Inside the Vicious Heart: Americans and the Liberation of Nazi Concentration Camps

Inside the Vicious Heart: Americans and the Liberation of Nazi Concentration Camps

by Robert H. Abzug


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Forty years ago Allied soldiers liberated Buchenwald, Dachau, Belsen, and other concentration camps, and came face to face with the human ruins of the Nazi system of slave labor and genocide. What they saw transformed the definition of evil in the Western mind. Inside the Vicious Heart captures the shock of that discovery by telling the story of the camp liberations as experienced by American GIs and other eyewitnesses, including Eisenhower, Patton, Joseph Pulitzer, and Margaret Bourke-White. Through their diaries, letters, and photographs we see how those Americans finally made the world believe what until then had only been rumored.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This book helps to keep live that which must not be forgotten."—David B. Chesebrough, Illinois State University

"This sensitive book chronicles the liberators' psychological and emotional reactions to the concentration camps...An important contribution."—Religious Studies Review

"Abzug tells a true and terrifying story of what the American troops found when they entered Germany in 1945. Included are the accounts of Generals Eisenhower, Patton and Bradley, Editor Joseph Pulitzer, novelist Meyer Levin, Photographer Margaret Bourke-White, and American GIs, who desperately tried to save the few remaining survivors."—The Jewish Voice

"Abzug's stunning book takes us back to the moment at which the West lost its innocence and confronted the murder of millions of Jews and other human beings by Germany."—Jacob Neusner, Brown University

"A fine book, a signal contribution to the literature of the Holocaust."—Chicago Sun-Times

"Abzug has done an excellent job sifting both the testimony itself and the reactions of Americans back home...Not a book to dwell on...but not one that should be overlooked, either."—The New York Times

"[This] compelling book examines a hitherto neglected element of the Holocaust—the liberation of concentration camps in France, Germany, and Austria by American soldiers in 1945 and its impact on American moral opinion."—History of European Ideas

"A riveting study of soldiers who liberated the major concentration camps in Germany."—American Historical Review

"A slender, well-illustrated volume...forceful and riveting."—Newsday

"A scholarly and poetic attempt to assess the impact of the concentration camps upon the liberators, the writers and the general public...Language, image, and experience are woven together with great skill."—David R. Blumenthal, Emory University

"Inside the Vicious Heart makes a profound impression and deserves to be widely read."—Military History

"An important and significant work."—George M. Kren, Kansas State University

"A great volume. Should have good shock value."—Matthew H. Gore, Western Kentucky University

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780195042368
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 01/08/1987
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 444,407
Product dimensions: 9.00(w) x 6.00(h) x 0.60(d)
Lexile: 1350L (what's this?)

Customer Reviews