Reviews

Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

A follow-up to the excellent Nazi Germany and the Jews, from a historian who witnessed the Holocaust firsthand. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.


Choice
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.

Friedlander (UCLA) has written a riveting, readable account of Hitler's decision to annihilate the Jews of Europe, as well as his victims' reactions as described in diaries and letters. The volume continues the author's earlier work, Nazi Germany and the Jews: The Years of Persecution, 1933-1939 (CH, May'97, 34-5252). Together, the books should become the standard work on the steps leading to the Holocaust. Friedlander argues that Hitler was the architect of the Final Solution. Obsessed with the Jews, Hitler prophesied on the eve of WW II that should war break out, it would result in the extermination of the Jews. This prophecy was not hyperbole, but a warning repeated many times during the war, driven by Hitler's belief that Jews were the principal evil in Western history and that without a German victory, the Jews would ultimately dominate the world. Friedlander brands Hitler's anti-Jewish hatred "redemptive anti-Semitism," defined as Hitler's belief that "beyond the immediate ideological confrontation with liberalism and communism, which he claimed was invented by Jews and for Jewish interests, he perceived his mission as a kind of crusade to redeem the world by eliminating the Jews." Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries. J. Fischel emeritus, Messiah College


Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

In the second volume of his essential history of Nazi Germany and the Jews, one of the great historians of the Holocaust provides a rich, vivid depiction of Jewish life from France to Ukraine, Greece to Norway, in its most tragic period, drawing especially on hundreds of diaries written by Jews during their ordeal, depicting a world collapsing on its inhabitants, along with the thousands of humiliating persecutions that Jews suffered on their way to extermination. Friedlander also provides insightful discussions of the many interpretive controversies that still surround the history of Nazi Germany. He has been party to many of the debates, and he remains attuned to the most recent historical research. Friedlander knows the bureaucratic workings of the Third Reich as well as anyone, but refuses to see in that alone the explanation for the Holocaust. Instead, he focuses largely on cultural and ideological factors. He considers other factors, such as "the crisis of liberalism," but these were not the essential motives for the Holocaust, which, Friedlander says, was driven by sheer hatred of Jews, by "a redemptive anti-Semitism" espoused by Hitler, a belief that Germans could thrive only through the utter destruction of Jews. This is a masterful synthesis that draws on a lifetime of learning and research. (Apr. 10) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.


Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

In this second compelling volume of Friedlander's history of the Holocaust (see its predecessor, Nazi Germany and the Jews: Volume 1: The Years of Persecution, 1933-1939), the author (history, Univ. of California, Los Angeles) takes into account recent scholarship on the Holocaust but avoids bogging down in the intentionalist/functionalist historiographic debate. He succeeds at integrating the analysis of the decision-making processes of Hitler and his coterie with stories of how individuals were affected by these decisions. The narrative largely conveys the voices of the victims clearly, and while Friedlander might be criticized for an overreliance on published memoirs, it is interesting to see how Victor Klemperer's story, already made famous by his published diary, is woven into the general history of the war years. Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of the story is the manner in which the Nazi regime relied on the consent and participation of the masses to carry out its activities. That orders for deportation and eventual extermination were being issued into the spring of 1945 demonstrates how the Nazi war against the Jews was not merely obsessive but existential. Recommended for all libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 12/06.]-Frederic Krome, Jacob Rader Marcus Ctr. of the American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

It can be argued that we are in danger of a Holocaust overload--that is, the constant revisiting of the topic, deadening sensitivities to the real horrors of racial genocide. On the other hand, there is a need to keep reminding the world precisely what was done to Jews under the Nazi regime. That is just what Friedlander seeks to do in his second volume on the topic. He grew up in Nazi-occupied France and is now a professor of history at UCLA. Here he takes a broad view of the war against the Jews. The actions of the Nazi state are closely examined, but he also places the Holocaust within the broader context of European politics and racial attitudes. He eloquently illustrates the millions of individual tragedies through extensive use of Jewish diaries. He avoids delving into the motivations for the anti-Semitism of Hitler and his cohorts; for him, such blind hatred is beyond true comprehension. The deeper problem is comprehending why people were willing to become a part of such an affront to decency. --Jay Freeman Copyright 2007 Booklist


Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

A follow-up to the excellent Nazi Germany and the Jews, from a historian who witnessed the Holocaust firsthand. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Choice
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.

