The Yellow Star: The Persecution of the Jews in Europe, 1933-1945

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Originally published in 1960 in German as Der Gelbe Stern, this landmark book was one of the first comprehensive photographic accounts of the Holocaust. During the 1950s, researchers in Washington, D.C. and London pored over more than 1,500 tons of photographs and documents seized after World War II. In 1960 Gerhard Schoenberner gathered some 200 photographs from the newly uncovered material, most of them taken by Nazis to chronicle their war against the Jews. Schoenberner named the book after the yellow badge that the Nazis forced the persecuted Jews to wear. With its comprehensive, authoritative presentation of visual and textual evidence, much of which had not yet not been seen before, The Yellow Star shocked the German population and introduced the world to many haunting images. The book endures as one of the most important documentary accounts of the Holocaust, reprinted in many German editions and published in eight languages.The photographs are accompanied by extracts from Nazi and German documents-laws, decrees, and other Reich memoranda, field reports from SS officers and concentration camp directors, newspaper editorials, and other writings. Schoenberner also provides detailed captions to the photographs. Organized chronologically, the book follows the growing scope and terror of the Holocaust, from the first anti-Jewish laws and Kristallnacht to ghetto uprisings and the Final Solution, culminating in the liberation of the death death camps. Each chapter has a narrative introduction by the author.While remaining true to the author's original concept, this new edition is a completely fresh presentation of the photographs and documents, with several enhancements. Schoenberner has added new photographs, replaced others, updated the captions and commentary when necessary, and updated and expanded the bibliography. Even if anti-Semitism were not on the rise in today's world, The Yellow Star would still be an essential book. In photograph after photograph, page after page, the Shoah unfolds as inexorable horror-captured with resonance that remains unequaled.Praise for The Yellow Star:One of the Books of the Century.-Frankfurter Allegemeine ZeitungSince the defeat of Nazism we have seen many books on this subject, yet there are few that could be compared to this one . . . An exceptional work.-Le MondeA must for any library, and school, and household where concern and conscience are alive.-Die Welt

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823223909
  • Publisher: Fordham University Press
  • Publication date: 10/15/2004
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 9.60 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Gerhard Schoenberner, born in 1931, was one of the first public figures in Germany to confront the truths about Nazi crimes. A well-known journalist, editor, and historian, he served as Director of the German Cultural Center in Tel Aviv and was appointed Founding Director of the Wannsee House in Berlin, which serves as the Holocaust Museum of Germany. He was also commissioned by the Berlin Senate to prepare the memorial and the permanent exhibition to the museum, which opened in 1992, on the 50th anniversary of the conference The Final Solution of the Jewish Question.Schoenberner was the first German to receive Oslo University's distinguished Leo Eitinger Prize, an award first bestowed on Elie Wiesel. He lives in Berlin, where he is active as a researcher, writer, and lecturer.

Michael Berenbaum was Project Director for the creation of the United States Holocaust Museum of the Smithsonian Institute and is currently Director of the Sigi Ziering Institute: Exploring the Ethical and Religious Implications of the holocaust, at the University of Judaism, Los Angeles.

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Table of Contents

In Hitler's Germany 1
Poland - experimental field 33
In the ghettos 55
Mass executions 93
The deportations 123
The extermination camps 159
Resistance 203
Liberation 227
Epilogue 263
App Map of concentration camps 279
App The Yellow Star Project 293
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  • Posted October 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Glimpse of Evil

    In "The Yellow Star," one encounters evil through black and white photos and haunting words. If you want a glimpse into the horror and the tragedy that was the Holocaust, I would highly recommend this book. Although we will never know what it was actually like to live in ghettos and concentration camps, to be entrapped in a cattle car for days on end, to be marched to our deaths, or know the true meaning of hunger and fear, "The Yellow Star" offers readers a glance into the reality and the terror that was the Holocaust. The various chapters cover different stages of the Holocaust including the ghettos, concentration camps, death marches, resistance and liberation. Each chapter begins with an introduction on the subject of that chapter and the rest of the chapter includes documentation and photos. The documents used include speeches, diaries, and reports from the perpetrators of the Holocaust and even the victims themselves. Their contempt for the Jewish people is seen plainly in very shocking language. The photos themselves are very heartbreaking, shocking and horrifying. They are very graphic and impossible to forget. The photos moved me to tears. If you want to delve into the reality of the Holocaust, this is the book to use.

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