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With an introduction by award-winning novelist Barbara Kingsolver
In the late nineteenth century, when the great powers in Europe were tearing Africa apart and seizing ownership of land for themselves, King Leopold of Belgium took hold of the vast and mostly unexplored territory surrounding the Congo River. In his devastatingly barbarous colonization of this area, Leopold stole its rubber and ivory, pummelled its people and set up a ruthless regime that would reduce the population by half. . While he did all this, he carefully constructed an image of himself as a deeply feeling humanitarian.
Winner of the Duff Cooper Prize in 1999, King Leopold’s Ghost is the true and haunting account of this man’s brutal regime and its lasting effect on a ruined nation. It is also the inspiring and deeply moving account of a handful of missionaries and other idealists who travelled to Africa and unwittingly found themselves in the middle of a gruesome holocaust. Instead of turning away, these brave few chose to stand up against Leopold. Adam Hochschild brings life to this largely untold story and, crucially, casts blame on those responsible for this atrocity.
The first comprehensive account of the evolution and exploitation of the Judeo-Bolshevik myth, from its origins to the present day. For much of the twentieth century, Europe was haunted by a threat of its own imagining: Judeo-Bolshevism. This myth-that Communism was a Jewish plot to destroy the nations of Europe-was a paranoid fantasy, and yet fears of a Jewish Bolshevik conspiracy took hold during the Russian Revolution and spread across Europe. During World War II, these fears sparked genocide. Paul Hanebrink's history begins with the counterrevolutionary movements that roiled Europe at the end of World War I. Fascists, Nazis, conservative Christians, and other Europeans, terrified by Communism, imagined Jewish Bolsheviks as enemies who crossed borders to subvert order from within and bring destructive ideas from abroad. In the years that followed, Judeo-Bolshevism was an accessible and potent political weapon. After the Holocaust, the specter of Judeo-Bolshevism did not die. Instead, it adapted to, and became a part of, the Cold War world. Transformed yet again, it persists today on both sides of the Atlantic in the toxic politics of revitalized right-wing nationalism. Drawing a worrisome parallel across one hundred years, Hanebrink argues that Europeans and Americans continue to imagine a transnational ethno-religious threat to national ways of life, this time from Muslims rather than Jews.
The book's main theme is the interpretation of the Holocaust and genocide in historiography, philosophy and the contemporary culture of commemoration. Running through the essays is an attempt to understand the Holocaust's relationship to 'modernity'; the need to find ways of understanding genocide through apparently 'non-rational' forms of explanation (especially derived from anthropology); and the desirability of relating the Holocaust to other instances of genocide. The book investigates the ways in which individual thinkers (Malinowski, Arendt, Bataille, Perec, Ricoeur) can help us conceptualise the Holocaust, and also deals with many of the major themes of Holocaust and Genocide Studies in recent years: problems of handling testimony; problems of erecting monuments and museums; the representability of the Holocaust through texts, photographs, monuments and museums; the possibility of understanding why individuals take part in genocide; and the relationship of the Holocaust to colo
During the Holocaust, 99 percent of all Jewish killings were carried out by members of state organizations. In this groundbreaking book, Stefan Kuhl offers a new analysis of the integral role that membership in organizations played in facilitating the annihilation of European Jews under the Nazis. Drawing on the well-researched case of the mass killings of Jews by a Hamburg reserve police battalion, Kuhl shows how ordinary men from ordinary professions were induced to carry out massacres. It may have been that coercion, money, identification with the end goal, the enjoyment of brutality, or the expectations of their comrades impelled the members of the police battalion to join the police units and participate in ghetto liquidations, deportations, and mass shootings. But ultimately, argues Kuhl, the question of immediate motives, or indeed whether members carried out tasks with enthusiasm or reluctance, is of secondary importance. The crucial factor in explaining what they did was the integration of individuals into an organizational framework that prompted them to perform their roles. This book makes a major contribution to our understanding of the Holocaust by demonstrating the fundamental role played by organizations in persuading ordinary Germans to participate in the annihilation of the Jews. It will be an invaluable resource for students and scholars of organizations, violence, and modern German history, as well as for anyone interested in genocide and the Holocaust.
After Adolf Hitler made plans to create a "model protectorate" out of Denmark, Winston Churchill predicted that the nation would become the Fuhrer's tame canary. Isolated from the Allies and fueled only by a sense of human decency and national pride, the Danes created an extraordinary resistance movement that proved a relentless thorn in the side of the Nazis. By 1945, they had published twenty-six million issues of illegal newspapers. They set up radio guides for Allied aircraft on the coasts and proved invaluable in penetrating Nazi defenses. Regular boat services ran between Sweden, Denmark, and Britain. German ships could not move out of ports, and troops were stymied again and again by the sabotage of railways and air bases. Most amazing of all was the transportation of some 7,000 Danish Jews to safety in Sweden. They were not trained; they were not soldiers. They were simply ordinary citizens who refused to stand idly by and witness an atrocity. The story of the selfless courage and daring should inspire countless future generations. Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade imprint, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in history--books about World War II, the Third Reich, Hitler and his henchmen, the JFK assassination, conspiracies, the American Civil War, the American Revolution, gladiators, Vikings, ancient Rome, medieval times, the old West, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.
