In examining one of the defining events of the 20th century, Doris Bergen situates the Holocaust in its historical, political, social, cultural, and military contexts. Unlike many other treatments of the Holocaust, War and Genocide: A Concise History of the Holocaust discusses not only the persecution of the Jews, but also other segments of society victimized by the Nazis: Gypsies, Homosexuals, Poles, Soviet POWs, the Handicapped, and other groups deemed undesirable. With clear and eloquent prose, Bergen explores the two interconnected goals that drove the Nazi 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 first hand accounts from perpetrators, victims, and eyewitnesses, the book is immediate, human, and eminently readable.
In this brief survey, which is clearly written for an undergraduate audience, Bergen does an excellent job of introducing nearly all of the major issues surrounding the Holocaust. Copiously illustrated with photographs and maps, this succinct book is remarkably comprehensive, making it unusually accessible to nonexperts. Highly recommended.
Jewish Book World
In eight well-written and concise chapters, the book examines the relationship between anti-Semitic ideology, an ever radicalizing Nazi revolution, Nazi aggression, the Euthanasia Program and the murder of the Jews. Again this is a book that will find its place on the bookshelves of most Holocaust scholars and should be included in any Holocaust library.
Chapter 1 Foreword Chapter 2 Preface: War and Genocide: Race and Space Chapter 3 Preconditions: Anti-Semitism, Racism, and Common Prejudices in Early-Twentieth-Century Europe Chapter 4 Leadership and Will: Adolf Hitler, the National Socialist German Workers' Party, and Nazi Ideology Chapter 5 From Revolution to Routine: Nazi Germany, 1933-1938 Chapter 6 Experiments in Brutality, 1939-1940: War Against Poland and the So-Called Euthanasia Program Chapter 7 Open Aggression: In Search of War, 1938-1939 Chapter 8 Expansion and Systematization: Exporting War and Terror, 1940-1941 Chapter 9 The Peak Years of Killing: 1942 and 1943 Chapter 10 Death Throes and Killing Frenzies, 1944-1945 Chapter 11 Conclusion: The Legacies of Atrocity