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The Twisted Road to Auschwitz: Nazi Policy Toward German Jews, 1933-39: Nazi Policy Toward German Jews, 1933-1939 [Paperback]

Karl A. Schleunes

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The Twisted Road to Auschwitz: Nazi Policy Toward German Jews, 1933-39: Nazi Policy Toward German Jews, 1933-1939 + The Origins Of The Final Solution: The Evolution of Nazi Jewish Policy September 1939-March 1942 + Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust
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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press; Illini Books ed edition (1 Nov 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0252061470
  • ISBN-13: 978-0252061479
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.3 x 2.2 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 525,868 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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ON APRIL 29, 1945, twenty-four hours before his suicide, Adolf Hitler dictated his final statement. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A landmark in Holocaust scholarship 28 Mar 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Dr. Karl A. Schleunes's 1970 book ushered in a new era in historical scholarship concerning the Nazi "Final Solution to the Jewish Question". The book examines the period 1933-39, ending two years before the first gassings at Chelmno on December 8, 1941. This work is cited in almost every major work on the Nazis and was a major catalyst in the explosion of Holocaust scholarship. Published 30 years ago, its impact is still being felt throughout the area of German History. This is a must read for those interested in understanding the events leading to the Holocaust and offers an interesting thesis, namely that the road to Auschwitz was not clearly defined in 1933 upon the accession of Hitler as Chancellor, but that it was a twisted road. Schleunes presents the material in a very clear and concise manner that is easy for nonscholars to read and understand.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The reality of Auschwitz 13 April 2012
By David Withun - Published on
There is nothing which has so defined the world for the last several decades and which will continue to define the world for many decades to come as the concentration camp and the gas chamber. It is the knowledge that man is capable of the systematic and brutal extermination of his fellow man that has shaped the modern world. As Schleunes very poignantly phrases it in the introduction to this book, "if we are to begin to understand ourselves we must somehow come to grips with the reality of Auschwitz." In his book The Twisted Road to Auschwitz, Schleunes offers us an opportunity to make sense of the senseless and to begin the process of coming to grips with this reality.

Before reading Schleunes's book I had a very different picture of "the twisted road to Auschwitz" in mind. It is tempting to want to see the perpetrators of such crimes as superhumanly evil, even as monsters. Schleunes, however, reminds of the reality, that those who created the concentration camps and gas chambers were as human as the rest of us, and that, as humans so often do, they largely bumbled their way into genocide.

Schleunes paints a picture of a perfect storm, a collusion of people, events, and ideas brought together by chance. Here are radical Antisemites of the lower-middle class whose hatred for Jews derives from a combination of culture heritage and envy. Here is a science only vaguely understood and manipulated for propaganda purposes. Here is a continually growing population of Jews. And here is the "Final Solution."

Schleunes's book is a masterful account of "the twisted road to Auschwitz" which hits every bump and dip along the way. This is an important read for all people. It is only through understanding how we ended up there in the first place that we can fulfill the motto oft-repeated sense the Holocaust: "never again."
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How Did They Get There? 31 Oct 2011
By Rebecca Graf - Published on
Studying the horrors of the Holocaust typically is centered around the use of the concentration camps and the death of millions of people throughout Europe. What most miss is how the Holocaust was possible. What led to such atrocities? How could it even be imagined? Karl Schleunes goes into the path that brought Hitler and the Holocaust to the world in his book, The Twisted Road to Auschwitz: Nazi Policy Toward German Jews 1933-1939.

I have watched hundreds of documentaries and read various accounts of the Holocaust, but never had I seen anything that really concentrated on how Hitler and his government came up with idea of exterminating the Jews along with other unwanted groups. I found this interesting study in Schleunes work. He starts with the Jewish `problem' during the Second Reich exploring the tensions that existed long before Hitler appeared on the scene. The feelings already existed and waited on someone to use them.

Schleunes follows the path of German history and politics that put Hitler into the role of leader and dictator of Germany while focusing on the anti-Semitic feelings that were smoldering under the surface. Fanning the flames were those that wanted all Jews exterminated and saw their chance in Hitler who had made promises in his speeches that he would eliminate the Jewish `problem' all true Germans faced.

The reader is taken down the road of boycotting, political side-stepping, legislation, promotion of Aryanization, forced emigration, and the creation of the concentration camps. The idea did not arise with Hitler to power, but developed as plans failed and succeeded along the way for the Third Reich to clear the path of all who `opposed' them or held the Germans back from their destiny.

This work is an outstanding piece of Holocaust writing that does more than recant the life of the concentrations camps or how many died. It helps the world see inside the minds of those that created the camps and set out to destroy lives no matter how young or how old. It does not excuse the murderers, but gives their reasons in a way that clearly reveals how Auschwitz and the other camps could exit at all.

This is an excellent piece of writing for anyone interested in learning more of how the Holocaust occurred than knowing more of the same that you see everywhere else on the horrific events. This book takes you down The Twisted Road to Auschwitz . You will see every curve, bump, and sudden drop of the journey. Add this book to your collection of WWII, German, and Holocaust history material.
5.0 out of 5 stars Annother Classic, must have read 24 Feb 2013
By John B. Keenan Jr. - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I am still tripping about the selection of unbelieveable titles I'm able to get at unbelieveably reasonable prices...Hope I live long enough to read all my steals, thanks.
3 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the interesting book that it's made out to be. 5 May 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Just as a warning, the title is a bit decieving on this book. I imagined an interesting, anecdote filled book that would keep me reading for more. It wasn't. I must also say that it was the most impressive collection on the devopment of Nazism through this time period that I have ever seen. Any information that you could ever want on this subject can be found in this book. The information is very impressive, but the interest level is low.
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