Hundreds of ghettos were created throughout eastern Europe by the Germans and their allies during the Second World War. There have been some studies of the largest ghettos - Warsaw and Lodz - and a few accounts of some of the smaller ones; but very little examination of the ghettos a whole. This pioneering new history draws heavily on the testimonies of those who suffered in them, making use of a wide range of diaries and memoirs (and exploring the problems inherent in such sources). Other documentary sources - particularly German - are also used, but the intention is to look at the ghettos 'from below', focusing on behavior, values, and suffering, as well as on the heroism and the passiveness of the Jewish communities. Never before has personal testimony been so extensively used and systematically evaluated to write a history of the East European ghettos.