History of the Jews in Lithuania
Lithuanian- Jewish relations
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AbstractThe review discusses Solomon Atamuk’s book “Lietuvos žydų kelias. Nuo XIV amžiaus iki XX a. pabaigos”[The Path of the Jews of Lithuania. From the 14th c. to the end of the 20th c.] (1998). The first section of the book (the Jews in the GDL in the 14th–18th c.) is a several pages’ qualified compilation of works by other researchers. Much more attention is dedicated to the period under the governance of Russian Tsarist authorities in 1795–1915. The author concludes that after the annexation of Lithuania to Russia, the situation of the Jews deteriorated. The book analyses demographic as well as social and economic processes, religious and ideological currents. The section of the reviewed monograph about the life of the Jews in independent Lithuania in 1819–1940 is very wide and contains a great deal of valuable material (new material, deep analysis, grounded conclusions and generalisations). Usually, histories of the Jews of Eastern Europe end with the Holocaust. This work by Solomon Atamuk is unique: one fourth of it is dedicated to the life of the Lithuanian Jewish community after WWII in Soviet Lithuania (1944–1990) and the second independent Republic of Lithuania (1990–1997). Therefore, this reviewed book is the first book to recover the history of the Jews from their arrival to this land until the present day. Of course, the author could not provide extensive and grounded answers to all questions, and his work also has disputable statements. However, in general, this book is the most significant contribution to the research of the history of Lithuania’s Jews.