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The Destruction of the European Jews [Box set] [Hardcover]

Raul Hilberg
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

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Hardcover $156.75  
Hardcover, Box set, December 1985 --  
Paperback $20.15  
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There is a newer edition of this item:
The Destruction of the European Jews, 3 Volume Set  (Third Edition) The Destruction of the European Jews, 3 Volume Set (Third Edition) 4.8 out of 5 stars (30)
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Book Description

December 1985 084190832X 978-0841908321 Revised
First published in 1961, Raul Hilberg's comprehensive account of how Germany annihilated the Jewish community of Europe spurred discussion, galvanised further research, and shaped the entire field of Holocaust studies. This revised and expanded edition of Hilberg's classic work extends the scope of his study and includes 80,000 words of new material, particularly from recently opened archives in eastern Europe, added over a lifetime of research. It is the definitive work of a scholar who has devoted more than 50 years to exploring and analysing the realities of the Holocaust. Spanning the 12-year period of anti-Jewish actions from 1933 to 1945, Hilberg's study encompasses Germany and all the territories under German rule or influence. Its principal focus is on the large number of perpetrators - civil servants, military personnel, Nazi party functionaries, SS men, and representatives of private enterprises - in the machinery of death.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Raul Hilberg is professor emeritus of political science at the University of Vermont --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1273 pages
  • Publisher: Holmes & Meier Pub; Revised edition (December 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 084190832X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0841908321
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.5 x 4.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,785,289 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
60 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An historical masterpiece. August 1, 1998
More than any other book, this one answers the question, "How did it happen?"
Mr. Hilberg provides the reader with the historical foundations for the Holocaust, and then relates in great detail the entire administrative process, without which the holocaust could not have occurred. I have read the book several times and never cease to be impressed with the thorough understanding and objectivity that Mr. Hilberg lends to the subject.
If you are seeking emotion and high drama, this book is definitely not what you are looking for. But if you want to know how such a horrible thing could have occurred, and the full extent participation by bureaucrats and ordinary citizens, this book is the best by far.
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34 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Standard Work on the Holocaust March 6, 2004
After nearly half a century, Hilberg's monumental work continues to be the standard work in the field. Hilberg's research methods, his attention to context, and his literary genius continues to inspire new generations of historians. The first college lecture I ever gave--on the Holocaust--was based on this book in conjunction with Arendt's "Banality of Evil." Of course, you must read "Destruction" in tandem with Hilberg's heart-wrenching memoir "Politics of Memory" to grasp fully the triumphs and tragedies of the greatest Holocaust historian.
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49 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Overall Compilation of Holocaust Information March 25, 2004
This three-volume 2003 edition summarizes a broad selection of data. It arrives at 5.1 million for the Jews killed during the Holocaust. This death toll is also subdivided by year of death, by European nationality of the Jewish victims, and by fate (extermination camp followed by cremation in a crematorium or pyre, open-air shooting and burial, etc.). This work also contains a list of Nuremberg defendants, and their associates, along with identification of those held directly responsible for the fate of the Jews.
A considerable amount of time is spent discussing how the Germans had gradually perfected the technology of genocide. Mass shootings gave way to mass gassings using the carbon monoxide from the burning of fuel by large engines. This was replaced with Zyklon, a pelleted form of hydrogen cyanide. It was found that the burning of bodies in large pyres disposed of them quicker than the crematory ovens. To hasten the disposal of the murder victims, their bodies were not usually burned completely to ashes. Some death camps pulverized the bones of the victims with special bone-crushing machines, while other camps just used slaves bearing hammers to do the gruesome job.
The Jewish death toll at Auschwitz-Birkenau is currently estimated as fewer than 1 million. This contrasts with earlier estimates of 1.5 million, 1.2 million, etc. This should be of no comfort to Holocaust deniers, as the present estimate, and overall Jewish death toll, is unlikely to be reduced any further, at least to a substantial extent. However, it does ask for an explanation for the discrepancies with earlier estimates, and none is provided.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still the Benchmark for Holocaust Studies December 31, 2010