The Holocaust is the gravest crime in recorded history. In order to try and better understand the true significance of the Holocaust, as well as its scale and magnitude, millions of people each year now travel to the former camps, ghettos and other settings for the atrocities. The Holocaust Sites of Europe offers the first comprehensive guide to these sites, including much practical information as well as the historical context. This book is an indispensable guide for anyone seeking to add another layer to their understanding of the Holocaust by visiting these important sites for themselves. It provide a survey of all the major Holocaust sites in Europe, from Belgium and Belarus to Serbia and Ukraine: not only does it discuss the notorious concentration and death camps, such as Auschwitz and Ravensbruck, but also less well known examples, like Sered' in Slovakia, together with detailed descriptions of massacre sites, as well as the ghettos, 'Euthanasia' centres and Roma and Sinti sites which witnessed similar crimes. Throughout the book there is also extensive insight into the many museums and memorials which commemorate the Holocaust. The Holocaust Sites of Europe is a thoughtful and fitting guide to some of the most traumatic sites in Europe and will be an invaluable companion for those who wish to honour the victims and understand more about their fate.
'Moving - at times almost unbearably so - and fascinating' Antonia Fraser A family's story of human tenacity, faith and a race for survival in the face of unspeakable horror and cruelty perpetrated by the Nazi regime against the Jewish people. Growing up in the safety of Britain, Jonathan Wittenberg was deeply aware of his legacy as the child of refugees from Nazi Germany. Yet, like so many others there is much he failed to ask while those who could have answered his questions were still alive. After burying their aunt Steffi in the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives, Jonathan, now a rabbi, accompanies his cousin Michal as she begins to clear the flat in Jerusalem where the family have lived since fleeing Germany in the 1930s. Inside an old suitcase abandoned on the balcony they discover a linen bag containing a bundle of letters left untouched for decades. Jonathan's attention is immediately captivated as he tries to decipher the faded writing on the long-forgotten letters. They eventually draw him into a profound and challenging quest to uncover the painful details of his father's family's history. Through the wartime correspondence of his great-grandmother Regina and his grandmother, aunts and uncles, Jonathan weaves together the strands of an ancient rabbinical family with the history of Europe during the Second World War and the unfolding policies of the Nazis, telling the moving story of a family whose lives are as fragile as the paper on which they write, but whose faith in God remains steadfast.
As the Holocaust passes out of living memory, future generations will no longer come face-to-face with Holocaust survivors. But the lessons of that terrible period in history are too important to let slip past. How Was It Possible?, edited and introduced by Peter Hayes, provides teachers and students with a comprehensive resource about the Nazi persecution of Jews. Deliberately resisting the reflexive urge to dismiss the topic as too horrible to be understood intellectually or emotionally, the anthology sets out to provide answers to questions that may otherwise defy comprehension. This anthology is organized around key issues of the Holocaust, from the historical context for antisemitism to the impediments to escaping Nazi Germany, and from the logistics of the death camps and the carrying out of genocide to the subsequent struggles of the displaced survivors in the aftermath. Prepared in cooperation with the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous, this anthology includes contributions from such luminaries as Jean Ancel, Saul Friedlander, Tony Judt, Alan Kraut, Primo Levi, Robert Proctor, Richard Rhodes, Timothy Snyder, and Susan Zuccotti. Taken together, the selections make the ineffable fathomable and demystify the barbarism underlying the tragedy, inviting readers to learn precisely how the Holocaust was, in fact, possible.
The Holocaust was the systematic murder of Europe's Jews by the Nazis and their collaborators during the Second World War. An understanding of the historical circumstances that fed the Holocaust remains the essential means of making sense of the inexplicable crimes that occurred. This commemorative volume describes Jewish life before the spread of Nazism in Europe and Nazi ideologies. The author discusses the mass murder, the death camps such as Auschwitz, the perpetrators, the witnesses, the escapees, the refugee havens and the 10,000 Kindertransport youngsters who were given safe haven in Britain. We are told stories of the resistance, acts of heroism, survivors and those who risked their lives to save the Jews. Finally, we learn about the liberation of the camps, the resettlement of the Jews and how the events are remembered now. The 15 removable documents included in this book have been carefully selected to take us beyond the horrifying statistics and remind us that each number was a person. They include: letter describing Kristallnacht and a diary extract about life in the ghetto; list of Jews to be transported, including place of departure and destination; and drawings by a child incarcerated at Theresienstadt concentration camp.
