The origins and life of East European Jewry took on new historical and political importance after the Holocaust. In Poland alone 99 per cent of Polish Jews three million in all were killed; Yiddish as a spoken language more or less disappeared. This volume presents a history of East European Jewry from its beginnings to the period after the Holocaust. It gives an overview of the demographic, political, socioeconomic, religious and cultural conditions of Jewish communities in Poland, Russia, Bohemia and Moravia.Interesting themes include the story of early settlers, the 'Golden Age', the influence of the Kabbalah and Hasidism. Vivid portraits of Jewish family life and religious customs make the book enjoyable to read.