I first read this book in 1985 while taking David Wyman's Holocaust course at University of Massachusetts at Amherst. (Wyman is the author of "Paper Walls" and "The Abandonment of the Jews;" the latter was also a required text for his class). This book is by no means uplifting; it is wholly factual and based on the premise that antisemitism had been building up for centuries in Germany; Hitler simply tapped into the wellspring, as it were, and was the catalyst for the actual destruction of the Jews in Europe. Much of this is covered in Volume I. Volumes II and III are concerned with the actual extermination process as it developed from the Einsatzgruppen in the East to the extermination camps by the end of the war. This book is extensively researched and footnoted and the references to the internal decision-making memorandums speak for themselves. Some discussion is given to the home-front view of the Holocaust within Germany; the "Mischling" problem; the attempts to suppress the actual truth of what was happening; and the response to outside efforts to stop the killing, particularly when it escalated in May 1944 with the deportation of the Hungarian Jews. Although first written as a research thesis between 1947 and 1949, it is still a current work and a must-read for anyone who wishes to know the Holocaust. Read this book, and you will have a foundation to read and appraise other scholarly works on this subject.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive academic Holocaust book. November 2, 1997
By A Customer
This book is the benchmark upon which all that follows will be measured. Thouroughly researched and well written, this is a must read for anyone seeking the decisions, mechanics, and dynamics of the Holocaust. END
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Devil is in the Details May 19, 2011
This is "it"--the definitive history. At first it seems a bit dry; the typeface is dated and the layout a bit cluttered, but after one reads a paragraph one is drawn in to the history. And this *is* history, not story, not sensationalism. Hilberg wrote this work based on primary research he was hired to do for the United States government. The evolution of the killing methods--from the Einsatzgruppen (mobile killing squads) all the way to the factories of death at Auschwitz-Birkenau is carefully and painstakingly researched and reported. This book is true to it title, and gives the history of the Jews' destruction. There are no lurid descriptions or guesses at the psychopathology of Himmler or Heydrich, no subjective treatment of how "it must have been" on the trains--just the details, all of them. If one reads the other famous Holocaust works--_Survival in Auschwitz_, _Night_, _The Auschwitz Album_ (a particularly chilling read, with plenty of photographs)--one really needs this work at one's elbow.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars No serious student of the Holocaust can go forward without this
This is the first systematic and extensive work that goes into actual archival documents to track the step by step process of the destruction of European Jewry. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Norbert1948
3.0 out of 5 stars Jewish Passivity?
In the academic literature of the Holocaust, two works stand out: Raul Hilberg's "Destruction of the European Jews" and Lucy Dawidowitz's "The War Against the Jews. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Eric Gartman
A very good overview for someone who is too young to have an emotional relationship to the Holocaust but needs to know how and why it happened. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Rudolph A. Lawton
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this book if you want to become educated!
A very well-written book. And a must read If you desire to become educated. Everyone should at some point read this book!
Published 7 months ago by Beatrice Poisson
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece
This book is extremely thoughtful, objective, comprehensive, and very well written and organized. The material represents a lifetime of unparalleled Holocaust research and... Read more
Published 14 months ago by JM
5.0 out of 5 stars This edition updated with material accessible after FSU collapse
I own the previous edition from Holmes and Meier --- which is a must-have standard work --- and reread it from cover to cover nearly once a year, on either Yom HaShoah or on Tisha... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Lily's pet human
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the least long-winded books
I'm gonna keep it brief. Just two things - firstly, it's amazing that Hilberg wrote in such an accurate & toneless manner when he lost his whole extended family to the mass murder... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Brenden J. Vigus
5.0 out of 5 stars OK
First time a bought a used book. This book was in a good state. There were some marks in it, normal for this kind of book.
Good experience!
Published on June 16, 2012 by Paulusz70
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous
This review refers to the 2003 edition, from the most recent publishing run at Yale U. Press. I purchased this book in May, 2011. Read more
Published on July 18, 2011 by anovarho
5.0 out of 5 stars moving
dont think i am qualified to review this fine work, but;this book should be manditory in schools.......along with works on Native Americans & Black
Americans. Read more
Published on July 8, 2011 by Ronn Royster
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