The Extermination of the European Jews


Product Details

$31.99  $29.75
Cambridge University Press
Publish Date
6.02 X 9.08 X 1.09 inches | 1.59 pounds
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About the Author

Christian Gerlach is Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Bern. His award-winning titles in German include Calculated Murder: The German Economic and Extermination Policy in Byelorussia (third edition, 2001), War, Food, Genocide: German Extermination Policies in the Second World War (second edition, 2001), and The Last Chapter: The Murder of Hungarian Jews, 1944-45 (with Götz Aly, second edition, 2004).


"This ambitious study delivers breadth of coverage without sacrificing depth or complexity. As well as ranging widely thematically, geographically and chronologically, the book is impressive in its attempt to integrate the experiences of victims, 'bystanders' and collaborators into the narrative as well as examining the multiple motivations of perpetrators."
Tim Cole, University of Bristol
"Christian Gerlach is a rare exception in a field all too sharply divided between archival hyper-specialists and grand narrativisers. The Extermination of the European Jews exemplifies his capacity to combine innovative conceptualisation - original thought - with deep empirical expertise. It is structured like a textbook, and if there is any justice will attract a textbook's scale of readership, but the greatest experts on the Holocaust stand to gain from reading it. The book is superb, placing the 'final solution of the Jewish question' into a wide range of contexts and masterfully elucidating the complex dynamics of perpetration."
Donald Bloxham, University of Edinburgh
"Building on his earlier research, Christian Gerlach situates his sweeping analysis within the context of state-sponsored mass violence in twentieth-century Europe. A valuable resource for anyone interested in the Holocaust, this important study broadens our understanding of the structural and mental processes that facilitate genocide within and across societies."
Jurgen Matthaus, co-author of The Political Diary of Alfred Rosenberg and the Onset of the Holocaust
"Written by one of the leading younger scholars of the field, The Extermination of the European Jews stands out from the many other comprehensive accounts on the Holocaust. Gerlach masterly explores and interweaves the ideologies, emotions, and choices, the political structures, economic interests, and emotional worlds that propelled the dynamic of Nazi violence in Europe and eventually made the Final Solution possible - a brilliant survey that will intrigue readers new to the field as well [as] specialists."
Thomas Kuhne, Clark University
'Gerlach argues that the destruction of European Jews cannot be fully understood in isolation from other acts of mass violence by Germans and non-Germans ... This ambitious book certainly does not simplify its subject matter, yet its revisionism is a necessary task undertaken responsibly and usefully ... Highly recommended. All levels/libraries.' R. S. Levy, Choice
'A first-rate discussion of the Holocaust ... Gerlach, Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Bern, devotes due attention [to] non-German states and societies, notably Romania, and throws light on popular notions of race. Overlong for many sixth formers but a valuable account for those willing to devote the time.' Jeremy Black, Historical Association
'Gerlach makes a strong case for an interdependent and fluctuating relationship between the persecution and murder of the Jews on the one hand and economic concerns about labor, food, housing, and transportation on the other.' Christopher R. Browning, The New York Review of Books
'This book is a welcome addition to the already voluminous Anglophone literature on the Holocaust, primarily because it takes on the existing ... explanations for the killing of six million Jews and forces the reader to confront the much wider prevailing climate of mass violence that engulfed not just the Jews but other minority groups as well. It should become core reading for students of the period ... Gerlach has done us all an enormous service by synthesizing a much wider body of literature from across Europe than is commonly consulted on this issue and providing us with thought-provoking questions about the multiplicity of factors that created the genocide.' Bob Moore, H-Nationalism