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The Architect of Genocide: Himmler and the Final Solution (The Tauber Institute Series for the Study of European Jewry) Paperback – September 15, 1992


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Product Details

  • Series: The Tauber Institute Series for the Study of European Jewry (Book 14)
  • Paperback: 348 pages
  • Publisher: Brandeis; 1st edition (September 15, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0874515963
  • ISBN-13: 978-0874515961
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,658,937 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“This decisively important book should serve for years to come as required reading for all who wish to make sense of the Holocaust.”—The Nation

Review

“Breitman’s book is decisively important... [It] should serve for years to come as required reading for all who wish to make sense of the Holocaust.” (Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, The New Republic)

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Customer Reviews

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A good read for the student of genocide.
Russell A. Rohde MD
Breitman goes through the progressive steps of Heinrich Himmler's ideas as well as his involvement in the "Final Solution" while keeping his readers full attention.
kelly
The author was very honest about any biases, hypothesis, and lack of information (i.e. paper trails or interviews).
Margaret E Gerdes

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Danny Parker on November 21, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Heinrich Himmler, one of the most reviled personalities in modern history comes fully to light in this insightful study. What is it that makes a person evil? That is at the heart of Breitman's absorbing book. Unlike a devilish Faustian caricature, the narrative shows the SS Reichsfuehrer, a mundane, pedantic organizer who came terrifyingly close to translating Hitler's vision of of a "racially-pure" Europe into reality.
Heinrich Himmler may be the personification of Hannah Arendt's "banality of evil." A man who fawned over children, stopped to pick flowers and was every thoughtful with those under him, quietly and efficiently produced the machinery to send millions to their death.
(...) Breitman's book is not a "popular biography" in the modern sense, but rather a scholarly and academic treatment. However, this is a weighty subject and the author accomplishes much more with this approach through a fascinating narrative that assures the reader that this is an exquisititely researched picture of one of the most dispised personalities of modern time. Highly recommended.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By John Barry Kenyon on July 25, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not a biography of the Reichsfuhrer, but a carefully researched and annotated analysis of his role in the final solution. Himmler's own office logs and appointment books, where extant, are convincingly used. The most thorough account to date of the so called Madagscar proposal which preoccupied the nazis in the late 1930s as a way of exiling Jews. Himmler's often mutually suspicious dealings with underlings such as Heydrich and Eichmann are particularly well portrayed, although his relationship with Hitler is sometimes sketchy. The years 1944 and 1945 are treated rather briefly, presumably because Himmler's initiatives were mainly restricted to trying to arrange coverup of the atrocities. But Breitman has done a first rate job in showing us how Himmler's bureaucratic mind ticked. The book illustrates that you don't need to be a personal sadist to organize murder on a massive scale.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By kelly on April 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover
A common misconception regarding "The Final Solution" is that it was constructed and sought out under the leadership of one man, Adolph Hitler. Richard Breitman, in his well written book, clearly shows his readers the involvement of several brilliant minds that eventually created the horrific answer to the Jewish question. Breitman goes through the progressive steps of Heinrich Himmler's ideas as well as his involvement in the "Final Solution" while keeping his readers full attention. Unlike many authors writing about this issue, Breitman seemed as if he, through his work, was attempting to see Himmler's view points instead of labeling him simply as a "sadist barbarian" as many would do. His ability to put aside the atrocities performed by the Nazi's and give his reader's an alternate route of understanding is just one of the reasons why I consider this book a success and a pleasure to read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Russell A. Rohde MD on February 28, 2007
Format: Paperback
"The Architect of Genocide: Himmler and the Final Solution", Richard Breitman, 250 pgs, Glossary, Notes & Index, 6" x 9".

Author or co-author of 3 prior books on socialist Germany & Jewry issues, this Yale & Harvard degreed Professor Breitman provides a scholarly analysis of Nazi Germany with especial reference to the 3 principals: - the Triumvirate of Hitler, Himmler (SS) & Heydrich (SD) & the roles each played formulating plans of re-Germanization that encompassed comprehesive plans to (1) purify Germanic Nordic blood lines by eugenic measures, (2) eliminate those designated as enemies of the Reich (Jews, Gypsies, Poles, Slavs, etc.) & (3) provide Lebensraum, especially Eastward for expansion of the Fatherland.

The book profiles Heinrich Himmler as a cradle-Catholic turning into a militant anti-Catholic & anti-Semitic who participates in Hitler's Beer Hall Putsch, & in short order becomes Reich Fuehrer SS, Chief of all Police, & confidant of Hitler. In 11 chapters we are introduced to the origin, delineation, & execution of the "Final Solution" to solve the "Jewish Question." The author attempts to demonstrate authorship of the genocide design & of its implementation was really a product more of Himmler's that Hitler's. Diverse details are provided on alternative plans including deportations to Africa or Madagascar, types of gasings, exclusions from euthanasia, labor camps, etc. All in all, the author's arguements are detailed but sufficiently conjectural as to make for good reading but truly falling short of singling out Himmler as chief architect. Of the many books on the Holocaust & Final Solution, Bretman's is the most detailed accounting of alternative plans and details unanticipated problems not forseen in ethnic cleansing & military in-fighting, etc. A good read for the student of genocide.
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