Historical Atlases and the Holocaust
In recent years several important historical atlases have been published which students, teachers and scholars of the Holocaust may find themselves using for pertinent geographical information. To varying degrees, these atlases suffer from the basic problems of most reference works: factual inaccuracies, nuances that evoke wrong impressions, disproportionate representation of events, outdated information and the omission of significant information. The maps themselves are sometimes unclear, amateurish or simply lacking in relevant details. The atlases among them that are not specifically about the period of the Holocaust or do not focus on Jewish history, are very mixed in their treatment of the subject. Some of them give very little information about Jewish life before, during and after the Holocaust, or about the events that led up to the murder; and at least one virtually ignores these subjects. Despite these deficiencies, students and teachers may find almost all the atlases useful for gaining impressions. Most scholars, however, will discover that none of the atlases consistently provides the kind of explicit and detailed geographic information they often require. For scholars, the best solution would be to have access to a very complex geographical database from which maps could be generated according to their specific needs.