The Holocaust: A History of the Jews of Europe During the Second World War

The Holocaust: A History of the Jews of Europe During the Second World War

by Martin Gilbert

Paperback(First Owl Book)

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Overview

Deftly weaving together historical research and survivors' testimonies, The Holcaust is Gilbert's acclaimed and definitive history of the European Jews, fom Hitler's rise to power to Germany's surrender to the liberation of the prisoners of the concentration camps.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780805003482
Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 05/15/1987
Edition description: First Owl Book
Pages: 976
Sales rank: 616,718
Product dimensions: 6.09(w) x 8.95(h) x 1.67(d)

About the Author

One of Britain's most distinguished historians, Martin Gilbert was knighted in 1995. A fellow of Merton College, Oxford, he is also the official biographer of Winston Churchill. Among his books are The Holocaust, The Second World War, Churchill: A Life, Auschwitz and the Allies, The First World War, and Never Again.

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Holocaust: A History of the Jews of Europe During the Second World War 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
There is one feature of this work which I think deserves special mention.Gilbert goes out of his way to tell the stories of individuals who are not mentioned in general histories ordinarily. He gives them name, identity, and story and therefore ideally a place in the collective memory. This is another important work by one of the great historians of the Second World War period.
sergerca on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I feel callous giving this book only 3.5 stars, but I attribute this to it not being what I expected. What I was hoping for was something akin to Anne Applebaum's Gulag: a one-volume history of what happened, how it happened, why it happened, and how it was dealt with when it was over. This book is certainly not that. Instead, Gilbert has taken an enormous amount of first-hand experiences and arranged them chronologically to tell an almost day-by-day account of the unfathomable brutality experienced by European Jewry. To weave this all together in such a way is masterful, but it only tells a part of the story. I assume that was his goal, but it leaves me wanting more. Every paragraph has some episode that is unforgettable. It easy to lose sight of the fact that the 6 million murders took place, as Judith Miller says, "one by one by one." This book makes sure you'll never think of the Holocaust that way again. What Gilbert neglects to cover in much detail is the Nazi part of the story. Of course they are front and center as the perpetrators, but little is covered about what ordinary Germans knew. Or how the German culture was ripe ground for this evil to blossom. Or what the millions of valuables stolen were used for. Or how the manpower and resources expended in this psychopathic venture affected the overall war effort. Or what role, outside of Eichmann, those at the top of the Nazi command played. Again, Gilbert obviously wasn't trying to tell that part of the story, but I still can't say I have a true understanding of the Holocaust beside the unbelievable cruelty so many suffered. And, this makes me angry at myself, at 828 pages, after a while, you become numb to it all. I stopped being shocked by what I read. I think this is unfortunate, but natural. A topic like this is so ghastly that, the further we get from WWII, the less people will know about it. In our comfortable American lives, people don't want to remember these awful events of the past. It's why, in my opinion, the moral component of American foreign policy is under attack. If Saddam Hussein was committing mass murder in 1958 I cannot believe there would have been any meaningful debate in the US about our responsibility to remove him and end the genocide. In 2008, after hundreds of thousands have been discovered in mass graves in Iraq, it's a story we never heard about, and think about even less.Two quotes sum it all up for the book: one tells the utter desperation of an entire culture, the other the unyielding faith that so many held until the very end:There is no strength left to cry, steady and continued weeping leads finally to silence. At first there is screaming; then wailing; and at last a bottomless sigh that does not leave even an echo. - Chaim Kaplan, p. 105I have seen them, the dregs of human misery, and I know that through mankind flows a stream of eternity greater and more powerful than individual deaths. - Lena Berg, p. 622
meggyweg on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a tour-de-force of history. Martin Gilbert had an ambitious project -- cover the whole Holocaust from the pre-Hitler days to after the war, all over Europe -- but he was able to accomplish his ends without either glossing over anything or making it too long. I was dizzied by the number of sources he quoted. The guy really knows how to write, too, and put his sources together into one coherent narrative.Two caveats: Gilbert transliterates proper names strangely. For example, Tuvia Bielsky is called "Tobias Belsky." Also, the book was written over 25 years ago and is a little dated as a result; a lot of research has been done since then. I wish he'd put out a second addition. In the meantime, Martin Gilbert is my new superhero.
bjgoff689 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Well written and very well documented.
exlibrisemk on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I find this work a good reference book when reading other books about the holocaust, because events and people appear chronologically, and the author refrains from analysis. Read as a whole, the accumulation of facts show how raw and incomprehensibly cruel it all was, and yet how true.
heidilove on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
read this in 1986, and it changed my world. a very factual look at the regime, gilbert presents his information well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very hard to read by must be read to remember.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
The literature of the Holocaust is voluminous- an overwhelming array of titles dealing with everything from individual survivor memoirs to camp histories to Nazi doctors and more. All of which are necessary documents to ensure that the greatest evil of the 20th century is not forgotten. However, as a single attempt to describe the terrifying extent of the Holocaust, Gilbert's work stands out as a most definitive source, particularly as it deftly blends the entire sweeep of the Final Solution with individual names and stories of both survival and oblivion. The numbers are staggering, unbelievable, surreal- but Gilbert makes the nightmare come true by giving these statistics individual names and faces. This is a very hard book to read, as it is remorsefully relentless in capturing all the aspects of the Holocaust- from it ideologic origins, to the initial detention camps, the mass shootings, and the eventual death camps and subsequent death marches as the war drew to a close. I've only been able to read a few chapters at most at any one sitting, simply because of the numbing effect of the realities described- it is physically hard to go on reading, without taking a break to reflect on what goodness there is in this life- as after reading 'Holocaust' one is left to wonder what that goodness would be. This book is a scholarly document, exhaustively referenced, and a lasting testimony to the reality of the Holocaust. It has been said that those who question the historical accuracy of the Holocaust cannot be correct if only for the reason that, had it really not happened, no one could possibly find in their wildest imagination events as unbelievable and so completely evil as what actually did occur. The Holocaust goes beyond Dante: and Gilbert describes the Ninth Ring of Hell with painstaking attention to even the smallest historical detail. Highly recommended for any scholar of the Holocaust, and perhaps even required reading for mankind.