Books: Stained with a Different Darkness

THE CHRONICLE OF THE LODZ GHETTO, 1941-1944 Edited by Lucjan Dobroszycki; translated by Richard Lourie, Joachim Neugroschel and others; Yale; 551 pages; $35

Ghetto is an Italian word, but it is defined in German. In 1939 the Third Reich took the obsolete custom of separating Jews from the human community and gave it new meaning. No longer were there merely segregated facilities, suffocating laws and a curfew. By the '40s isolation had become a euphemism for what Nobel Laureate Nelly Sachs calls "Habitations of death . . . staining each minute with a different darkness."

The fate of one such ghetto has...

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