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the guide to historical resources • Issue 7: The Holocaust •

The Holocaust

Book cover for Roots of Hate: Anti-Semitism in Europe Before the Holocaust

Cambridge University Press

Roots of Hate: Anti-Semitism in Europe Before the Holocaust
William I. Brustein
ISBN: 0521774780 (December 2003)

How did the levels of anti-Semitism in the 1930s compare to those of earlier decades? Did anti-Semitism vary in content and intensity across societies? In other words, were Germans more anti-Semitic than their European neighbours, and, if so, why? How does anti-Semitism differ from other forms of religious, racial, and ethnic prejudice? William I. Brustein offers the first truly systematic comparative and empirical examination of anti-Semitism within Europe before the Holocaust. Brustein proposes that European anti-Semitism flowed from religious, racial, economic, and political roots, which became enflamed by economic distress, rising Jewish immigration, and socialist success. To support his arguments, Brustein draws upon a careful and extensive examination of the annual volumes of the American Jewish Year Books and more than 40 years of newspaper reportage from Europe's major dailies. The findings of this informative book offer a fresh perspective on the roots of society's longest hatred.

The Red Cross and the Holocaust
Jean-Claude Favez. Translated by John Fletcher and Beryl Fletcher
ISBN: 052141587X (November 1999)

The Red Cross and the Holocaust presents a startling new assessment of the role of the world’s most famous charity in World War II. Was the Red Cross aware of the appalling sufferings of the victims of the concentration camps? How much did its International Committee know about the deportation and extermination of the Jews in Europe? Did it try to protect the persecuted Jews? In what ways could it have helped them, given the neutrality which was the basis of its foundation? These questions have remained unanswered for more than 50 years and have sparked off bitter debates. Jean-Claude Favez here presents a fundamental reappraisal, informed by unrivalled access to the archives of the Red Cross. This magisterial work includes a chronology, indices, biographical notes, and a statement by the charity’s current leaders: anyone interested in the complexity and tragedy of the Holocaust will find this compelling reading.

Whitehall and the Jews, 1933-1948: British Immigration Policy, Jewish Refugees and the Holocaust
Louise London
ISBN: 0521534496 (February 2003)

Whitehall and the Jews is the most comprehensive study to date of the British response to the plight of European Jewry under Nazism. It contains the definitive account of immigration controls on the admission of refugee Jews, and reveals the doubts and dissent that lay behind British policy. British self-interest consistently limited humanitarian aid to Jews. Refuge was severely restricted during the Holocaust, and little attempt made to save lives, although individual intervention did prompt some admissions on a purely humanitarian basis. After the war, the British government delayed announcing whether refugees would obtain permanent residence, reflecting the government’s aim of avoiding long-term responsibility for large numbers of homeless Jews. The balance of state self-interest against humanitarian concern in refugee policy is an abiding theme of Whitehall and the Jews, one of the most important contributions to the understanding of the Holocaust and Britain yet published.
For a review of this book, see our book reviews.

Life between Memory and Hope: the Survivors of the Holocaust in Occupied Germany
Zeev W. Mankowitz
ISBN: 0521811058 (October 2002)

This is the remarkable story of the 250,000 Holocaust survivors who converged on the American Zone of Occupied Germany from 1945 to 1948. They envisaged themselves as the living bridge between destruction and rebirth, the last remnants of a world destroyed and the active agents of its return to life. Much of what has been written to date looks at the Surviving Remnant through the eyes of others and thus has often failed to disclose the tragic complexity of their lives together with their remarkable political and social achievements. Despite having lost everyone and everything, they got on with their lives, they married, had children and worked for a better future. They did not surrender to the deformities of suffering and managed to preserve their humanity intact. Mankowitz uses largely inaccessible archival material to give a moving and sensitive account of this neglected area in the aftermath of the Holocaust.

The Holocaust
Peter Neville
ISBN: 0521595010 (June 1999)

This text provides an authoritative and lucid study of the Holocaust. In concise chapters, Peter Neville surveys the history of anti-semitism in Europe and examines the influence of anti-semitic ideas on Hitler and the Nazi Party. An account is given of the extermination programme; the tensions between this and the German war economy is explained. The text then charts the development of the Jewish resistance and considers its effectiveness. The response of the Allies to the Holocaust is explored, together with the role of the Vatican. The final chapters look at the issue of Holocaust denial and assess the legacy of the Holocaust in the modern world.