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Between Galicia and Hungary:
The Jews of Stropkov

by Melody Amsel

"I must say I am very impressed by what you have done, and hope that the book will find its way to every Holocaust library. You are really to be congratulated for a very fine achievement."--Sir Martin Gilbert

Melody Amsel, an American-born Israeli amateur genealogist, has created a beautifully written yizkor (Holocaust memorial) book about the Jews of Stropkov, Slovak Republic. Many Jewish genealogists have memorialized members of their family murdered in the Holocaust. Ms. Amsel went a step further and not only memorialized the Amsels of Stropkov, but all the Jews of Stropkov. The book has some unusual features for a yizkor book. It is written in two languages: Hebrew and English, each a mirror of the other. It does not have a necrology--a list of those who were killed. Instead, it lists all the Jews of Stropkov (and neighboring communities), identifying the survivors in bold face. The list goes on for 64 pages of Holocaust victims, occasionally interrupted by an entry in bold face to identify a survivor. Of the more than 2,000 Stropkovers identified, only 162 survived the Holocaust.

The narrative is a history of the Jews of Stropkov, from their first presence about 1640 to 1945. Particular emphasis is on life just before the Holocaust and the events during the Holocaust. Amsel personalizes the times by not merely describing life during these periods but by naming Jewish citizens of the town. Clearly she interviewed many of the survivors and described activity as it happened to specific people.

A middle section has more than 100 pictures of the Jews of Stropkov. Heavy emphasis is on life before the Holocaust and even pictures taken during the deportations by a Christian photographer

7" x 10" 352 pages hard cover $39.00

Table of Contents
Blessing vii
Acknowledgements ix
About the Author x
Introduction xi
Chapter One: The Early Years 1
Chapter Two, 1800-1867 9
Chapter Three: 1867-1880 19
Chapter Four: 1880-1914 24
Chapter Five: 1914-1937 35
Chapter Six: Life in the Late 1930s 43
Chapter Seven: The Holidays 57
Chapter Eight: "The Troubles" 67
Chapter Nine: The Deportations 78
Chapter Ten: The Fate of the Transports 86
Chapter Eleven: Survival, 1942-1945 92
Chapter Twelve: Aftermath 108
Chapter Thirteen: Conclusion 112
Appendix A: Spelling and Names 115
Appendix B: Further Reading 116
Appendix C: Further Research 117
Appendix D: The Jews of Stropkov, 1942-1945: Their Names, Their Fate 121
Glossary 190
Bibliography 192
Index to Places 198
Index to Names 199


More than 100 photographs are included in the book

Posing on a log in the woods, c. 1940. L to r: Regina Schwartz, Frimet Gotz-Neumann, Duci Siegelmann, Perl Schwartz, Boriska Grosberger, Chana Laner, Feige Laner, Sara Baum, Perl Baum, girl from Svidnik. Of the Stropkovers, only Regina Schwartz survived.
Top row (l to r): Anshel Schwartz, Srul Stern, Shalom Weinberger, Chaim Laner, Yoshe Blitzer, Erno Pahmer; bottom row (l to r): Erno Schreiber, Yosef Gerhardt. Only Srul Stern and Chaim Laner survived.  
The (Salamon) Findling family, walking to the synagogue courtyard, as ordered, May 23, 1942. Although it was springtime, they bundled up in layers of clothes. They carried their belongings in hand bags, a knapsack, a dufflebag, and even wrapped up in sheets. Note the pail and milk jug. All perished.  

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