Ariel Center for Policy Research (ACPR)



Dov Levin

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.