Kristallnacht 1938

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Product Details
Belknap Press
Publish Date
6.0 X 8.48 X 0.81 inches | 0.84 pounds
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About the Author
Alan E. Steinweis is Professor of History and Director of the Center for Holocaust Studies at the University of Vermont.
Illuminating...To capture the full significance of Kristallnacht, it is necessary to see the pogrom not in hindsight, but through contemporary eyes--and that is the achievement of Steinweis's short but revelatory book. Knowing what came after, we tend to see the pogrom of November 1938 as a prelude to genocide; but to those who lived through it, it was precisely the unprecedented quality of Kristallnacht that made it so momentous.--Adam Kirsch "The Tablet" (11/10/2009 12:00:00 AM)
A great deal has been written about these appalling events, but Alan Steinweis makes excellent use of a hitherto untapped source, namely the documentary record of more than 1,000 separate trials, involving some 7,000 perpetrators, conducted in Germany and Austria in the years following the end of the war, to tell the story again. His account adds fresh and often illuminating depth and detail to the familiar picture, and for anyone looking for a readable and accurate portrayal of the pogrom, its origins and its aftermath, this book is now the best place to go... Deliver[s] a powerful, nuanced and detailed account that should be required reading for everyone concerned with the history of Nazism and indeed more generally with the place of racial hatred in the modern world.--Richard J. Evans "Times Higher Education" (3/11/2010 12:00:00 AM)
In this brief but searing book, Steinweis provides a vivid retelling, buttressed by numerous accounts of individual incidents and also provides a new slant on what actually happened in those terrible days.--Martin Rubin "Washington Times" (11/29/2009 12:00:00 AM)
Steinweis analyzes newly released internal memos and court documents from the trials of the pogrom's perpetrators, enabling us to better understand the day that set the stage for the murder of the Jews of Europe.-- "Jewish Book World" (6/1/2010 12:00:00 AM)
Utilizing primary sources, including the voices of both victims and victimizers, he illustrates that "ordinary" Germans gleefully took part in what amounted to a pogrom against their fellow citizens. This is an outstanding re-examination of a seminal event along the road leading to mass murder.--Jay Freeman "Booklist" (11/15/2009 12:00:00 AM)
Masterful, wise, and utterly convincing. This judicious and moving book depicts a conflagration that both continued the assault on Jews in Germany since 1933 and turned sharply toward unprecedented destruction.--Doris L. Bergen, Chancellor Rose and Ray Wolfe Professor of Holocaust Studies, University of Toronto
Steinweis has radically changed our perspective on Kristallnacht, contributing new insights to the ongoing discussion of the extent and limits of popular anti-Semitism in Germany.--Peter Hayes, Professor of History and German, Northwestern University
A powerful, clearly written and convincing account of the range of human motivations that led a hate-filled minority to violently attack their neighbors and fellow citizens. Kristallnacht 1938 is an important advance in our understanding of the relationship between the Nazi regime and the German public in the years preceding World War II and the Holocaust.--Jeffrey Herf, author of The Jewish Enemy: Nazi Propaganda during World War II and the Holocaust
Kristallnacht 1938 offers chilling insight into just how far, on the eve of the Shoah, members of the German public supported and encouraged radical policies designed to eliminate Jews from German society forever...It yields unexpected insights into the nature of a regime and society whose actions continue to unsettle the conscience of humankind.--Gordon J. Horwitz, author of Ghettostadt: Lódź and the Making of a Nazi City
A subtle yet powerful account of the "Night of Broken Glass," perhaps the first national pogrom in history. Steinweis' probing yields a far more damning picture of complicity on the part of ordinary people than we are accustomed to. An important contribution, a much-needed corrective, and a disturbing book.--Richard S. Levy, Professor of History, University of Illinois at Chicago
A remarkable new look at the German pogrom of November 1938 that includes both clear local detail on the massive participation of Germans in assaults on their neighbors and also a balanced and thoughtful analysis of the whole event, its development, and its repercussions.--Gerhard L. Weinberg, author of A World at Arms: A Global History of World War II