Shelfari edited the description of Holocaust Saturday, June 19, 2010.
In 1998, Peter Longerich published Politik der Vernichtung (Politics of Destruction), a stunning re-examination of the Holocaust. The book received universal acclaim, and is now generally recognized by historians as the standard account of this horrific chapter in human history. Now finally available in English, this masterful history uses an unrivalled range of sources to lay out in clear detail the steps taken by the Nazis that would lead ultimately to the Final Solution. Focusing closely on the perpetrators and exploring the process of decision making, Longerich convincingly shows that anti-Semitism was not a mere by-product of the Nazis' political mobilization or an attempt to deflect the attention of the masses. Rather, from 1933 anti-Jewish policy was a central tenet of the Nazi movement's attempts to implement, disseminate, and secure National Socialist rule--and one which crucially shaped Nazi policy decisions. Holocaust is perhaps most remarkable for its extensive use of the 1930s archives of the Central Association of German Citizens of the Jewish Faith, which re-emerged in the 1990s after years languishing in Moscow. The letters and reports from this archive document in detail the attacks suffered by ordinary Jewish people from their German neighbors. They show how, contrary to what has been believed in the past, the German populace responded relatively enthusiastically to Nazi anti-Semitism. This long-awaited English edition has been fully updated by Longerich himself. It features revised appendices with notes and further reading, as well as a new preface by the author. In addition, Longerich has added new material on the Jewish victims and on the camps and the ghettos, and has extended the story from the end of the war right up to the present day. In all, it is the most complete treatment ever published on the history of this monumental tragedy.