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The War Against the Jews: 1933-1945 by Lucy…

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

by Lucy S. Dawidowicz

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657522,516 (4.13)11



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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 |
  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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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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"Books about Nazism are endless, but The War Against the Jews comes to us as a major work of synthesis, providing for the first time a full account of the Holocaust. . . . Dawidowicz has produced a work of high scholarship and profound moral impact."--Irving Howe, front page review in The New York Times Book Review Here is the unparalleled account of the most awesome and awful chapter in the moral history of humanity. Lucid, chilling and comprehensive, Lucy S. Dawidowicz's classic tells the complete story of the Nazi Holocaust--from the insidious evolution of German Anti-Semitism to the ultimate tragedy of the Final Solution. "A literary-historical shocker . . . Lucy S. Dawidowicz lifts the bloodstained curtain from Germany's war against the Jews."--Houston Post

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