As I was having trouble sleeping last night, I listened to a podcast I had downloaded on my mp3 player. It dealt with a new book in French, Dictionnaire de la Shoah.
This dictionary was published last April and supervised by four historians: Georges Bensoussan a French authority on the subject, Jean-Marc Dreyfus who lectures in Manchester, Edouard Husson – a specialist of Nazi Germany – and Joël Kotek who teaches at the Free University of Brussels.
The idea behind this dictionary was to help the people who are interested in knowing more about the Holocaust to find their way through the vast array of books which have been printed on this topic. Thus Bensoussan reckons that a dozen books are published each month on the subject in the USA, Israel, France and Germany alone. Similarly as many as 2,200 books deal with Auschwitz.
The historians who contributed also wished to emphasize the specificity of the Shoah in a world where relativism is politically correct. Bensoussan reminds us that in no other genocide were old people, children and adults alike brought in trains from the four quarters of a continent to be murdered in gas chambers.
As this dictionary sounded both interesting and essential for a Jewish teacher, I went to the local bookstore and was lucky to find it. It contains an introduction, a detailed timeline, some maps, a bibligraphy and 420 entries which constitute the core of the book.
I am sorry that the links I provided and the book are in French but I found tha,t because of its topic and quality, it was worth a blog post.