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Dawidowicz, Lucy


DAWIDOWICZ, LUCY (1915–1990), U.S. historian and writer. Born Lucy Schildbret in New York City, she pursued her love for Yiddish culture as a research fellow at the yivo Institute for Jewish Research in Vilna, Poland in 1938. On the eve of World War ii she returned to New York, where the yivo Institute was reestablished, and served as assistant to the research director of yivo from 1940 to 1946. At the end of the war, she returned to Europe on behalf of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee to aid concentration camp survivors.

She returned to the United States in 1947, subsequently working as a research analyst and later research director for the American Jewish Committee. In 1969, she joined the faculty of Yeshiva University, serving as professor of Holocaust studies from 1970.

In 1967, she edited the anthology The Golden Tradition: Jewish Life and Thought in Eastern Europe, contributing an extensive and incisive introduction. The War Against the Jews 1933–1945 (1975) contended that the Holocaust was not merely an antisemitic outburst but the final outcome of a ruthless totalitarian ideology whose central design was to eliminate the alien Jew.

In 1976, she edited The Holocaust Reader, which deals with Holocaust historiography. In The Holocaust and the Historians (1981), Dawidowicz attacked those who have attempted to deny the authenticity of the Holocaust.

[Susan Strul]

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