- Hardcover: 384 pages
- Publisher: Knopf; 1 edition (October 29, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0375414347
- ISBN-13: 978-0375414343
- Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 24 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,674,196 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Moral Reckoning: The Role of the Catholic Church in the Holocaust and Its Unfulfilled Duty of Repair 1st Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
Harvard scholar Goldhagen, author of the bestselling and controversial Hitler's Willing Executioners, turns to a question left unanswered in his earlier work: to what extent are Catholics and the Catholic Church morally culpable for the Holocaust? As in his earlier book, Goldhagen pulls no punches. In the second paragraph he writes, "Christianity is a religion that consecrated... a megatherian hatred of one group of people: the Jews." The story of this hatred, which Goldhagen views as a betrayal of Christianity's own moral principles, has been told many times and, most recently, in the works of Susan Zuccotti and Michael Phayer. In contrast to these accounts, Goldhagen offers not an objective history of the Church's role in the Holocaust but, as the title promises, a moral examination. Goldhagen makes no apology for engaging in a sustained ethical inquiry and rendering judgment. (In fact, much of the book is either a direct or indirect defense of his much-criticized first work.) Goldhagen demands material, political and moral restitution but ends questioning whether the Catholic Church can "muster the will" to undertake these actions. There is little new information here; a definitive history of this dark chapter must await the opening of the Vatican archives. Readers should not skip the extensive and detailed endnotes, which contain a wealth of fascinating material. 25 b&w photos.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Courting more controversy after Hitler's Willing Executioners, Goldhagen considers the Catholic Church's participation in the Holocaust.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
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Want to REALLY know about WWII in Europe?
This book is a MUST read for students of history, psychology, philosophy, government, and/or religion.
There are no evil people, but there are a lot of people, working in harmony, to achieve evil ends.
S.J.Tagliareni author of Hitler's Priest
However, if Goldhagen's point is to seek the roots of Nazi antisemitism in Catholicism, he is quite wrong. For here we have one simple problem -- the Nazis refused to recognize the sanctity of baptism. A Jew "remained a Jew" in Nazi eyes, in ways which the Catholic Church never countenanced. To overlook this simple fact is a serious omission on Goldhagen's behalf. Given its druthers, neither the Catholic Church nor any of its committed followers would have ever come up with the idea of genocide for the Jews. This attempt to link Nazism and Christianity ultimately fails.
Which is not to say that the attempt should never be made. Where Goldhagen fails, Richard Steigmann-Gall, in his book "The Holy Reich: Nazi Conceptions of Christianity", succeeds. He not only demonstrates a connection between Nazi antisemitism and Christian antisemitism; he shows without doubt that many high ranking Nazis where themselves Christian, and believed their movement was a Christian one. Here we have a much more to-the-point analysis. He shows what Nazis thought about Jesus, the Bible, Martin Luther, and the Reformation.
Steigmann-Gall points out that the Nazis derived their ideology not from Catholicism, but rather PROTESTANTISM. The various popes and their sins of omission do not get mentioned at all, for the simple reason that they do not provide the clues to Nazi thinking that so many authors -- not just Goldhagen -- believe exist. The racism of Nazism, which the Catholicism always rejected, actually found a warm home in particular types of Protestantism. He even points out the parallels between Nazism and other racist movements which profess adherence to Protestantism, namely the KKK and the "Christian Identity" movement still alive in the US.
Here is where Goldhagen's readers will find the real answers.
Rainulf A. Stelzmann (read about me)
Most recent customer reviews
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