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The Old Country

Thomas Laqueur: The troublesome marriage of Poles and Jews, 4 June 1998

Heshel's Kingdom 
by Dan Jacobson.
Hamish Hamilton, 242 pp., £15.99, February 1998, 0 241 13927 9
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Shtetl: The History of a Small Town and an Extinguished World 
by Eva Hoffman.
Secker, 269 pp., £15.99, January 1998, 0 436 20482 7
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... of Jews in the obscure Lithuanian village of Varniai (Vorna it probably would have been to him); Eva Hoffman’s past and the past of Bransk, a Polish shtetl 180 kilometres east of Warsaw, whose history – alternately dismal and cheering – she interpolates into that of Poles and Jews generally, from the Statute of Kalisz to the present. (The statute ...

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