Professor Dov Levin
was born in Kaunas, Lithuania in 1925. From kindergarten through
high school he received a traditional Hebrew Zionist education.
After the Soviet Union annexed Lithuania in 1940, his formal
education ceased, as did his involvement with the Zionist youth
group Hashomer Hatzair, which was banned by government order.
He was in the Kovno Ghetto during the Nazi occupation along with his
father Tzvi-Hirsh Levin, his mother Bluma nee Wigoder and his twin
sister Batya, none of whom survived. He joined the partisans
fighting against the Nazis and their local Lithuanian collaborators.
At the end of 1945, under the auspices of the B’riha movement
he arrived in Eretz Yisrael participating in the founding of
the state and the War of Independence. He studied at the Hebrew
University of Jerusalem receiving a PhD in History. He was a
Fulbright Scholar at the University of Chicago and Director of the
Oral History Division of the Institute of Contemporary Jewry, at the
Hebrew University of Jerusalem. A known authority in the field of
Eastern European Jewry, particularly the history of the Baltic Jews,
he has published 520 articles and 16 books in Hebrew and English.
Among the English titles are Fighting Back: Lithuanian Jewry’s
Armed Resistance to the Nazis 1941-1945 (1985); Baltic Jews
under the Soviets (1994); The Lesser of Two Evils: 1939-1941
(1995) and The Litvaks: A Short History of the Jews in Lithuania
(2000). He is married to Bilha nee Deutsch and the father of two
daughters and a son.