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Eternal Treblinka: Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust Paperback – February, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Isaac Bashevis Singer first suggested that "for the animals, it is an eternal Treblinka." Charles Patterson (Anti-Semitism: The Road to the Holocaust and Beyond) expands on that risky analogy in his latest book, Eternal Treblinka: Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust. Patterson hypothesizes a risky causal relationship, too, when he writes, "since violence begets violence, the enslavement of animals injected a higher level of domination and coercion into human history by creating oppressive hierarchical societies and unleashing large-scale warfare never seen before." Was human "enslavement" of animals the first step on the road to the Holocaust? Patterson doesn't say as much, but it's clear that he feels our inhumanity to the nonhuman is one of our greatest evils.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


"...sheds light on violence against animals and humans so that we might one day put an end to it." -- Moment Magazine, June 2002

"Compelling, controversial, iconoclastic...strongly recommended...a unique contribution." -- Midwest Book Review, May 2002

"Eternal Treblinka is an eye-opening, thought-provoking book that I highly recommend." -- The Gantseh Megillah (Montreal), April 2002

"Important and timely...written with great sensitivity and compassion...I hope that Eternal Treblinka will be widely read." -- Martyrdom and Resistance, March/April 2002

"There are good books...great books...and important books...Eternal Treblinka is all three." -- Satya Magazine, June/July 2002

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Lantern Books; 1st Ed. edition (February 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1930051999
  • ISBN-13: 978-1930051997
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #268,765 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Charles Patterson is a social historian, Holocaust educator, editor, and therapist. He is the author of Eternal Treblinka: Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust (now in 15 languages). He is also the author of Anti-Semitism: The Road to the Holocaust and Beyond, The Oxford 50th Anniversary Book of the United Nations, The Civil Rights Movement, and From Buchenwald to Carnegie Hall (co-authored with Holocaust survivor Marian Filar).

He is a graduate of Amherst College, Columbia University (Ph.D.), and the Yad Vashem Institute for Holocaust Education in Jerusalem. Dr. Patterson now lives in New York City. He is a member of PEN, The Authors Guild, and the National Writers Union.

Charles Patterson's website is

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

111 of 117 people found the following review helpful By Richard Schwartz on June 2, 2002
Format: Paperback
When I first learned that Charles Patterson was going to write a book about "our treatment of animals and the Holocaust," I had some misgivings. I was aware that some animal rights advocates had made superficial, misleading comparisons between the treatment of animals on factory farms and the treatment of Jews and others in the Holocaust, and I knew that this had hurt the vegetarian/animal rights cause by giving people an excuse to avoid considering the many negative effects of animal-based diets. However, I was an early endorser of Patterson's project because I felt that we needed new, creative ways to alert people to the horrors of modern intensive livestock agriculture, and my knowledge of his character, sensitivity, and background convinced me that he would be an ideal person for this project.
My confidence in his ability to sensitively carry out this project was well placed. The book is very well researched (with almost 700 end notes), and it is written with great sensitivity and compassion. Eternal Treblinka does not equate animals and people. Rather, it shows how the frequent vilification of people as rats, vermin, pigs, insects, beasts, monkeys, etc., dehumanizes people and makes it easier to oppress, enslave, and murder them. He documents many examples of this process, relating it to the treatment of slaves, native American Indians, Japanese people during World War II, Vietnamese people during the Vietnam War, and other examples.
The book carefully shows how the enslavement ("domestication") of animals became the model and inspiration for all the oppressions that followed. In particular.
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161 of 179 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 28, 2002
Format: Paperback
Robert Cohen writes, "One year ago I read an author's manuscript. Today, that book is in print, and you should
add this one to your summer reading list: ETERNAL TREBLINKA by Charles Patterson. I have just been informed by Mr. Patterson that his Eternal Treblinka has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. After reading Eternal Treblinka, I wrote this:
The flight from Newark, New Jersey, to Portland Oregon lasted six hours. On the plane, I read the rough draft version of "Eternal Treblinka," an extraordinary book written by Charles Patterson that equates the real life and death experiences of ten billion farm animals raised each year for human consumption to the same Nazi atrocities suffered by six million Jews who became Hitler's "Final Solution."
This is one of the best written, best researched animal rights books that I've ever had the pleasure to preview. Fresh from the memory of having read about Jews stuffed into cattle cars as they were being transported to the slaughterhouses of Aushwitz and Dachau, I myself became witness to the twenty-first century's foremost example of man's inhumanity to other living creatures. Our tortured kin. The animal holocaust.
Last Thursday morning, I drove from Portland to Mount St. Helens in Washington State. I had been attending the Raw Foods Festival in Portland, and found a few hours in between my talks to visit the scene of America's greatest natural volcanic disaster. On this hot summer day, I drove across a bridge spanning the cascading Columbia River, separating Portland from Vancouver. There next to my car was a 40-foot long silver van with holes large enough to see through.
Inside of the truck were dairy cows. They were packed tightly together-with no room to lie down. The cows had served man's purpose.
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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful By J. Frank on February 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
When I first picked up Eternal Treblinka I must admit it was with some degree of skepticism. My reservations were not about the quality of the writing or research in the book; I had high expectations in that regard and the book in fact surpassed my expectations. I was concerned that the book might be too esoteric to have any general appeal. After all, people concerned about animals in our society are a relatively small group. People with a strong interest in the Holocaust are also a small and probably shrinking group. A book that combines the two topics, I reasoned, might appeal to very few people.
I was very wrong in my thinking here. This is a book with a very broad appeal. The book is not just about a single event in history (horrific as that event may have been) nor is it about the views of some "fringe" animal rights activists. This book drives at an issue central to all of human history; a problem that arguably has caused most of the preventable suffering since the dawn of civilization.
Patterson adeptly demonstrates how throughout human history mankind has created a division between both their own group and their "inferiors"-both human and animal. And how that division has led to horrific abuse of both humans and animals.
This is a wonderfully enlightening book, filled with overlooked and fascinating historical tidbits. Although history has never been a topic particularly interesting to me, I found myself frequently feeling compelled to stop and tell whoever was in the room, "Hey, did you know that.."
Eternal Treblinka is surprising for its readability as well as its broad appeal. Somehow, Patterson managed to turn this educational work of non-fiction into something of a page-turner.
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