Origins of the Holocaust

Origins of the Holocaust

by David Downing

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
In looking back at the horrific events of the Holocaust, many people can only shake their heads and wonder how they could have occurred. Yet, like all other elements of human history, the systematic destruction of over six million European Jews had an origin, a cycle, and an outcome. In Origins of the Holocaust long time writer David Downing tackles this difficult etiology in the first volume of the "World Almanac Library of the Holocaust." In this incisively written book Downing looks back at the historical and cultural roots of anti-Semitism that permeated European history. As time and events moved toward the 20th century a strange but widely accepted cultural heritage had taken shape that was grounded upon salacious and discriminatory works that characterized Jews as dangerous parasites who fed off the well being of European gentiles. Following Germany's utter defeat in World War I and the punishing effects of inflation and economic depression, the stage had been set for the rise of Adolf Hitler and his hateful ideology. As David Downing points out in this insightful, illustrated text, the rise of Hitler did not come out of nowhere. A combination of historical factors, tragic events, economic dislocation, and age-old simmering hatred all came together to provide the fertile earth wherein the Holocaust could grow. This is a chilling yet important story that youngsters need to be aware of lest it repeat itself time and again. In telling this tale so well David Downing has crafted a work of both historical and humanistic value. 2006, World Almanac Library, Ages 10 up.
—Greg M. Romaneck
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-These four volumes (part of a six-volume set) provide a highly readable and accessible introduction to the Holocaust. Clear, concise writing is coupled with text boxes, photographs, illustrations, and maps. Origins begins in 922 B.C. with a brief overview of Jewish history and the history of anti-Semitism, including the birth of Christianity, the European Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution, World War I, the creation of the Nazi Party, and Hitler's rise to power. Genocide spans the outbreak of World War II until 1942, with information about the German invasions and occupations; the creation of the ghettos, camps, and gas chambers; and the Wannsee Conference. Fighting Back outlines why resistance was difficult and provides examples of Jews in hiding, righteous gentiles, partisans, and secret and open resistance movements. Aftermath describes the founding of the State of Israel, the Nuremberg Trials, the Eichmann trial, and the erection of memorials and monuments, as well as the vast impact that the Holocaust has had on world history and politics. While the information is well presented, it is unrealistic to expect libraries to buy six books when the same information can be found in equally accessible single volumes such as Barbara Rogasky's Smoke and Ashes: The Story of the Holocaust (Holiday House, 2002) and Clive A. Lawton's The Story of the Holocaust (Watts, 2000).-Rachel Kamin, Temple Israel Libraries & Media Center, West Bloomfield, MI Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Gareth Stevens Publishing
Publication date:
World Almanac Library of the Holocaust
Product dimensions:
7.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
10 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

David Downing grew up in suburban London. He is the author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction for both adults and children, including four novels featuring Anglo-American journalist John Russell and the nonfiction work Sealing Their Fate: The Twenty-Two Days That Decided World War II. He lives with his wife in Guildford, England.

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