Searching for 'Yerushalayim de'Lita': Israeli Hstoriography Concerning North-Eastern Europe During World War II
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Naming Vilnius 'Yerushalayim de'Lita' was the expression of recognition to this city, where a high level of Talmud science, religious studies and printing art had developed. However, Jewish culture did not develop in a vacuum but in the academic city with rich culture and tradition, which became the administrative, economic and religious center for a few nations. 'Jerusalem of Lithuania' was not only the center of religious studies but also the center of Jewish culture in general, what is more, it developed simultaneously in several languages: Jewish, Hebrew, Polish and Russian. But how should history be written about? In the Israeli historiography, which has its own complicated and already a few-decade long history, there were various periods when different factors prevailed and different aspects of the Holocaust were overrated, however, a human and individual perspective has never been lost therein. In Poland the Holocaust was a marginal subject for many years and it either was a part of the Polish nation's martyrdom or a part of the marginal subject of Jewish studies. Generally, only the Jewish Historical Institute carried out research thereon. The future will show whether and how the research on Jewish subjects will become a part of individual national historiographies. So far, they have been more often than not isolated from the context because the history of Jews in this region crosses borders, regions and different levels of research in individual national historiographies. Therefore, it is necessary to carry out a lot of detailed research to replace apologetic national histories as well as objective harmonized narrations of individual groups to make it a part of the history.
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