The Library as a Magic in the Lodz Ghetto

Conference: The European Conference on Arts & Humanities (ECAH2022)
Title: The Library as a Magic in the Lodz Ghetto
Stream: Literature/Literary Studies
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
Lily Zamir, Davis Yellin College, Israel


This paper focuses on the magical meaning of the existence of libraries the Lodz Ghetto, as a cultural – metaphysical resistance to the Nazis. From December 1939 until June 1944 in the hell of Ghetto life, submitted to starvation, deportations, sickness, humiliation and consisted fear, Jews continued their cultural lives although the Nazis have strictly forbidden it. The libraries have become a symbol of this resistance as well as a shrine of underground spiritual activities such as literary evenings, writing competitions, etc. People stood in long lines for entering one of the hidden libraries and have a book, risking their lives for the joy of reading a book. Books became the magic escape of every day's misery. The last library was demolished a few weeks before the destruction of the Ghetto in summer 1944.

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