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Josef Mengele has come to symbolise both the evil of the Nazi regime and the failure of justice. Drawing on new scholarship and sources, David G. Marwell examines Mengele's life, chronicling his university studies, which led to two PhDs; his wartime service, in combat and at Auschwitz, where his "selections" determined the fate of countless innocents and his "scientific" pursuits resulted in the traumatisation and death of thousands more; and his post-war refuge in Germany and South America. Mengele describes the international search in 1985, which ended in a cemetery in Sao Paulo and the forensic investigation that produced overwhelming evidence that Mengele had died-but failed to convince those who, arguably, most wanted him dead. This is a story of science without limits, escape without freedom and resolution without justice.
Once in a while there comes along a story so powerful and so emotive that it makes you re-think your own values. This is the story of Nathan Shapow, a young Latvian, born in Riga, with nothing more on his mind than becoming a world-renowned boxer. However, the sound of jackboots marching across Europe and the systematic extermination of the Jews put paid to his boxing dreams. He was to fight a different sort of fight, one for survival. The prize? His life. Seeing his youth disappear in the squalor of the ghettos and the horror of the camps, Nathan fell back on his previous existence to sustain him. The years of training, the running, the speed work, the three-round amateur fights in the gym, the street fights in Riga and the sheer competitive nature he developed saved him on more than one occasion, especially when he was forced to box for his life against a top German fighter in a concentration camp. THE BOXER'S STORY is an extraordinary and powerful true story that reads like a thriller. It will deeply affect everyone who reads it.
Much has been written about the West's unwillingness to attempt the rescue of tens of thousands of European Jews from the hands of the Nazis. Now David Clay Large gives a specific human face to this tragedy of bureaucratic inertia and ill will. In this masterpiece of Holocaust literature, Large tells the wrenching story of Max Schohl, a German Jew who in the years preceding World War II could not find a government that would allow his family to immigrate, despite wealth, education, business and family connections, a job offer from an American university, and herculean efforts by himself and his American relatives. After repeated but fruitless efforts to gain entry first to the United States, and then to Britain, Chile, and Brazil, Max died in Auschwitz, and his wife and daughters were sent to hard labor in Wiesbaden. Max left behind a unique collection of family letters and documents, which Large has brought together into a gripping, personal commentary on the evolution of the Holocaust in Europe and the hopelessly inadequate response from abroad.
The Jewish Orphanage in Leiden was the last one of eight such care homes to open its doors in the Netherlands before the Second World War. After spending almost 39 years in an old and utterly inadequate building in Leiden's city centre, the inauguration in 1929 of a brand-new building, shown on the front cover, was the start of a remarkably productive and prosperous period. The building still stands there, proudly but sadly, to this day: the relatively happy period lasted less than fourteen years. On Wednesday evening, 17th March 1943, the Leiden police, under German instructions, closed down the orphanage and delivered 50 children and nine staff to the Leiden railway station, from where they were brought to Transit Camp Westerbork in the north-east of the country. Two boys were released from Westerbork thanks to tireless efforts of a neighbour in Leiden; one young woman survived Auschwitz, and one young girl escaped to Palestine via Bergen-Belsen. The remaining 55 were deported to Sobibor - and not one of them survived. Some 168 children lived in the new building at one time or another between August 1929 and March 1943. This book reconstructs life in the orphanage based on the many stories and photographs which they left us. It is dedicated to the memory of those who perished in the Holocaust, but also to those who survived. Without them, this book could not have been written.
'It's like being in a dream', commented Joseph Goebbels when he visited Nazi-occupied Paris in the summer of 1940. Dream and reality did indeed intermingle in the culture of the Third Reich, racialist fantasies and spectacular propaganda set-pieces contributing to this atmosphere alongside more benign cultural offerings such as performances of classical music or popular film comedies. A cultural palette that catered to the tastes of the majority helped encourage acceptance of the regime. The Third Reich was therefore eager to associate itself with comfortable middle-brow conventionality, while at the same time exploiting the latest trends that modern mass culture had to offer. And it was precisely because the culture of the Nazi period accommodated such a range of different needs and aspirations that it was so successfully able to legitimize war, imperial domination, and destruction. Moritz Foellmer turns the spotlight on this fundamental aspect of the Third Reich's successful cultural appeal in this ground-breaking new study, investigating what 'culture' meant for people in the years between 1933 and 1945: for convinced National Socialists at one end of the spectrum, via the legions of the apparently 'unpolitical', right through to anti-fascist activists, Jewish people, and other victims of the regime at the other end of the spectrum. Relating the everyday experience of people living under Nazism, he is able to give us a privileged insight into the question of why so many Germans enthusiastically embraced the regime and identified so closely with it.
