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Atlas of the Holocaust Hardcover – May, 1993
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First published by Macmillan (1982) and later by Pergamon (1988), Atlas of the Holocaust features 316 black-and-white maps showing "in chronological sequence, the destruction of each of the main Jewish communities of Europe, as well as acts of resistance and revolt, avenues of escape and rescue, and the fate of individuals." Written by a preeminent historian (Gilbert has written several books on the Holocaust and is the official biographer of Churchill), the atlas presents a chilling portrait--using primarily maps rather than pictures--of one nation's attempt to wipe out an entire people.
After the list of maps and a key to special symbols used on them, Gilbert's brief introduction features a map that shows a personal portrait of the fate of 17 people out of the 6,000,000 killed. The atlas proper opens with a map depicting anti-Jewish violence before World War I and continues chronologically from there. Maps typically include numbers of Jews living in an individual country, town, or village before the Holocaust; the number seeking refuge in a place; or the number executed in a place. Maps vary greatly in general themes and are not all devoted to the more infamous mass executions. "The Hirschsprung Family Deported, 15 September 1942," for example, traces the movement of one family. The atlas graphically depicts how wide-ranging the Holocaust was. All maps are accompanied by very readable text, and approximately 50 photographs are spread throughout the book.
A comparison with the 1982 Macmillan work reveals that there has not been any revision to the maps or to the text accompanying them. All maps in this volume, in fact, bear a 1982 copyright. The bibliography--a superb nine-page list of unpublished and published sources--has likewise not been updated, failing, for example, to cite the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust. The only addition to the previous printings of this work are two indexes: a 23-page index of places, which gives map numbers for each listed on a map, and a four-page index of individuals mentioned in the text. They are great improvements over the 1982 index, which listed only the principal camps and mass-murder sites.
Libraries owning a previous edition of this work may not find it necessary to purchase this newer printing, save for the convenience of having a good index. However, given the extremely reasonable price of this volume, the atlas constitutes an exceptional value and deserves a place in every high school, public, and academic library. The text accompanying the maps may even warrant the purchase of an additional copy for the circulating collection.
About the Author
Sir Martin Gilbert, the author of many historical works, was appointed official biographer of Sir Winston Churchill in 1968. He wrote six of the eight volumes of the landmark biographical series and also compiled ten volumes of Churchill documents. In addition, he is the author of a definitive history of the Holocaust, a series of twelve historical atlases, and comprehensive studies of both World War I and World War II. He is married with three children and lives in London. Since 1962, he has been a Fellow of Merton College, Oxford (an Honorary Fellow since 1994). He was knighted in 1995.
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Top customer reviews
To read this book and view the endless list of the murdered is truly mind numbing in the extreme, it smashes home full force the sheer scale and destructive barbarism unleashed by the Nazis and their vile collaborators. I was stunned and shocked by what I found on a sticker inside the front cover though, this particular book belonged to a rabbi. I will treat this book with reverence. I know this sounds extreme, but it really has had such a deep effect on me just browsing through it briefly and realizing the awful horrendous truth it tells the history of. If you are interested in the Holocaust this book is essential for a truly deeper understanding of the scope of this evil part of history. The maps are black and white, the paper isn't top quality and most of the black and white pictures are not that good quality, but the subject matter and narrative completely make up for this.
Mr Gilbert has done a wonderful job contributing in helping to let the world never forget and I for one can't thank him enough.
First and foremost, the impressive research that Martin Gilbert put forth in creating this incredible work must be acknowledged.
I purchased this book based on a suggestion from my history-teaching wife, who once possessed a copy, loaned it out and never got it back. She simply stated that the book was one of the most significant books she possessed on the Holocaust ... I immediately ordered it.
An initial thumbing of the pages had me wondering what a book of maps could reveal that I already didn't know, so i started from the beginning and could not put the book down until I had reached the end.
"Atlas of the Holocaust" is basically a book of maps that illustrate the intricate details of the transportation, deportation and extermination of Jews within the reaches of the Nazi empire. From the end of World War I all the way to the end of World War II. Each map traces the route of people extracted from their homes to final destinations. Whether those destinations were Auschwitz, Dachau or an unmarked ditch.
Gilbert appears to leave no stone unturned as even the journey of the smallest bands of people from remote villages in Yugoslavia or Greece are documented. The details of the maps include the random executions, the forced "death marches" to various camps, as well as the sites of uprisings against the Nazis, even listing the names of those leading the revolts. The author has carefully inserted special inset maps that serve to "zoom in" on particular locations to detail individuals, such as the names and ages of particular groups of children or elderly. These special inset maps illustrate the depressing scope of the Holocaust more than anything.
What is most evident, though, is the magnitude of the Nazi plan to eradicate the Jews of Europe as well as the extraordinary and extensive effort made to thoroughly carry out the plan. When even the most remote villages are shown being cleared of Jewish inhabitants, it leaves you wondering if there was ANY place in German-occupied Europe that was safe from detection.
Martin Gilbert opens up a wound that history has cleanly sealed shut with the oft-referred, horrifying simple statement: "six-million Jews". The book breaks down that figure into the multitude of smaller tragedies that comprise that six-million figure ... i have yet to see any other work that has effectively presented the Holocaust in such a manner.
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In this volume gilbert has compiled 316 maps, together with a commentary t o...Read more