A book launch for Choices under Duress of the Holocaust: Benjamin Murmelstein and the Fate of Viennese Jewry, Volume I: Vienna will be hosted by York University’s Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Studies on Jan. 16 at 6 p.m.
The culmination of more than three decades of research, Choices under Duress of the Holocaust: Benjamin Murmelstein and the Fate of Viennese Jewry, Volume I: Vienna examines the decision-making process of Jewish communal leadership under Nazi domination from both a historical and a philosophical perspective. Taking as its test case that of the controversial Rabbi Dr. Benjamin Murmelstein, this first of two volumes investigates his actions as deputy and then leader of the Jewish community of Vienna between 1938 and 1942.
In contextualizing Murmelstein’s actions within their broader historical framework, Choices under Duress of the Holocaust widens its focus in presenting a painstaking history of the Viennese Jewish community under the extreme conditions forced upon it by its Nazi overlords. The second volume, which is expected to be released in approximately two years, deals with the Viennese Jewish community from 1942 to 1945 and with the fate of those who were deported to the “model ghetto” of Theresienstadt/Terezin, where Murmelstein was eventually appointed Judenältester (Chief Jewish Elder).
The manuscript of Choices under Duress of the Holocaust was completed shortly before the deaths of its authors, Professor Leonard H. Ehrlich (University of Massachusetts at Amherst) and Edith Ehrlich, and prepared for publication by their son, Professor Carl S. Ehrlich (York University).
The event takes place at the Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Studies, 7th floor of the Kaneff Tower, York University. There will be a reception at 5 p.m., as well as a book signing following the presentation. Light kosher refreshments will be served, and there will be complimentary parking at the York Lanes Parking Garage.
To RSVP, email firstname.lastname@example.org.