Synopses & Reviews
A great historian crowns a lifetime of thought and research by answering a question that has haunted us for more than 50 years: How did one of the most industrially and culturally advanced nations in the world embark on and continue along the path leading to one of the most enormous criminal enterprises in history, the extermination of Europe's Jews?
Giving considerable emphasis to a wealth of new archival findings, Saul Friedlander restores the voices of Jews who, after the 1933 Nazi accession to power, were engulfed in an increasingly horrifying reality. We hear from the persecutors themselves: the leaders of the Nazi party, the members of the Protestant and Catholic hierarchies, the university elites, and the heads of the business community. Most telling of all, perhaps, are the testimonies of ordinary German citizens, who in the main acquiesced to increasing waves of dismissals, segregation, humiliation, impoverishment, expulsion, and violence.
"The exhaustive spade work makes this the richest, fullest study of its kind. The reader comes as close as one would ever want to get to Nazi Germany of the 1930s." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
"Easily the best book of a distinguished historian. Likely to be the definitive work." Walter Laqueur, Los Angeles Times
"Judicious, analytic and compassionate....This is a brilliant book, combining scholarly rigor with a compassionate treatment of the human dimension of historic decisions." Boston Globe
"Friedlander writes history with a novelist's sense of the telling detail; he is both analytic and evocative." Fritz Stern, New York Times Book Review
"Friedlander's ambitious and scholarly work is an important contribution to understanding why Germany, one of the most advanced nations in Europe, would embark on a systematic attempt to destroy the Jews." Booklist
World-famous historian Saul Friedlander's critically acclaimed masterwork on Hitler's Final Solution is based on the testimonies of the persecutors themselves. Taken from newly discovered archival material, this first of a two-volume history provides a complete picture of the prologue to the Holocaust.
About the Author
Born in Prague, Saul Friedländer spent his boyhood in Nazi-occupied France. He is a professor of history at UCLA, and has written numerous books on Nazi Germany and World War II.