On April 15, 1945, Brigadier H. L. Glyn Hughes entered Bergen-Belsen for the first time. Waiting for him were 10,000 unburied, putrefying corpses and 60,000 living prisoners, starving and sick. One month earlier, 15-year-old Rachel Genuth arrived at Bergen-Belsen; deported with her family from Sighet, Hungary, in May of 1944, Rachel had by then already endured Auschwitz, the Christianstadt labor camp, and a forced march through the Sudetenland. In To Meet In Hell, Bernice Lerner follows both Hughes and Genuth as they move across Europe toward Bergen-Belsen in the final, brutal year of World War II. The book begins at the end: with Hughes's searing testimony at the September 1945 trial of Josef Kramer, commandant of Bergen-Belsen, along with forty-four SS and guards. 'I have been a doctor for thirty years and seen all the horrors of war,' Hughes said, 'but I have never seen anything to touch it.' The narrative then jumps back to the spring of 1944, following both Hughes and Rachel as they navigate their respective forms of wartime hell until confronting the worst: Christianstadt's prisoners, including Rachel, are deposited in Bergen-Belsen, and the British Second Army, having finally breached the fortress of Germany, assumes control of the ghastly camp after a negotiated surrender. Though they never met, it was Hughes's commitment to helping as many prisoners as possible that saved Rachel's life. Drawing on a wealth of sources, including Hughes's papers, war diaries, oral histories, and interviews, this gripping volume combines scholarly research with narrative storytelling in describing the suffering of Nazi victims, the overwhelming presence of death at Bergen-Belsen, and characters who exemplify the human capacity for fortitude. Lerner, Rachel's daughter, has special insight into the torment her mother suffered. The first book to pair the story of a Holocaust victim with that of a liberator, To Meet In Hell compels readers to consider the full, complex humanity of both.
A New Translation From The French By Marion Wiesel
A writer's search for his family's tragic past in World War II becomes a remarkably original and riveting epic, brilliantly exploring the nature of time and memory. 'The Lost' begins as the story of a boy who grew up in a family haunted by the disappearance of six relatives during the Holocaust - an unmentionable subject that gripped his imagination from earliest childhood. Decades later, spurred by the discovery of a cache of desperate letters written to his grandfather in 1939, Daniel Mendelsohn sets out to find the remaining eyewitnesses to his relative's fates. The quest takes him to a dozen countries and forces him to confront the wrenching discrepancies between the histories we live and the stories we tell. Finally, he goes back to the small Ukrainian town where his family's story began, and where the solution to a decades-old mystery awaits him. Deftly moving between past and present, interweaving a world-wandering odyssey with memories of a vanished generation, 'The Lost' transforms the story of one family into a profound and morally searching study of our fragile hold on the past. Deeply personal, grippingly suspenseful and beautifully written, this literary tour de force illuminates all that is lost, and found, in the passage of time.
This important reference work highlights a number of disparate themes relating to the experience of children during the Holocaust, showing their vulnerability and how some heroic people sought to save their lives amid the horrors perpetrated by the Nazi regime. This book is a comprehensive examination of the people, ideas, movements, and events related to the experience of children during the Holocaust. They range from children who kept diaries to adults who left memoirs to others who risked (and, sometimes, lost) their lives in trying to rescue Jewish children or spirit them away to safety in various countries. The book also provides examples of the nature of the challenges faced by children during the years before and during World War II. In many cases, it examines the very act of children's survival and how this was achieved despite enormous odds. In addition to more than 125 entries, this book features 10 illuminating primary source documents, ranging from personal accounts to Nazi statements regarding what the fate of Jewish children should be to statements from refugee leaders considering how to help Jewish children after World War II ended. These documents offer fascinating insights into the lives of students during the Holocaust and provide students and researchers with excellent source material for further research. Provides readers with insights into the vulnerabilities faced by children during the Holocaust Shows how individual rescuers and larger (though clandestine) rescue organizations sought to minimize the worst effects of Nazi anti-Jewish measures against children Explains how some Jewish children pretended to be non-Jewish as a way to survive Showcases adult victims of the Holocaust who, despite the risks to themselves, worked to save children
As the Holocaust passes out of living memory, future generations will no longer come face-to-face with Holocaust survivors. But the lessons of that terrible period in history are too important to let slip past. How Was It Possible?, edited and introduced by Peter Hayes, provides teachers and students with a comprehensive resource about the Nazi persecution of Jews. Deliberately resisting the reflexive urge to dismiss the topic as too horrible to be understood intellectually or emotionally, the anthology sets out to provide answers to questions that may otherwise defy comprehension. This anthology is organized around key issues of the Holocaust, from the historical context for antisemitism to the impediments to escaping Nazi Germany, and from the logistics of the death camps and the carrying out of genocide to the subsequent struggles of the displaced survivors in the aftermath. Prepared in cooperation with the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous, this anthology includes contributions from such luminaries as Jean Ancel, Saul Friedlander, Tony Judt, Alan Kraut, Primo Levi, Robert Proctor, Richard Rhodes, Timothy Snyder, and Susan Zuccotti. Taken together, the selections make the ineffable fathomable and demystify the barbarism underlying the tragedy, inviting readers to learn precisely how the Holocaust was, in fact, possible.
