“There was never a camp here!”

Marianne Hirsch

in Ghosts of Home

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9780520257726
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520944909 | DOI:
“There was never a camp here!”

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  • Judaism and Jewish Studies


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This chapter examines the unfortunate individuals who were arrested and considered as “political” prisoners in 1942, first presenting the testimonials of three political prisoners—Nathan Simon, Polya Dubbs, and Arthur Kessler. It then narrates the experiences of David Kessler, the son of one of these prisoners, as he traveled to Czernowitz in an attempt to learn more about his father's past. The chapter includes a description of Vapniarka, where the detention camp was located, the internal organization of the camp, and the lifestyle of the people who were imprisoned there. It also studies the little black book that David inherited from his father, which serves as a testimonial object for those who want to know more about Vapniarka and its history.

Keywords: political prisoners; Vapniarka; detention camp; internal organization; lifestyle; testimonial object

Chapter.  12180 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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