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Hitler's Shadow War: The Holocaust and World War II Paperback – March 17, 2006

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 588 pages
  • Publisher: Taylor Trade Publishing (March 17, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1589792947
  • ISBN-13: 978-1589792944
  • Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 6.3 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #685,882 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In this meticulously researched book, McKale posits that Hitler and his fellow Nazis used the war in Europe as a cover for the real war they meant to fight. This was a "shadow war," he contends, in which Hitler would murder millions of Jews in Europe and Asia and eventually elsewhere in the world. McKale points out that the huge resources Germany used to carry out the "war against the Jews" could have been used to fight against the Western allies and the Soviet Union. McKale examines why, among all the racial, political, and other groups that Hitler despised and persecuted, he singled out the Jews for his greatest hatred. He surveys the steadily increasing yet "twisted road" of Nazi persecution of the German Jews before 1939. For anyone seeking to come to terms with the depravity of the Holocaust, this book will be required reading. George Cohen
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


McKale has provided a fine survey. (Norman J. W. Goda Holocaust and Genocide Studies)

Hitler's Shadow War offers an incisive introductory survey of the Holocaust from the ideological inception of modern anti-Semitism through the rising tide of anti-Jewish persecution in the 1930s and culminating in the Final Solution. (Abraham J. Edelheit Jewish Book World)

McKale's book is a stunning achievement. . . . If readers at any level, or any library, were to purchase one book on the Holocaust, Hitler's Shadow War would be the recommended choice. (M. Swartz CHOICE)

For anyone seeking to come to terms with the depravity of the Holocaust, Hitler's Shadow War will be required reading. (George Cohen Booklist)

McKale presents a chillingly detailed and documented account of the Nazi insanity motivating the murderous attempt to exterminate the Jews of Europe. In view of the massive manpower, construction, transporation, energy, and other resources expended in this task, winning World War II, for the Nazis, was nothing more than a step toward success in the Holocaust. (Martin Blumenson, Author of Heroes Never Die: Warriors and Warfare in World War II)

EDITOR'S CHOICE of the History Book Club, March 2003

The distinguishing features of Professor McKale's account are that it is based on the latest scholarship, places the systematic murder of the Jews into its World War II context, and does these things in a very well-written survey that will enlighten and inform the general public as well as specialists.
(Gerhard L. Weinberg, author of A World at Arms: A Global History of World War II)

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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By John L. Crowe on June 22, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent introduction to this most depressing and distressing topic. Prof. McKale makes his case rather well that Hitler did indeed order the Holocaust. (It's hard to believe that there are those who still maintain his innocence, but they are out there.) His final chapters reviewing current controversies surrounding the Holocaust are very good. For one seeking a broad overview, this is an excellent choice. He provides sufficient detail and analysis about the various stages and components of this most dreadful enterprise to allow the reader to understand the whole picture, but does not overwhelm the reader with a myriad of details more appropriate to a specialized study. His bibliography and endnotes provide a wealth of more specialized works for anyone who discovers a particular interest in some aspect of this wretched business. Mercifully, Prof. McKale spares the reader much of the more grisly details of the murders' methods such as may be found in works such as Richard Rhodes, "Masters of Death: The SS-Einsatzgruppen and the Invention of the Holocast", for example, an excellent work that requires a very strong constitution from the reader. Prof. McKale is not the least bit balanced in his approach: the perpetrators of this murder and their accomplices, whether direct or indirect, are completely guilty and utterly without excuse; the victims -- those actually murdered in the camps or in the field by the SS, the German Army, or the local population -- the victims are totally innocent, ruthlessly murdered simply because they existed. I do not recall one instance where Prof. McKale gave the slightest credence to any proffered rationalization or justification for the murderers' dismal deeds. There were none.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By T. Kunikov VINE VOICE on April 7, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book is an excellent analysis of the Holocaust and how the Second World War incorporated into it. The authors premise that a significant amount of literature devotes itself solely to the war or the Holocaust without infusing one with the other is true and this book tries to correct that. How many men in the SS and in general how many workers were needed to keep the massive genocidal machine going throughout the war are presented as well as how much material was used up transporting Jews to slave labor and their deaths. A good amount of room is also given to how much money the Germans made by simply stealing from or blackmailing Jews and how much monetary value the goods taken from Jews after they arrived in concentration/death camps amounted to as well. It is a wonder that compensation wasn't forthcoming sooner from some of the countries that benefited from Jewish slave labor and harbored stolen goods (including art, furniture, etc). The book is also a good analysis of some of the recent literature that has come out about the Holocaust, form the idea that it was a unique event in the history of this world to allied noncompliance when asked to bomb Auschwitz or to inform the world about what was going on within German occupied territory. A lot of room is also given to understanding how Jews left Germany and how many even returned for one reason or another. Another point is Jewish resistance and how underrated it is in Holocaust literature, literally around 100 ghettos had some form of a resistance organization and even concentration/death camps such as Auschwitz, Treblinka, and Sobibor had some kind of rebellion or revolt. All in all this book is an excellent investment with a lot of excellent information and analysis.
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By cmmorty on November 28, 2010
Format: Paperback
The book "Hitlers Shadow War" was a very well researched book. Prof. McKale does a great job illistrating the story of one of the worlds darkest moments. The book is informative on who was invlolved in the Holocaust and the roles played by each person. And, by doing this, McKale breaks down into a very understandable history the workings of the Third Reich and the main points of interest on how the Ideology of the NAZIs came about.
There were a few things that I could not bring myself to accept, which sadly happens with many of these scholarly books. Constantly under debate are certain topics such as: When did Hitler decide to eradicate the Jews. McKale brings this topic up and then quotes Mein Kampf where Hitler says that they should have gassed all the Jews in WWI, and if that would have been done Germany would have won WWI. It just doesnt make sense to me how the Scholars of today can read something like that and then seemingly discredit it and not accept it. I dont know, those kinds of "Scholarly research" just doesnt convince me all the time.
Enough of my rantings. The book is good except for a few very minor things that I personally didnt like. I would for sure recomend this book to someone wanting to learn more about the Holocaust.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By KMG on October 16, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book provides an excellent review of the Holocaust. For those basically unfamiliar with the Holocaust, the overview is complete. For those with a stronger background, it is helpful to get an "overview" that puts the details of specific events and issues in perspective. My one "problem" with the book is the writing style. Given the large amounts of information conveyed in even a single sentence, the use of subordinate clauses, and clauses subordinate to subordinate clauses, makes for slow reading ... and rereading. At times it seems the author almost loses track of the point he is making in a single sentence....and if he doesn't, the reader does! [To put these comments in perspective, I have a PhD in the social sciences from an Ivy League university..... beware, the book is slow reading, but in the end, well worth it.]
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