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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb achievement of weaving history with memory, 28 Mar 1997
By A Customer
The history of Nazi Germany and the Jews has never been told before in such a convincing fashion. Friedlander's knowledge of West European history and culture is second to none, a fact which enabled him to write, for the first time, a "total" history of the crucial, but often neglected years prior to the War. Like a master artist, the author weaves the history with the memories, the voices of the victims with those of the perpetrators, the every day lived experiences with high politics. While rich in telling details, Friedlander makes sure that we never lose sight of the larger picture; of the abnormality in the midst of seemingly normal existence.

Professor Friedlander's interpretation of Nazism is highly nuanced and therefore convincing. He sucessfully avoids two common pitfalls: to write this history "backward" and construct its narrative in "black and white." His life-long dedication not only to the study of Nazism, but also to the problems of its historical represntation are clearly obvious in the innovative manner with which he approaches the subject. In his distinctively understated style he is both highly evocative and extremely analytical.

With the second volume, which is due to follow, we will have gained a comprehensive understanding of Nazi Germany and the fate of the European Jews, written by a historian, who is a thinker, who is a master story teller.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 24 Aug 2013
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Brilliant book from a historical point of view, very detailed and kept me hooked till the end. Very upsetting period of history
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Undeniable record of the overture for the Holocaust, 28 Nov 2003
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Dobester (Istanbul, Turkey) - See all my reviews
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Saul Friedlander documents the tragic loss of moral courage and responsibility among the vast majority of Germans some seventy years ago, and how this loss allowed the growing oppression and persecution of their fellow citizens, the Jews. While so-called revisionists and Holocaust deniers focus on the still barely-imaginable campaign of murder carried out by the Germans and their willing helpers from the Baltic to the Balkans, Saul Friedlander's account is of the mounting radicalisation of anti-Jewish policies and public indifference to the Jews' fate. The text is deeply depressing, but is essential reading for anyone who is trying to come to terms with the crimes of the Holocaust itself. Holocaust deniers use the "holes" in accounts of the Holocaust to support their shoddy, deranged arguments. A reading of this book provides massive, incontrovertible evidence of the Nazis' murderous hatred for the Jews and the policies they used to deny them any kind of life in Germany before the war. An unforgettable voyage into a time of mass moral insanity
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