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Nazi Germany and the Jews: Volume 1: The Years of Persecution 1933-1939 Paperback – March 10, 1998

4.7 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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From Publishers Weekly

Extermination.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

The first of a two-volume study on Hitler's Final Solution, this important work comes from a noted Holocaust survivor.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (March 10, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060928786
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060928780
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,537 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Barron Laycock HALL OF FAME on July 2, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This first in a two volume work by acclaimed historian is a remarkably objective, comprehensive and scrupulously scholarly work and represents a very critical contribution to historians' efforts to comprehend just how and why one of the most civilized and sophisticated countries in Europe descended into the systematic attempt to exterminate the Jews. The book proceeds along a chronological axis in recounting the slow but inexorably tightening of restrictions on the Jewish population within Germany during the years of the mid to late 1930s.

While centering his account of what went wrong in Nazi Germany during the pre-war years, he also humanizes his narrative considerably by interspersing individual accounts of people caught confused and unaware of what was really occurring in the crucible of cultural change. As substantiated in other recent accounts such as Victor Klemperer's "I Shall Bear Witness", Jews were very slow to recognize just how malevolent and serious the national Socialists were about ridding Germany of its Jewish population and also nationalizing and "Aryanizing" their resources and assets.

It is important to note that the author does not overlay any overall interpretive spin of his own, intent more on presenting the best evidence of what was going on than in coming to any premature general interpretation of what the mass of evidence in total might mean. This is not to suggest he offers no interpretation; on the contrary, he offers a series of brilliant insights in various aspects of the evidence. But unlike other recent authors like Goldhagen, he makes no sweeping interpretative conclusions based on all of the evidence he presents.
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Format: Paperback
This book presents one of the most balanced, comprehensive, and authoritative analyses of the pre-war Nazi era I have read. As usual, Friedlander avoids the pitfalls of either a purely intentionalist or functionalist position and chooses to present the reader with something in between. This book is a must read for anybody seriously interested in understanding Nazi policy and ideology vis-a-vis German Jewry.
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Format: Hardcover
Perhaps the enduring value of Friedlander's book is its focus on the sociology of the holocaust and its origins in the corruption of social institutions, which provides a lesson--and a warning--for all seemingly stable, civilized societies. This, after all, should be the "message" of the holocaust for non-Jews, as much as for Jews. The information in this book, weaving together facts and figures with the occasional poignant human interest story to illustrate a point, is quite different from the standard holocaust historical writing of who did what to whom, when and how, and is therefore a quantum leap in our understanding of the phenomenon which shall nevertheless forever remain ultimately incomprehensible. While I appreciate the comment of the reviewer who found the language tough going, sometimes, that reader might find, it is worth the rough going. Unfortunately, they will only find that out when they have finished, and are able to look back on the voyage of discovery which they have completed. This book is such a voyage. Personally, I look forward with much anticipation to the second volume. --Irving Wiesen.
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Format: Paperback
Nazi Germany and the Jews is part one of the two set history of the Nazi reign of terror from Hitler's ascent to the chancellorship of Germany on January 30, 1933 to the regime's collapse in 1945. Volume I focuses on the years of persecution of the Jews from 1933 to the outbreak of World War II in the autumn of 1939. As the infamous Goering said, "I would not want to be a Jew in Germany".
Friedlander was born as a Jew in Prague, lived in occupied France during World War II and now teaches in Tel Aviv and UCLA. His book is a blunt, basic and brutal evocation of what it was like to be a Jewish individual in the Dantean hell of Hitler's unspeakably cruel Third Reich.
In plain language we see how the Nazis used German law to dispossess the Jews of their professions, homes, possessions and lives. We have explained the Nuremburg Laws of 1935 which gave definition to who is a Jew. It was horrible for this reader to witness the Crystal Night destruction of almost 300 synagogues and nearly 100 murders of Jews on the night of November 9-10, 1938. We see how concentration camps were set up administered by cold killer Himmler and his murderous SS thugs.
Friedlander posits that Adolf Hitler believed Jews to be behind the World Communist movement. It was Judaism and Communism he wanted to eradicate from the face of the earth. While most people turned their faces away from the horrors the Jews disappeared from German life. Goebbels and Nazi propoganda portrayed Jews as vermin which needed destruction if the Aryan German blood and folk were to be preserved.
As volume one ends the war has begun. Volume II covers the war years and the concentration camps where over six million Jews and other captive people would be murdered.
This book is written in a scholarly but understandable style for the general reader. It is one of the essential books you should read to inform yourself of a tragic time.
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