Despite their common heritage, Jews born and raised on opposite sides of the Polish-Soviet border during the interwar period acquired distinct beliefs, values, and attitudes. Variances in civic commitment, school lessons, youth activities, religious observance, housing arrangements, and perceptions of security deeply influenced these adolescents who would soon face a common enemy. Set in two cities flanking the border, Grodno in the interwar Polish Republic and Vitebsk in the Soviet Union, Borderland Generation traces the prewar and wartime experiences of young adult Jews raised under distinct political and social systems. Each cohort harnessed the knowledge and skills attained during their formative years to seek survival during the Holocaust through narrow windows of chance. Antisemitism in Polish Grodno encouraged Jewish adolescents to seek the support of their peers in youth groups. Across the border to the east, the Soviet system offered young Vitebsk Jews opportunities for advancement not possible in Poland, but only if they integrated into the predominantly Slavic society. These backgrounds shaped responses during the Holocaust. Grodno Jews deported to concentration camps acted in continuity with prewar social behaviors by forming bonds with other prisoners. Young survivors among Vitebsk's Jews often looked to survive by posing under false identities as Belarusians, Russians, or Tatars. Tapping archival resources in six languages, Borderland Generation offers an original and groundbreaking exploration of the ways in which young Polish and Soviet Jews fought for survival and the complex impulses that shaped their varying methods.
'Through thick and thin, never separate. Stick together, guard each other, and live for one another.' As Hitler's war intensified, the Ovitz family would have good reason to stand by their mother's mantra. Descending from the cattle train into the death camp of Auschwitz, all twelve emerged in 1945 as survivors - the largest family to survive intact. What saved them? Ironically, the fact that they were sought out by the 'Angel of Death' himself - Dr Joseph Mengele. For seven of the Ovitzes were dwarfs - and not just any dwarfs, but a beloved and highly successful vaudeville act known as the Lilliput Troupe. Together, they were the only all-dwarf ensemble with a full show of their own in the history of entertainment. The Ovitzes intrigued Mengele, and amongst the thousands on whom he performed his loathsome experiments, they became his prize 'patients': 'You're something special, not like the rest of them.' It was this disturbing affection that saved their lives. After being plunged into the darkest moments in modern history, this remarkable troupe emerged with spirits undimmed, and went on to light up Europe and Israel, which offered them a new home, with their unique performances. Giants reveals their moving and inspirational story.
_____________________________________ THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER WINNER OF THE JQ WINGATE PRIZE 2015 SHORTLISTED FOR THE COSTA BIOGRAPHY AWARD 'A gripping thriller, an unspeakable crime, an essential history.' JOHN LE CARRE _____________________________________ Hanns Alexander was the son of a prosperous German family who fled Berlin for London in the 1930s, becoming an investigator of war crimes. Rudolf Hoess was a farmer and soldier who became the Kommandant of Auschwitz Concentration Camp and oversaw the deaths of over a million men, women and children. The hunt was on. In the aftermath of the Second World War, the first British War Crimes Investigation Team is assembled to hunt down the senior Nazi officials responsible for the greatest atrocities the world has ever seen. Lieutenant Hanns Alexander is one of the lead investigators, Rudolf Hoess his most elusive target. In this book Thomas Harding reveals for the very first time the full account of Hoess' capture. Moving from the Middle-Eastern campaigns of the First World War to bohemian Berlin in the 1920s, to the horror of the concentration camps and the trials in Belsen and Nuremberg, Hanns and Rudolf tells the story of two German men whose lives diverged, and intersected, in an astonishing way.
Alan Scott Haft provides the first-hand testimony of his father, Harry Haft, a holocaust victim with a singular story of endurance, desperation, and unrequited love. Harry Haft was a sixteen-year-old Polish Jew when he entered a concentration camp in 1944. Forced to fight other Jews in bare-knuckle bouts for the perverse entertainment of SS officers, Harry quickly learned that his own survival depended on his ability to fight and win. Haft details the inhumanity of the ""sport"" in which he must perform in brutal contests for the officers. Ultimately escaping the camp, Haft's experience left him an embittered and pugnacious young man. Determined to find freedom, Haft traveled to America and began a career as a professional boxer, quickly finding success using his sharp instincts and fierce confidence. In a historic battle, Haft fights in a match with Rocky Marciano, the future undefeated heavy-weight champion of the world. Haft's boxing career takes him into the world of such boxing legends as Rocky Graziano, Roland La Starza, and Artie Levine, and he reveals new details about the rampant corruption at all levels of the sport. In sharp contrast to Elie Wiesel's scholarly, pious protagonist in ""Night"", Harry Haft is an embattled survivor, challenging the reader's capacity to understand suffering and find compassion for an antihero whose will to survive threatens his own humanity. Haft's account, at once dispassionate and deeply absorbing, is an extraordinary story and an invaluable contribution to Holocaust literature.
