Isaiah Trunk (1905–81), the author of the classic work Judenrat, was one of the few Polish Jewish historians to survive the Holocaust. His trajectory reflects the key political and intellectual experiences and developments that shaped Jewish historiography in the twentieth century, from the Russian Revolution and the revival of Yiddish culture in the interwar years to Stalinism, the Holocaust, and the period of relative peace and prosperity in the postwar United States. The Holocaust and Stalinism left Trunk disillusioned with socialist internationalism and prompted a shift in his historical thinking “from class to nation.” Nevertheless, his lifelong commitment to Bundism reflected his determination to fight for the preservation of Polish Jewish culture, including its socialist traditions. Moreover, throughout his life, he retained a concern for social equality and the conviction that history, as an empirical science, was an important weapon in the struggle against antisemitism.


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pp. 150-184
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