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The Destruction of the European Jews (Student One Volume Edition) Paperback – September 1, 1985


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Holmes & Meier; Student Edition edition (September 1, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0841909105
  • ISBN-13: 978-0841909106
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #142,073 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Raul Hilberg is professor emeritus of political science at the University of Vermont

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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I have an autographed copy of the first edition of this book, which was originally a PhD thesis.
The Professor Dave
The book is also extremely well annotated with source documentation and additional information helpful for an understanding of broader context.
JM
Raul Hilberg was the first scholar to tackle this subject in depth and this work still stands today as THE standard work.
DRussel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 71 people found the following review helpful By smarvelous@aol.com on August 1, 1998
Format: Hardcover
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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36 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Paul Ortiz on March 6, 2004
Format: Hardcover
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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50 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Jan Peczkis on March 25, 2004
Format: Hardcover
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 By Todd Coon on December 31, 2010
Format: Paperback
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 By A Customer on November 2, 1997
Format: Paperback
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 By Nicholas F. on May 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover
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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