This extraordinary wartime diary provides a rare glimpse into the daily life of French and foreign-born Jewish refugees under the Vichy regime during World War II. Long hidden, the diary was written by Lucien Dreyfus, a native of Alsacewho was a teacher at the most prestigious high school in Strasbourg, an editor of the leading Jewish newspaper of Alsace and Lorraine, the devoted father of an only daughter, and the doting grandfather of an only granddaughter. In 1939, after the French declaration of war on Hitler's Germany, Lucien and his wife, Marthe, were forced by the French state to leave Strasbourg along with thousands of other Jewish and non-Jewish residents of the city. The couple found refuge in Nice, on the Mediterranean coast in the south of France. Anti-Jewish laws prevented Lucien from resuming his teaching career and his work as a newspaper editor. But he continued to write, recording his trenchant reflections on the situation of France and French Jews under the Vichy regime. American visas allowed his daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter to escape France in the spring of 1942 and establish new lives in the United States, but Lucien and Marthe were not so lucky. Rounded up during an SS raid in September 1943, they were deported and murdered in Auschwitz-Birkenau two months later. As the only diary by an observant Jew raised bi-culturally in French and German, Dreyfus's writing offers a unique philosophical and moral reflection on the Holocaust as it was unfolding in France.
In this alternately humorous and horrifying memoir, a Jewish father shleps his reluctant children around Europe on a hard-charging tour of Holocaust sites and memorials in order to impress on them the profound evil of Hitler's war against the Jews and the importance of combatting genocide. In 2017, renowned author and celebrity rabbi, Shmuley Boteach, decided to take his family on a European holiday. But instead of seeing the sights of London or Paris, he took his reluctant-and at times complaining-children on a harrowing journey though Auschwitz, Treblinka, Warsaw, and many other sites associated with Hitler's genocidal war against the Jews. His purpose was to impress upon them the full horror of the Holocaust so they would know and remember it deep in their bones. In the process, he and his children learn a great deal about the scope and nature of the European genocide and the continuing effects of global hatred and anti-Semitism. The resulting memoir is an utterly unique blend of travelogue, memoir and history-alternately fascinating, terrifying, frustrating, humorous, and tragic. "It is my honor to contribute a foreword to his important book, in which Rabbi Shmuley Boteach details the excruciating journey he took with his wife and children in the summer of 2017 to the killing fields of Europe, a pilgrimage which every person of conscience should attempt at least once in their lifetime. It is our universal obligation to dedicate ourselves to the memory of the martyred six million, just as it is our obligation to confront and defeat genocide wherever it rises." -From the foreword by Amb. Georgette Mosbacher
Any consideration of the 20th century would be incomplete without a discussion of Nazi Germany, an extraordinary regime which dominated European history for 12 years, and left a legacy that still echoes with us today. The incredible force of the destructive vision at the heart of Nazi Germany led to a second world war when the world was still aching from the first one, and an incomprehensible death count, both at home and abroad. In this Very Short Introduction, Jane Caplan's insightful analysis of Nazi Germany provides a highly relevant reminder of the fragility of democratic institutions, and the ways in which the exploitation of national fears, mass political movements, and frail political opposition can lead to the imposition of dictatorship. Considering the emergence and popular appeal of the Nazi party, she discusses the relationships between belief, consent, and terror in securing the regime, alongside the crucial role played by Hitler himself. Covering the full history of the regime, she includes an unflinching look at the dark stains of war, persecution, and genocide. At the same time, Caplan offers unexpected angles of vision and insights; asking readers to look behind the handful of over-used images of Nazi Germany we are familiar with, and to engage critically with a history that that is so abhorrent it risks seeming beyond interpretation. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
"In a graphic present-tense narrative, this Holocaust memoir describes what happened to a Jewish girl who is 13 when the Nazis invade Hungary in 1944 . . . A final brief chronology of the Holocaust adds to the value of this title for curriculum use with older readers."--"Booklist," boxed review.
Like every totalitarian regime, Nazi Germany tried to control intellectual freedom through book censorship. Between 1933 and 1945, the Hitler regime orchestrated a massive campaign to take control of all forms of communication. In 1933 alone, there were 90 book burnings across 70 German cities, declared by a Ministry of Propaganda official to be "a symbol of the revolution." In later years, the regime used less violent means of domination, pillaging bookstores and libraries, in addition to prosecuting uncooperative publishers and dissident authors. Guenter Lewy deftly analyzes the various strategies that the Nazis employed to enact censorship and the government officials who led the attack on a free intellectual life. Harmful and Undesirable paints a fascinating portrait of intellectual life under Nazi dictatorship, detailing the dismal fate of those who were caught in the wheels of censorship.
Needle in the Bone highlights the astonishing stories of two Poles - a Holocaust survivor, Lou Frydman, and a Polish resistance fighter, Jarek Piekalkewicz. As mere teenagers during World War II, they defied daunting odds, lost everything and nearly everyone in the war, and yet summoned the courage to start new lives in the United States. Needle in the Bone offers a unique insight into the Holocaust and the Polish Resistance by entwining the stories of these two survivors. By blending extensive interviews with Frydman and Piekalkewicz, historical research, and the author's own responses and questions, this book provides a unique perspective on still-compelling issues, including the meaning of the Holocaust, the nature of good and evil, and how people persevere in the face of unbearable pain and loss.
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