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In examining one of the defining events of the twentieth century, Doris Bergen situates the Holocaust in its historical, political, social, cultural, and military contexts. Unlike many other treatments of the Holocaust, this history traces not only the persecution of the Jews, but also other segments of society victimized by the Nazis: Gypsies, homosexuals, Poles, Soviet POWs, the disabled, and other groups deemed undesirable. With 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 illustrations and firsthand accounts from perpetrators, victims, and eyewitnesses, the book is immediate, human, and eminently readable.
Preface: War and Genocide: Race and Space
Chapter 1: Preconditions: Antisemitism, Racism, and Common Prejudices in Early-Twentieth-Century Europe
Chapter 2: Leadership and Will: Adolf Hitler, the National Socialist German Workers' Party, and Nazi Ideology
Chapter 3: From Revolution to Routine: Nazi Germany, 1933–1939
Chapter 4: Open Aggression: In Search of War, 1938–1939
Chapter 5: Experiments in Brutality, 1939–1940: War against Poland and the So-Called Euthanasia Program
Chapter 6: Expansion and Systematization: Exporting War and Terror, 1940–1941
Chapter 7: The Peak Years of Killing: 1942 and 1943
Chapter 8: Death Throes and Killing Frenzies, 1944–1945
Conclusion: The Legacies of Atrocity
Sources and Suggestions for Further Reading
Posted January 31, 2010
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