- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: HarperPress; First Edition Reprinted. edition (20 Mar. 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0007192401
- ISBN-13: 978-0007192403
- Product Dimensions: 14.9 x 2.9 x 21.2 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 704,450 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Kristallnacht: Prelude to Destruction (Making History) Hardcover – 20 Mar 2006
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Praise for EMPIRES IN CONFLICT:
‘Martin Gilbert is the most prodigious author of our time… He is a phenomenon who arouses envy among less productive professional historians… He has a fine eye for a telling passage and a memorable detail.’ John Ramsden, Financial Times
Praise for HISTORY OF THE 20TH CENTURY:
‘In his great work, the writing is lucid, the pace perfectly judged, the evidence vividly conjured. The horrors are heightened by a style of almost Confucian reticence, which teaches without didacticism. In Gilbert's vision of history, the vast range never blurs the human scale.’ Felipe Fernàndez-Armesto, Sunday Times
About the Author
Martin Gilbert was born in London in 1936 and educated at Highgate School and Magdalen College, Oxford. In 1962, he became research assistant to Randolph Churchill and, after Randolph’s death, succeeded him as biographer of Sir Winston Churchill. He is the author of many works of history and lives in London and Jerusalem.
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Top Customer Reviews
Gilbert gathered the remembrances of people or their offspring who survived the onslaught. There are letters, journals and interviews with the author, bringing a disturbing intimacy to this account. That there were survivors to make these records seems surprising after a half-century of condemnation by the victorious Powers. Yet, Kristallnacht itself wasn't an orgy of killing. Less than a hundred died of beatings or unknown causes, although there were many suicides. Jews were seized and incarcerated, even in the notorious concentration camps, but most were later released. Pre-war Germany was more interested in ridding itself of its Jews by exile and emigration was encouraged. "Time to leave" became a byword among Germany's Jews after Kristallnacht, which was part of its purpose, according to Gilbert. Emigration, however, was more than packing up and leaving. There had to be places to go, and not all nations opened their borders to Jews fleeing manifest hatred.Read more ›
Gilbert describes in detail the barbarous events in Berlin, Vienna and throughout Germany. What's very clear is that the attacks were driven by a concerted plan, this was no co-incidental mob revolt. In total over 1,000 synagogues were burnt, 91 Jewish people murdered, countless others beaten up, detained and / or sent to concentration camps. In addition, thousands of Jewish shops and businesses were destroyed. Since only a detailed amount of systematic planning could be behind such carnage in such a short space of time, it really prompts the thought that a backlash for the assassination of Rath could have been a pretext rather than a trigger. Especially as the Jewish people were made to pay finacially for the attack as when the German government decided they needed to money to cleanup the carnage, they declared it was all the Jews fault ergo they should be paid for it. Difficult to find another example of such perverse reasoning.
The book is extremely well researched. Personal testimonies from the victims of the tragedy are provided from all over Germany, as are the stories of some heroes who manged to buck the wave of a very grave evil and in some cases put their own personal safety at risk for the benefit of others. Unfortunately their stories are only a minute minority in what can only be described as ubiquitous sadism.Read more ›
The violence was ferocious. In Nuremberg, the British Daily Herald' reported that Nazi Brownshirts `smashed their way into Jewish houses, tore down the curtains, slashed carpets and upholstery with knives, and broke up the furniture. Terrified children were turned sobbing out of their beds, which were then smashed to pieces' (p. 33).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great Book about a tragic event
I discovered I personally know some of the people of interviewed by Sir Martin Gilbert.
Even though this book requires 5 stars, I didn't enjoy reading this book. In fact I was frequently so stunned by what I was reading that I could hardly turn the page. Read morePublished on 26 Dec. 2012 by S. Ramsey-Hardy
On November 7 1938, a 17 year old German Jew, Herschel Grynszpan, enraged by the suffering of his parents, who had been expelled from Germany together with 12 000 other Jews,... Read morePublished on 17 July 2008 by Gary Selikow