The author traces the roots of anti-Semitism that burgeoned through the ages and provides a comprehensive description of how and why the Holocaust occurred.
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This review is based on the 1982 edition. This book traces the Holocaust from early anti-Jewish teachings, the emergence of racial anti-Semitism, the rise of Nazi ideology, the decision to murder the Jews, the implementation of the Holocaust, rescue attempts, Jewish resistance, theological and philosophical implications, etc. Bauer soundly repudiates any notion of the German death camps being erected in German-occupied Poland because of the presumed anti-Semitism of the local population (p. 210). It was simply a matter of practicality.
Bauer notes that more than half of prewar Polish Jews were nonreligious (p. 177). Hlond-like comments about "Jews-as-freethinkers" can be understood in this light.
To his credit, Bauer recognizes the essential difference between traditional Christian teachings about Jews and those of the later Nazis: "The term anti-Semitism was apparently first used by a racist ideologist in Germany, Wilhelm Marr, in 1878 and 1879...But in an...
I had the opportunity to use Yehuda Bauer's book in a universtiy course on the history of the Holocaust two years ago. Now that I am a history teacher, I found myself looking for the text that I foolishly sold. In his book Bauer provides an overview of the Jewish people and then takes you through the the major events (WWI, the Weimar Republic, rise of Hitler)in history and how they contributed to the massacre of millions in the Holocaust. Bauer's chapter by chapter analysis of the events surrounding the Holocaust is the reason that I came back to look for the text. Whether you are interested in this era of history or are perhaps an educator about to teach it, you will find valuable information within this book to help you synthesize and present the information. I plan to use parts of this book in the World History class that I am teaching.
Yehuda Bauer is one of the most important historians of the 'Holocaust'. In this work he traces the history of the Jewish people. And he provides background historical explanation on the murder of over one - third of the Jewish people by the Nazis and their assistants. He writes with clarity and deep understanding of the subject.
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