Many stories of courage have been told about the sacrifices made by individuals and families during World War 2 -- this is one to stir the emotions of all who read it.
Between the French defeat in 1940 and liberation in 1944, the Nazis killed almost 80,000 of France's Jews, both French and foreign. Since that time, this tragedy has been well-documented. But there are other stories hidden within it--ones neglected by historians. In fact, 75% of France's Jews escaped the extermination, while 45% of the Jews of Belgium perished, and in the Netherlands only 20% survived. The Nazis were determined to destroy the Jews across Europe, and the Vichy regime collaborated in their deportation from France. So what is the meaning of this French exception? Jacques Semelin sheds light on this 'French enigma', painting a radically unfamiliar view of occupied France. His is a rich, even-handed portrait of a complex and changing society, one where helping and informing on one's neighbours went hand in hand; and where small gestures of solidarity sat comfortably with anti-Semitism. Without shying away from the horror of the Holocaust's crimes, this seminal work adds a fresh perspective to our history of the Second World War.
Mireille Gansel grew up in the traumatic aftermath of her family losing everything-including their native languages-to Nazi Germany. In the 1960s and 70s, she translated poets from East Berlin and Vietnam to help broadcast their defiance to the rest of the world. In this half memoire, half philosophical treatise Gansel's debut illustrates the estrangement every translator experiences for the privilege of moving between tongues, and muses on how translation becomes an exercise of empathy between those in exile.
A rediscovered masterpiece by the 16 million copy bestselling author of Man’s Search For Meaning
Just months after his liberation from Auschwitz renowned psychiatrist Viktor E. Frankl delivered a series of talks revealing the foundations of his life-affirming philosophy. The psychologist, who would soon become world famous, explained his central thoughts on meaning, resilience and his conviction that every crisis contains opportunity.
Published here for the very first time in English, Frankl's words resonate as strongly today as they did in 1946. Despite the unspeakable horrors in the camp, Frankl learnt from his fellow inmates that it is always possible to say ‘yes to life’ – a profound and timeless lesson for us all.
With an introduction by Daniel Goleman.
The Arab-Israeli conflict goes far beyond the wars waged on Middle East battlefields. There is also a war of narratives revolving around the two defining traumas of the conflict: the Holocaust and the Nakba. One side is charged with Holocaust denial, the other with exploiting a tragedy while denying the tragedies of others. In this path-breaking book, political scientist Gilbert Achcar explores these conflicting narratives and considers their role in today's Middle East dispute. He analyzes the various Arab responses to the Holocaust, from the earliest intimations of the genocide, through the creation of Israel and the occupation of Palestine, and up to our own time, critically assessing the political and historical context for these responses. Achcar offers a unique ideological mapping of the Arab world, in the process defusing an international propaganda war that has become a major stumbling block in the path of Arab-Western understanding.
A leading historian radically revises our understanding of the fate of Jews under the Vichy regime. Winner of the Prix d'histoire de la justice. Thousands of naturalized French men and women had their citizenship revoked by the Vichy government during the Second World War. Once denaturalized, these men and women, mostly Jews who were later sent to concentration camps, ceased being French on official records and walked off the pages of history. As a result, we have for decades severely underestimated the number of French Jews murdered by Nazis during the Holocaust. In Denaturalized, Claire Zalc unearths this tragic record and rewrites World War II history. At its core, this is a detective story. How do we trace a citizen made alien by the law? How do we solve a murder when the body has vanished? Faced with the absence of straightforward evidence, Zalc turned to the original naturalization papers in order to uncover how denaturalization later occurred. She discovered that, in many cases, the very officials who granted citizenship to foreigners before 1940 were the ones who retracted it under Vichy rule. The idea of citizenship has always existed alongside the threat of its revocation, and this is especially true for those who are naturalized citizens of a modern state. At a time when the status of millions of naturalized citizens in the United States and around the world is under greater scrutiny, Denaturalized turns our attention to the precariousness of the naturalized experience-the darkness that can befall those who suddenly find themselves legally cast out.
In examining one of the defining events of the twentieth century, Doris L. Bergen situates the Holocaust in its historical, political, social, cultural, and military contexts. Unlike many other treatments of the Holocaust, this revised, third edition discusses not only the persecution of the Jews, but also other segments of society victimized by the Nazis: Roma, homosexuals, Poles, Soviet POWs, the disabled, and other groups deemed undesirable. In clear and eloquent prose, Bergen explores the two interconnected goals that drove the Nazi German program of conquest and genocide-purification of the so-called Aryan race and expansion of its living space-and discusses how these goals affected the course of World War II. Including firsthand accounts from perpetrators, victims, and eyewitnesses, her book is immediate, human, and eminently readable.
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