War and Genocide: A Concise History of the Holocaust (Barnes & Noble Edition) by Doris L. Bergen
While there are several excellent general histories of World War II, and of the Holocaust itself, there are few books that offer a short, detailed account of genocide within the larger context of political and military conditions in Europe between 1933 and 1945. Of these few, Doris L. Bergen's is undoubtedly the best.
Dr. Bergen situates the mass murder of European Jews and other peoples within the overall context of World War II. She describes the political and cultural pre-conditions of the genocide, the rise to power of the Nazi party, the entrenchment of its racial policies, and the beginnings of the system of sterilization and, later, murder of those stripped of their humanity. She also describes resistance to the Nazis among Jews, Serbs, and others. Unlike most treatments of the Holocaust, War and Genocide discusses not only the persecution of the Jews, but also other segments of society victimized by the Nazis: Gypsies, homosexuals, Poles, Soviet POWs, and the handicapped. For the general reader who wants a fuller historical understanding of an ongoing human problem, this book will prove invaluable.