Friedlander (UCLA) has written a riveting, readable account of Hitler's decision to annihilate the Jews of Europe, as well as his victims' reactions as described in diaries and letters. The volume continues the author's earlier work, Nazi Germany and the Jews: The Years of Persecution, 1933-1939 (CH, May'97, 34-5252). Together, the books should become the standard work on the steps leading to the Holocaust. Friedlander argues that Hitler was the architect of the Final Solution. Obsessed with the Jews, Hitler prophesied on the eve of WW II that should war break out, it would result in the extermination of the Jews. This prophecy was not hyperbole, but a warning repeated many times during the war, driven by Hitler's belief that Jews were the principal evil in Western history and that without a German victory, the Jews would ultimately dominate the world. Friedlander brands Hitler's anti-Jewish hatred "redemptive anti-Semitism," defined as Hitler's belief that "beyond the immediate ideological confrontation with liberalism and communism, which he claimed was invented by Jews and for Jewish interests, he perceived his mission as a kind of crusade to redeem the world by eliminating the Jews." Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries. J. Fischel emeritus, Messiah College


Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

In the second volume of his essential history of Nazi Germany and the Jews, one of the great historians of the Holocaust provides a rich, vivid depiction of Jewish life from France to Ukraine, Greece to Norway, in its most tragic period, drawing especially on hundreds of diaries written by Jews during their ordeal, depicting a world collapsing on its inhabitants, along with the thousands of humiliating persecutions that Jews suffered on their way to extermination. Friedlander also provides insightful discussions of the many interpretive controversies that still surround the history of Nazi Germany. He has been party to many of the debates, and he remains attuned to the most recent historical research. Friedlander knows the bureaucratic workings of the Third Reich as well as anyone, but refuses to see in that alone the explanation for the Holocaust. Instead, he focuses largely on cultural and ideological factors. He considers other factors, such as "the crisis of liberalism," but these were not the essential motives for the Holocaust, which, Friedlander says, was driven by sheer hatred of Jews, by "a redemptive anti-Semitism" espoused by Hitler, a belief that Germans could thrive only through the utter destruction of Jews. This is a masterful synthesis that draws on a lifetime of learning and research. (Apr. 10) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

In this second compelling volume of Friedlander's history of the Holocaust (see its predecessor, Nazi Germany and the Jews: Volume 1: The Years of Persecution, 1933-1939), the author (history, Univ. of California, Los Angeles) takes into account recent scholarship on the Holocaust but avoids bogging down in the intentionalist/functionalist historiographic debate. He succeeds at integrating the analysis of the decision-making processes of Hitler and his coterie with stories of how individuals were affected by these decisions. The narrative largely conveys the voices of the victims clearly, and while Friedlander might be criticized for an overreliance on published memoirs, it is interesting to see how Victor Klemperer's story, already made famous by his published diary, is woven into the general history of the war years. Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of the story is the manner in which the Nazi regime relied on the consent and participation of the masses to carry out its activities. That orders for deportation and eventual extermination were being issued into the spring of 1945 demonstrates how the Nazi war against the Jews was not merely obsessive but existential. Recommended for all libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 12/06.]-Frederic Krome, Jacob Rader Marcus Ctr. of the American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

It can be argued that we are in danger of a Holocaust overload--that is, the constant revisiting of the topic, deadening sensitivities to the real horrors of racial genocide. On the other hand, there is a need to keep reminding the world precisely what was done to Jews under the Nazi regime. That is just what Friedlander seeks to do in his second volume on the topic. He grew up in Nazi-occupied France and is now a professor of history at UCLA. Here he takes a broad view of the war against the Jews. The actions of the Nazi state are closely examined, but he also places the Holocaust within the broader context of European politics and racial attitudes. He eloquently illustrates the millions of individual tragedies through extensive use of Jewish diaries. He avoids delving into the motivations for the anti-Semitism of Hitler and his cohorts; for him, such blind hatred is beyond true comprehension. The deeper problem is comprehending why people were willing to become a part of such an affront to decency. --Jay Freeman Copyright 2007 Booklist