Top critical review
A decent enough basic review but let down by bias.
on 10 September 2016
Whilst this book is decent enough as a brief synopsis of the general themes of the Holocaust it's limitations tend to bring it down.The information given is competent enough.If I was an O Level examiner and this was a response to the question
'Examine the broad themes of the Nazi Holocaust in Europe between 1933 and 1945'
I would give it a C- grade.However the piece's limitations become apparent very soon into the narrative and continue to undermine it until the end.
The attempt to impute the development of anti-Semitic feeling in Germany to the works of Martin Luther is spurious.Nowhere in any of Luther's written works or speeches did he advocate any kind of genocide against the Jews.The Nazis simply cherry picked certain parts of Luther's works that challenged certain aspects of Judaism and bowdlerised and misrepresented then so they
appeared to back up their theories,though in reality the original meaning of the words had been changed and/or obscured.
The author then compounds this anti-Luther bias by failing to mention the activities of several Clerico-Fascists in Europe and Eire.Many Roman Catholic clergy embraced fascism for two basic reasons.The Roman Church has a long history of blaming the Jews for crucifying Jesus(based upon an erroneous interpretation of Mark's Gospel) and a fear of Communism as it opposed religion.These clerics added greatly to the anti-Semitic atmosphere before,during(and in some cases after) the war by issuing pro=fascist and even out and out anti-Semitic speeches and written works that aided the rise of fascism(especially in Germany.)
Jozef Tiso,a Roman Catholic priest,and the leader of Slovakia from 1939 to 1945 was an active war criminal who sent thousands of his own countrymen to Nazi death camps to be murdered.Alois Hudal,the 'Brown Bishop'(an Austrian) was openly pro Nazi and anti-Semitic.In 1937 he published the notorious book 'The foundations of National Socialism' in which he openly advocated the virtues of Nazism.The wartime Pope,Eugenio Pacelli(Pius XII) has been criticised by Roman Catholic authors for not doing enough to aid the Jews.
It is also apposite to mention the activities of Amin al-Husseini,the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.He is quoted as saying
'Kill the Jew wherever you find him,this pleases God,history and religion'.
He lived in Germany(and was funded generously by the Nazis) during the war and his highly anti-Semitic views greatly encouraged the development of the Nazis attitude towards Judaism.
All in all a fair basic survey of some of the facts but great caution must be taken due to the obvious author bias.