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In the Shadow of the Holocaust: Nazi Persecution of Jewish-Christian Germans (Modern War Studies) [Hardcover]

James F. Tent

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Book Description

31 Mar 2003 Modern War Studies
The "Halbjuden" of Hitler's Germany were half Christian and half Jewish, but, like the rest of the "Mischlinge" (or "partial-Jews"), were far too Jewish in the eyes of the Nazis. Thus, while they were allowed for a time to coexist with the rest of German society, they were granted only the most marginal or menial jobs, restricted from marrying Aryans or even leading normal social lives, and sent eventually to forced-labour and concentration camps. More than 70,000 Germans were subjected to these restrictions and indignities, created and fostered by Hitler's morally bankrupt race laws, yet few personal accounts of their experiences exist. In this title, James Tent recounts how these men and women from all over Germany and from all walks of life struggled to survive in an increasingly hostile society, even as their Jewish relatives were disappearing into the East. He draws on extensive interviews with 20 survivors, many of whom were teenagers when Hitler came to power, to show how "half Jews" coped with conditions on a day-to-day basis and how the legacy of the hatred they suffered has forever lingered in their minds. Tent provides stories of life beneath the boot-heel of Nazi rule: a woman deemed unsuitable for a career in nursing because the shape of her earlobes and breasts indicated she was not "racially suited", a man arrested for "race defilement" because he lived with an Aryan woman, and many others. He shows how Nazi discrimination and persecution affected their lives and how such treatment intensified through the later years of the war. Tent's witnesses share experiences in school and problems in the workplace, where the best survival strategy was to find an unobtrusive niche in a nondescript job. They tell of obstacles to personal relationships and they soberly remind us that by 1944 they too were rounded up for forced labour, certain to be the next victims of Nazi genocide. This text demonstrates the lengths to which the Nazis were willing to go in order to eradicate Judaism - a fanaticism that increased over time and even in the face of impending military defeat. The "Halbjuden" mostly survived the Holocaust, yet they paid for their re-assimilation into German society by remaining silent in the face of haunting memories. This book breaks that silence and is a testament to human endurance under the most trying circumstances.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas (31 Mar 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0700612289
  • ISBN-13: 978-0700612284
  • Product Dimensions: 2.7 x 15.7 x 23.6 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,881,665 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"An important book of great interest to all students of twentieth-century Germany." Walter Laqueur, Editor Of The Holocaust Encyclopedia; "A fine and extremely well written book that will be of great interest to all who are concerned with the Nazi experience and its immediate aftermath." Gerhard Weinberg, Author Of A World At Arms; "Tent has done a prodigious amount of research and it shows in virtually every page." Michael Berenbaum, Author Of The World Must Know: The History Of The Holocaust; "A penetrating examination of the persecution of the so-called Mischlinge." Beate Meyer, Author Of "Jeudische Mischlinge

About the Author

James F. Tent is University Scholar and chair of the Department of History at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Among his other books are E-Boat Alert: Defending the Normandy Invasion Fleet and Mission on the Rhine: Reeducation and Denazification in American-Occupied Germany.

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First Sentence
The demographics in Germany were such that the bulk of marriages between Jews and Christians took place in the decade surrounding the First World War and with growing frequency in the years of the Weimar Republic. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A unique, compelling and important book 23 Feb 2003
By Magnus Löwenherz - Published on Amazon.com
When I picked up this book, I was uncertain I would find the topic all that interesting -- once started, I found I couldn't put the book down. An unheard of experience with an academic history. Professor Tent is a distinguished historian whose earlier work has been characterized by meticulous research and flawless analysis. This book is no exception, and yet it is so well-written and engrossing that it reads both quickly and well. As with his earlier works, Prof. Tent has chosen a subject about which little has been written and has again produced a masterpiece of the historian's art. Obviously a man of considerable decency, Tent treats his subjects with deep respect and sympathy when he uses interviews with the aging survivors to bring about an understanding for their plight and the keen sense of an inexorably tightening official noose as the war progressed. "In the Shadow of the Holocaust" effects the reader on several levels for it is not only an excellent scholarly study of the these now all but forgotten victims of National Socialism, but of the very human impact that experience had on them and would continue to have for the remainder of their lives. I am very grateful for the impulse that led me to read this book -- it is a treasure not only as a superb history, but also as a recounting of a unique human experience.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful 2 Dec 2003
By Jeff - Published on Amazon.com
I read this book for Dr. Bryan Mark Rigg's class at SMU and I was very impressed. It is very rare that you hear about the "half-Jews" during the Third Reich. It was very detailed and opened the study of the Holocaust wide open. No longer will teachers focus simply on the concentration camps, but now will also look at those forced into seclusion for being, as Hitler called them, "half-breeds." Well researched on an obscure topic. I enjoyed the book very much, must read to fully understand the Holocaust
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Work of History 7 Oct 2003
By Bryan Mark Rigg - Published on Amazon.com
James Tent has done a masterful work of discussing the history of "Mischlinge" (partial-Jews) during the Third Reich. His well written account tells the tragic stories of countless "Mischlinge" and the struggles they faced under Hitler. In a largely unknown field of research, Tent sheds light on a chapter of Nazism that is deserving of more study. I strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in the history of the Holocaust and the Third Reich.
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