The Holocaust

The Holocaust

History and Memory
Jeremy Black
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 08/14/2016
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-253-02214-1
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Brilliant and wrenching, The Holocaust: History and Memory tells the story of the brutal mass slaughter of Jews during World War II and how that genocide has been remembered and misremembered ever since. Taking issue with generations of scholars who separate the Holocaust from Germany’s military ambitions, historian Jeremy M. Black demonstrates persuasively that Germany’s war on the Allies was entwined with Hitler’s war on Jews. As more and more territory came under Hitler’s control, the extermination of Jews became a major war aim, particularly in the east, where many died and whole Jewish communities were exterminated in mass shootings carried out by the German army and collaborators long before the extermination camps were built. Rommel’s attack on Egypt was a stepping stone to a larger goal—the annihilation of 400,000 Jews living in Palestine. After Pearl Harbor, Hitler saw America’s initial focus on war with Germany rather than Japan as evidence of influential Jewish interests in American policy, thus justifying and escalating his war with Jewry through the Final Solution. And the German public knew. In chilling detail, Black unveils compelling evidence that many everyday Germans must have been aware of the genocide around them. In the final chapter, he incisively explains the various ways that the Holocaust has been remembered, downplayed, and even dismissed as it slips from horrific experience into collective consciousness and memory. Essential, concise, and highly readable, The Holocaust: History and Memory bears witness to those forever silenced and ensures that we will never forget their horrifying fate.

Author Bio

Jeremy Black is Professor of History at the University of Exeter. He is author of many books, including Geopolitics and the Quest for Dominance (IUP, 2015); Other Pasts, Different Presents, Alternative Futures (IUP, 2015); Clio’s Battles: Historiography in Practice (IUP, 2015); The Power of Knowledge: How Information and Technology Made the Modern World; War and Technology (IUP, 2013); and Fighting for America: The Struggle for Mastery in North America, 1519-1871 (IUP, 2011).


“Brilliant and wrenching, The Holocaust tells the story of the brutal mass slaughter of Jews during World War II and how that genocide has been remembered and misremembered ever since.”

“For most Americans, including Jews, the Holocaust is a distant memory. The moralization of American foreign policy to which you refer has been replaced by demoralization, including a pact with the leading sponsor of state terrorism. The victimization of blacks in American history trumps the victimization of Jews. Most significantly, Israel, in the public imagination, has been converted from David to Goliath after the Six Day War. Holocaust museums are as likely to put an emphasis on the Sudan as events in Europe before and during World War II. The Holocaust itself has been so internationalized that the specific conditions associated with the slaughter of Jews has been transmogrified into any atrocity on the world stage, of which there are many. As a consequence, Holocaust studies exist in a fog of international affairs which obscure the specific conditions faced by the Jewish people.”
 — Herb London, President of the London Center for Policy Research

“This is a valuable addition to the literature on the Holocaust. Its value is twofold. First, this excellent brief study places the Holocaust in the context of Germany’s military strategy in World War II. It is a timely reminder that Hitler’s genocidal determination to rid Europe of its Jewish population was a key element in Germany’s conduct of the war. Black also emphasises the extent to which all of Europe was complicit in the destruction of European Jewry. Secondly, in detailing the history of the memorialization of the Holocaust in Europe and beyond, Black insightfully explores important and still unresolved questions concerning the nature and presence of evil in the world, and alerts readers to the ever-present dangers of divisiveness and prejudice in today’s political and theological climate.”
 — Ian J. Bickerton, coauthor of A History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

“Jeremy Black has a remarkable ability to present complex subjects concisely and perceptively. This work convincingly establishes the Holocaust in three contexts: the development of anti-Semitism in modern Europe, the large-scale cooperation of non-Germans in the processes of genocide, and above all the combination of vicious ideology and institutional dissonance that directly shaped the Third Reich’s implementation of the Final Solution.”
 — Dennis Showalter, author of Hitler's Panzers

“The Holocaust: History and Memory will stand in the ranks of Raul Hilberg’s, Felix Gilbert’s, and Theodor Adorno’s works. A gripping sense of urgency infuses Jeremy Black’s narrative as he warns us of the perils of historical inattentiveness and fallacies and the horrendous civilizational costs they can inflict.”
 — Peter B. Brown, Rhode Island College

“ A demanding but important work.”
 — Choice Reviews

“Black has produced a balanced and precise work that is true to the scholarship, comprehensive yet not overwhelming, clearly written and beneficial for the expert and informed public alike.”
 — Jewish Book Council

“Historiographer Black generally attempts to avoid emotion, 'an abstraction that means smashing living babies' skulls against walls,' in writing about ultimately incomprehensible genocide. . . A compact and cogent academic account of the Holocaust. ”
 — Kirkus Reviews

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Table of Contents

1. Until Barbarossa
2. Towards Genocide
3. Genocide
4. Germany's Allies
5. Memorialization
6. The Holocaust and Today
7. Conclusions

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