New book: Bearing witness to the Shoah

i saw itIn his new book, I SAW IT: Ilya Selvinsky and the Legacy of Bearing Witness to the Shoah, Boston College Professor of Russian, English, and Jewish Studies Maxim D. Shrayer explores how Jewish-Russian poets became the earliest literary witnesses to the Holocaust (Shoah). I SAW IT introduces the work of Ilya Selvinsky (1899-1968), the first Jewish-Russian poet to depict the Holocaust in the occupied Soviet territories. “Selvinsky and other Jewish-Russian authors viewed the war and their calling not only in Russian and Soviet terms, but also in Jewish ones,” Shrayer explains. “By bearing witness to the immediate aftermath of the murder of Jews by Nazis and their accomplices in the occupied Soviet territories, Selvinsky simultaneously committed acts of civic courage and Jewish zealotry. His contribution to Shoah literature is all the more significant because he managed to keep his poems in print during the most destructive years for Soviet Jewish culture.” Titled after one of Selvinsky’s poems, I SAW IT features more than 60 rare photographs and illustrations and includes Shrayer’s translations of the poet’s principal Shoah poems. More from BC News
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