Holocaust Book Club | Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle

Holocaust Book Club

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Date(s) - May 4, 2016
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center


The Emperor of Lies

Author: Steve Sem-Sandberg

Holocaust Book Club Instructor: Jody Hirsh

Join the Harry & Rose Samson Family JCC’s Judaic Education Director Jody Hirsh as he discusses Steve Sem-Sandberg’s The Emperor of LiesIn February 1940, the Nazis established what would become the second-largest Jewish ghetto in the Polish city of Lódz. Its chosen leader: Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski, a sixty-three-year-old Jewish businessman and orphanage director. From one of Scandinavia’s most critically acclaimed and bestselling authors, The Emperor of Lies chronicles the tale of Rumkowski’s monarchical rule over a quarter million Jews. Driven by a titanic ambition, he sought to transform the ghetto into a productive industrial complex and strove to make it —and himself — indispensable to the Nazi regime. Drawing on the chronicles of life in the Lódz Ghetto, Steve Sem-Sandberg captures the full panorama of human resilience and asks the most difficult questions: Was Rumkowski a ruthless opportunist, an accessory to the Nazi regime driven by a lust for power? Or was he a pragmatic strategist who managed to save Jewish lives through his collaboration policies?