HISTORY

Europe Against the Jews: 1880–1945

Metropolitan. Apr. 2020. 400p. ISBN 9781250170170. $32.99.. HIST
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In this latest work, German historian Aly (Why the Germans? Why the Jews?) seeks to explain the successes and failures of Third Reich-directed genocide by tracing the development of late 19th- and early 20th-century anti-Semitism in European nationalist societies and governments. Through it all, Aly never loses sight of the primary and ultimate responsibility of Nazi Germany for the Holocaust. The author supports his contentions that people were motivated by envy and greed, and that desires to advance the educational and economic status of majority populations motivated the governments of Greece, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and others to approve and implement laws that amounted to ethnic cleansing of Jews in the years before World War II. Included are numerous references to works by other historians and sociologists, along with contemporary witnesses. Particularly moving are the testimonies of Holocaust survivors who encountered rejection by their liberated post-war governments and the countrymen who invaded their homes and property, never expecting their return. Aly succeeds in demonstrating how Germany enlisted the populations and governments of occupied countries in their project of mass murder.
VERDICT Essential reading for anyone trying to understand the Holocaust with a view toward preventing future genocides. [See Prepub Alert, 10/7/19.]
 

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