12:30pm CT Via Zoom
To attend: Professor Trachtenberg will pre-circulate a chapter from his recent monograph, The Holocaust & The Exile of Yiddish: A History of the Algemeyne Entsiklopedye (Rutgers UP, 2022). If you are interested in joining the conversation, please RSVP to email@example.com by Monday, November 27. This event will be limited to 20 participants. Faculty and students at all levels are warmly welcome.
In the early 1930s in Berlin, a group of leading Eastern European Jewish intellectuals embarked upon a project to transform the lives of millions of Yiddish-speaking Jews around the world. Their goal was to publish a popular and comprehensive Yiddish language encyclopedia of general knowledge that would serve as a bridge to the modern world and as a guide to help its readers navigate their way within it. However, soon after the Algemeyne entsiklopedye (General Encyclopedia) was announced, Hitler’s rise to power forced its editors to flee to Paris, and its primary audience would face persecution and genocide. The scope and mission of the project repeatedly changed before its final volumes were published in New York City in 1966, with debates about what the purpose of a Yiddish encyclopedia should be, as well as what knowledge and perspectives it should contain. Drawing from the research for his new book, historian Barry Trachtenberg will relate this saga and its meaning as a story not only of destruction and trauma, but of tenacity and continuity in the face of calamity.
Barry Trachtenberg (Glassboro State ’91) is the Rubin Presidential Chair of Jewish History and Professor of History at Wake Forest University (North Carolina). He is the author of three books, The Holocaust & the Exile of Yiddish: A History of the Algemeyne Entsiklopedye (Rutgers, 2022), The United States and the Nazi Holocaust: Race, Refuge, and Remembrance (Bloomsbury, 2018), and The Revolutionary Roots of Modern Yiddish, 1903-1917 (Syracuse, 2008). He serves on the Board of Scholars of Facing History and Ourselves and the Academic Advisory Board of Jewish Voice for Peace.