1915 Diary of S. An-sky

A Russian Jewish Writer at the Eastern Front
Author(s): S.A. An-Sky
Original Publish Date: Mar 28, 2016
Product Number: EB00777269
Released: Oct 22, 2019
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9780253020536
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The WWI diary of the Russian Jewish activist and author of The Dybbuk presents "an unforgettable portrait of life, culture, and destruction" (Eugene Avrutin, author of Jews and the Imperial State). By the outbreak of World War I, S. An-sky was a well-known writer, a longtime revolutionary, and an ethnographer who pioneered the collection of Jewish folklore in Russia's Pale of Settlement. In 1915, An-sky took on the assignment of providing aid and relief to Jewish civilians trapped under Russian military occupation in Galicia. As he made his way through the shtetls there, close to the Austrian frontlines, he kept a diary of his encounters and impressions. In his diary, An-sky describes conversations with wounded soldiers in hospitals, fellow Russian and Jewish aid workers, and Jewish civilians living on the Eastern Front. He recorded the brutality and violence against the civilian population, the complexities of interethnic relations, the practices and limitations of philanthropy and medical care, Russification policies, and antisemitism. In the late 1910s, An-sky used his diaries as raw material for a lengthy memoir in Yiddish, published under the title The Destruction of Galicia. Although most of An-sky's original diaries were lost, two fragments are preserved in the Russian State Archive of Literature and Art. Translated and annotated here by Polly Zavadivker, these fragments convey An-sky's vivid perceptions and enlightening insights.