The almost unbelievable story of the Holocaust, told by the authoritative Martin Gilbert
, is augmented by firsthand accounts and poignant illustrations. Owing much to "those who have assembled the basic Documentation,", his text is easy to follow and matter-of-fact, allowing the horror of the events to speak for itself. Gilbert's chronological narrative captures, in a tragically compelling way, the dark progress of the gathering evil--from a background of "century after century" of anti-Semitic persecution to the Nuremberg Laws and the death camps. Never Again
powerfully counteracts the dehumanizing nature of Nazi extermination. As the statistics "represent real people," names are put to faces in photographs and the stories of individuals (some now household names) are told. Ending with coverage of survivors' postwar lives and the war crimes trials, which have continued practically into the new century, the book gives past events a closer reality. Peppered with "acts of individual and collective bravery," Never Again
is also a reminder that hope was never extinguished.
As one of the first German books on the Holocaust stated, "Only if we come to terms with it and understand the lessons of those years, can we free ourselves of the legacy of Hitlerite barbarism." Completed by an extensive bibliography and separate indices of people and places, Never Again makes a superbly lucid and accessible contribution toward creating and maintaining that understanding. --Karen Tiley, Amazon.co.uk
Historian Gilbert has reworked the scattered records and witnesses to the implacable plot to destroy the European Jews into an album evidently directed at readers largely oblivious to what happened. He arranges the principal events of the Holocaust into illustrated, two-page layouts per topic, such as Kristallnacht. With the start of the war, a dark cloak enveloped what the Nazis were doing, pierced by rumours and, rarely, by escapees from the death camps, such as Rudolf Vrba from Auschwitz in mid-1944. It was his report that activated the debate whether to bomb Auschwitz or not (see review of The Bombing of Auschwitz
, a book that contains an essay by Gilbert, in this section), but, as is Gilbert's wont, he confines his text to noting the fact of the debate, implying that analysis of controversies in Holocaust historiography belong in the weighty tomes of the Raul Hilbergs and Daniel Goldhagens. A perfect authorial judgment, that, because this volume introduces the crime to a new generation, so that it knows of the atrocities and the seemingly futile acts of defiance taken, in the words of Judah Tenenbaum, "for three lines in the history books." Gilbert TaylorCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved