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The Final Solution: The Attempt to Exterminate the Jews of Europe, 1939-1945 Hardcover – July 7, 1977

ISBN-13: 978-0876689516 ISBN-10: 0876689519 Edition: First Edition

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Hardcover, July 7, 1977
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 622 pages
  • Publisher: Jason Aronson, Inc.; First Edition edition (July 7, 1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0876689519
  • ISBN-13: 978-0876689516
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 2.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,871,518 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Jan Peczkis on July 20, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Reitlinger describes the extermination of Jews in great detail, arriving at a probable range of 4.2 to 5.7 million murdered Jews (p. 501). He surveys this genocide through time and according to German-occupied nation. He also goes into various technicalities. For instance, he details the failure of the Auschwitz-Birkenau crematoria to consume anywhere near the over-10,000 expected bodies daily (p. 150), and the need to supplement, and then eventually replace, the crematoria with open-air pyres.

Although his work centers on the genocidal extermination of Jews, Reitlinger (p. 487) recognizes, to some degree, the same fate eventually awaiting the Poles and other Slavs (p. 487): "Of the racial problems with which Hitler's Reich believed itself confronted, the Jewish problem was apparently the only one that demanded a Final Solution, but there were always advocates for a final solution for the Slavs. Himmler's Office for the Strengthening of German Folkdom was full of them."

Reitlinger (p. 32) provides a corrective to the much-ridiculed (then and now) Polish Army: "On September 1st, 1939, when the first German troops crossed the Polish frontier, ill-founded optimism was rife. The Poles were expected to last out long enough to benefit from the slow mobilization of the West. Few realized that the eighteen days of Polish resistance were a remarkable achievement for a nation which was not equipped for armoured warfare." In actuality, the last Polish army units fought for 35 days, and prewar Polish military planners had recognized the fact that, without substantial French and British assistance (and even without factoring the unexpected joint Soviet-German attack against Poland), organized Polish military resistance could not last more than about six weeks.
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