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Bernard Wasserstein

Bernard Wasserstein is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Chicago and a corresponding Fellow of the British Academy. Born in London, he now lives in Amsterdam. His previous books include The Secret Lives of Trebitsch Lincoln (CWA Gold Dagger Prize for Non-fiction), On the Eve: The Jews of Europe Before the Second World War (Yad Vashem International Book Prize), and Barbarism and Civilization: A History of Europe in Our Time. image cr Hakan Lindgren
A Small Town in Ukraine
Decades ago, historian Bernard Wasserstein set out to uncover the hidden past of Krakowiec, where his family originated. Now he recounts its dramatic history across centuries of conflict as Cossacks, Swedes and Muscovites rampaged through. In the Age of Enlightenment, a Polish magnate created an arcadia of serenity; under the Habsburgs it became a typical shtetl. Both World Wars left terrible legacies and today hordes of refugees flee for their lives from Ukraine to...
On the Eve: The Jews of Europe before the Second World War
This is the portrait of a world on the eve of its destruction. Bernard Wasserstein presented a disturbing interpretation of the collapse of European Jewish civilization even before the Nazi onslaught. He showed how the harsh realities of the age devastated the lives of communities and individuals. By 1939, the Jews faced an existential crisis that was as much the result of internal decay as of external attack. Ranging from Vilna (‘Jerusalem of Lithuania’) to Salonica with its Judeo...
Bo Lidegaard and Bernard Wasserstein Rescuers
Bo Lidegaard’s Countrymen is the first full history of how the Danish people managed to rescue the lives of 95% of the country’s Jewish population. Like her Danish counterparts, Gertrude van Tijn, the subject of Bernard Wasserstein’s The Ambiguity of Virtue, rescued Jewish lives. Working for the Nazi-appointed Jewish Council in Amsterdam, however, she was denounced by some as a collaborator. Both are exceptionally heroic tales of bravery, attesting to the incredible moral fortitude of s...