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Why the Germans? Why the Jews?: Envy, Race Hatred, and the Prehistory of the Holocaust

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  47 ratings  ·  9 reviews
A provocative and insightful analysis that sheds new light on one of the most puzzling and historically unsettling conundrums

Why the Germans? Why the Jews? Countless historians have grappled with these questions, but few have come up with answers as original and insightful as those of maverick German historian Götz Aly. Tracing the prehistory of the Holocaust from the 1800
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ebook, 304 pages
Published April 15th 2014 by Metropolitan Books (first published August 5th 2011)
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Ezequiel
Good literature mostly always finds its way from the US into Europe; but the other way around does not seem to be the norm, not always at least. This book got many and good reviews in Europe, including press coverage. But for some reason it has gone unnoticed in the US, and it will be published only in April 2014. I read the Spanish language version, and I found it to be a good piece of historical analysis into the reasons behind the Holocaust. But just that, a good work, not great. The sources ...more
Kate
Critically acclaimed this easy to read account explained by the title answered many questions I've always had and never understood. Why did the German culture and people allow the Holocaust? The author puts forth the theory that it was envy and a lack of a coherent cultural identity that created the perfect petri dish in which the ideology of Naziism could flourish. He reviews the early 19th century up to and including the impact of WWI on the German people to create an excellent understanding o ...more
Edward Sullivan
A persuasively written, insightful, thoughtful, and provocative examination of German anti-Semitism preceding the Holocaust.
Michael Arden

The author posits that the rising anti-Semitism of the Germans from the 1800s to the Nazis' assumption of power in 1933 was fueled by material envy rather than racist ideology or religious animosity. Why? Because the largely agrarian, mostly illiterate German majority floundered in the rapidly modernizing world driven by the Industrial Revolution, whereas the urban, well-educated Jewish minority adapted much faster to change, often becoming highly successful and solidly middle class. To compensa
...more
James Phillips
An easy read into the birth of anti-semistism in Germany in the 19th century and the lead up to WWII. the author does not touch on the war period, hence a refreshing approach to the drivers of anti-Semitism, e.g. envy.
Diane
A well organized and accessible look at the causes of the Holocaust starting with the Thirty Years War and considering social and economic factors through the 20th. century
Sheila Altenbernd
I received this book at a Goodreads giveaway.

I found the book to be well written, well researched, and well organized. It was very thought provoking.
Frank
Sehr detaillerte Beschreibung der Zeitgeist im neunzehnten und frühen zwanzigsten Jahrhunderts, was das Verhältnis zwischen den Juden und anderen Gemeinden in Deutschland angeht.
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Henry Holt: Has anyone read "Why the Germans? Why the Jews?" by Götz Aly? 1 4 May 21, 2014 07:33AM  
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Götz Haydar Aly is a German journalist, historian and social scientist.
After attending the German School of Journalists, Aly studied history and political science in Berlin. As a journalist, he worked for the taz, the Berliner Zeitung and the FAZ.
Presently, from 2004 to 2005, he is a visiting professor for interdisciplinary Holocaust research at the Fritz Bauer Institut in Frankfurt am Main.
More about Götz Aly...
Hitler's Beneficiaries: Plunder, Racial War, and the Nazi Welfare State Into the Tunnel: The Brief Life of Marion Samuel, 1931-1943 Fromms: How Julius Fromm's Condom Empire Fell to the Nazis Architects of Annihilation: Auschwitz and the Logic of Destruction Unser Kampf: 1968 - ein irritierter Blick zurück

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“Even in the early nineteenth century, people like Goethe had little good to say about grumbling, coarsely behaved nationalist romantics of the Arndt or Jahn variety. By contrast, Germany’s greatest author enjoyed the witty company of intelligent Jews. “As a rule they are more keenly curious and apt to contribute than any German nationalist,” Goethe wrote. “Their ability to understand things quickly and analyze them in depth, as well as their native wit, makes them a much more receptive audience than you can find among the real and true Germans with their slow and dull minds.” 0 likes
“they put their faith in their intellectual assets and attained material success with admirable speed. To speak in everyday language: they got somewhere in life.” 0 likes
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