Friedman, Philip

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FRIEDMAN, PHILIP (1901–1960), Polish-Jewish historian. Friedman studied at the universities of Lvov and Vienna, and obtained his doctorate for a thesis on Die Galizischen Juden im Kampfe um ihre Gleichberechtigung (1848–1868), 1929. In further research on the history of Polish Jewry, mainly in the 19th century, Friedman described changes in the economic structure and the growth of the great Jewish center at Lodz. He took part in editing periodicals in Hebrew, Yiddish, and Polish, and contributed to Miesiecznik Żydowski ("The Jewish Monthly"). Friedman published Hebrew textbooks for Jewish high schools, and taught Jewish history at the Jewish High School in Lodz and at the Institute of Jewish Studies in Warsaw. During World War ii he went into hiding in Lvov. After the liberation, Friedman moved to Lublin, where he organized the Central Jewish Historical Commission, later the Jewish Historical Institute, in Warsaw, which undertook extensive documentation on the fate of Polish Jewry. In 1946 Friedman was appointed to organize an educational project for the Holocaust survivors in the American zone of occupation in Germany. In 1948, after the displaced persons camps were closed, Friedman immigrated to the United States, where he directed the Jewish Teachers' Institute in New York. He also lectured on Jewish history at Columbia University. Friedman was a member of the yivo staff and director of the bibliographical series of the Joint Documentary Projects of yivo and Yad Vashem. Almost all Friedman's postwar publications dealt with the Holocaust period, on which he became a leading expert. His writings up to 1955 are listed in Writings of Philip Friedman. A Bibliography (1955). His later works include Martyrs and Fighters (1954), a collection of sources on the Warsaw Ghetto uprising; and Their Brothers' Keepers (1957), about non-Jews who saved Jewish lives in occupied countries. The bibliographies of the Holocaust which he edited are Guide to Jewish History under Nazi Impact (coeditor J. Robinson, 1960), Bibliography of Books in Hebrew on the Jewish Catastrophe and Heroism in Europe (1960), and Bibliography of Yiddish Books on the Catastrophe and Heroism (coeditor J. Gar, 1962).


S.W. Baron, in: paajr, 29 (1960/61), 1–7; jba, 18 (1960/61), 76–80 (Yid.); Yad Vashem Bulletin 6/7 (1960), 3–7; yivo, Newsletter, no. 74 (1960), 1, 7; B. Orenstein, Das Leben un Shafen fun Ph. Friedman (1962).

[Shaul Esh]