A compilation of articles by predominantly German historians examine all the economic, political, and social aspects calculated to isolate and ultimately destroy the Jewish population. Among the issues discussed are the role of the Jews in the economy; the position of the various churches; the Nuremberg Laws; attitudes of the elite, the intelligentsia, the middle class, and the workers; the power of the media; the role of the opposition in exile; and the response of the Allies to Nazi policy towards Jews. Also included is an analysis of the average German's reaction to the Nazi policy, as reflected in excerpts from Victor Klemperer's diary.
“A broad range of themes and opinions by scholars with distinguished resumes… other articles, more dynamic still, are dignified by their revisionist commitments – by a judicious skepticism and an effort to think large… an up to date introduction to much significant material and merits a wide readership.” [Johan Ahr, History]
“Consciously stepping beyond both the functionalist-structuralist and Goldhagen debates, Bankier has assembled a dynamic collection of essays by 28 authors… Overall, these articles reflect post-Goldhagen trends toward acknolwedging the role of German society in the Nazi’s Final Solution… while demanding a more careful evaluation of the role of antisemitism.” [Choice]
“Since the Jews represented the foundation of Western Civilization, and thus the antithesis of National Socialism’s utopian goals, they became the central target of discrimination and, ultimately, extermination. In other words, one must understand the Jews and their significance to the Nazis rather than viewing them simply as historical victims… This important collection of essays… by German, Israeli and American experts is less of a new approach to Holocaust studies than a display of new advances and sources in mainstream topics.” [Arnold Krammer, German Studies Review]
“Like the diagram of an elaborate plumbing system, the crucial interconnections which make up a society are in full view, and it becomes very clear how, one by one, the crucial valves were shut off for the Jews… What makes this collection of essays particularly valuable is its examination of both the implementation of Nazi policy and the contemporary response of the Jewish victims…” [Monica Strauss, Aufbau]
“The value of this book cannot be overstated. The bibliographical contents alone make it a ‘best buy.’ Many leading scholars of the Holocaust and the Third Reich display their research agendas, mastery of sources, and interpretive skills here.“ [Larry V. Thompson, Holocaust and Genocide Studies]