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The War Against the Jews: 1933-1945 (1975)

by Lucy S. Dawidowicz

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702523,128 (4.11)11
A history of how anti-Semitism evolved into the Holocaust in Germany: "If any book can tell what Hitlerism was like, this is it" (Alfred Kazin). Lucy Dawidowicz's groundbreaking The War Against the Jews inspired waves of both acclaim and controversy upon its release in 1975. Dawidowicz argues that genocide was, to the Nazis, as central a war goal as conquering Europe, and was made possible by a combination of political, social, and technological factors. She explores the full history of Hitler's "Final Solution," from the rise of anti-Semitism to the creation of Jewish ghettos to the brutal tactics of mass murder employed by the Nazis.   Written with devastating detail, The War Against the Jews is the definitive and comprehensive book on one of history's darkest chapters.… (more)
Recently added byjntjesussaves, WilliamW72, tjaxe, hamiltonchapel, IraSchor, HR_JHS, eerowland1, JHSFC, private library

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Showing 5 of 5
The author divides her work into two parts: the first focuses on the Nazis and is fascinating in the same way that a poisonous viper demands your attention. With impeccable and overwhelming research one sees that National Socialism was an outgrowth of centuries of German reaction to liberalism. She argues that the growth of a mythical "Volk" that mixes Teutonic mythology, reactionary ideology, and anti-Semitism stems from resistance to Napoleon's imposition on the fractured German states of French concepts of freedom and equality. Hitler then added a personal obsessional hatred of Jews that borrowed descriptions of them as "vermin" and "bacteria." He globalized the threat he saw posed by the Jews by conflataing Bolshevism and Judaism, with which justified his attack on Russia. The author makes the point that Hitler's spewing in Mein Kampf in the mid-1920s was an accurate forecast of his domestic and foreign policy. It's fascinating, well-written, and repulsive, as the entire Volk takes pride in how many Jews were extirminated. The second half of the book though, which concentrates on how the Jews reacted to the mortal threat upon them I found too pedantic and masochistic. As members of various Jewish organizations in Germany debated doctrinal issues, the Nazis were preparing to kill them all. It reminds me of the Woody Allen line about talking to a Nazi only with a baseball bat. However, the Jews didn't use weapons; they deluded themselves into thinking that rational arguments would win the day. I couldn't read it. ( )
1 vote neddludd | Jun 3, 2011 |
Organized into The Final Solution, The Holocaust, Country Perspectives
  Folkshul | Jan 15, 2011 |
Shoah
  icm | Oct 3, 2008 |
Very comprehensive and detailed account of the Holocaust. ( )
  J.v.d.A. | Jul 3, 2007 |
A classic historical account of the Holocaust, its origins, the response, etc. ( )
  JBD1 | Jan 14, 2006 |
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A history of how anti-Semitism evolved into the Holocaust in Germany: "If any book can tell what Hitlerism was like, this is it" (Alfred Kazin). Lucy Dawidowicz's groundbreaking The War Against the Jews inspired waves of both acclaim and controversy upon its release in 1975. Dawidowicz argues that genocide was, to the Nazis, as central a war goal as conquering Europe, and was made possible by a combination of political, social, and technological factors. She explores the full history of Hitler's "Final Solution," from the rise of anti-Semitism to the creation of Jewish ghettos to the brutal tactics of mass murder employed by the Nazis.   Written with devastating detail, The War Against the Jews is the definitive and comprehensive book on one of history's darkest chapters.

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In The War Against the Jews, Jewish history scholar Lucy S. Dawidowicz articulated her theory that the murder of European Jewry was, from the beginning, the goal of Adolf Hitler, and opposed those who said the Final Solution evolved as the war progressed. She also chronicled the activities of many underground resistance groups and dismissed those who criticized the European Jews as passive.
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