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Destruction of the European Jews

4.29  ·  Rating Details ·  988 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
Book by Hilberg, Raul
Hardcover, Revised and Definitive Edition (in 3 volumes), 1274 pages
Published December 1st 1983 by Holmes & Meier Publishers (first published 1961)
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Community Reviews

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Nick Black
Aug 29, 2009 Nick Black rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, this time last week I was like, "oh phatty phatty score, Hilberg's three volumes for an incredible $20!" Well ladies and gents, incredible gets its lineage for a reason, and this of course was not the full three volumes of mighty detail suitable for curling up with or, in darker times, burning for warmth or political purposes either, but some abridged piece of shit fit only for hurling at walls like a chimpanzee flinging its own hot messy turdclumps. Or so I thought in my initial anger, stor ...more
Abimelech Abimelech
I was first introduced to Mr. Hilberg through Shoah. Over the eight plus hours of archival sight explorations and testimonies, Mr. Hilberg appeared and reappeared from the dim room of his Vermont study, a clear master authority in his field, one which I was ashamed I hadn't recognized. I also recall being reminded of Shoah around the time I was skimming through Infinite Jest post-completion and went back to the foreword, which mentions Shoah, which I had heard of, been unable to find the carnal ...more
Mike Blyth
Mar 25, 2012 Mike Blyth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
On my list of 10 books that have changed my life: "Though it hasn't changed my life the way some books have, I rank it here because it was invaluable in understanding the dynamics of individual, social, and political evil."
Zalman
May 15, 2010 Zalman rated it it was amazing
Essential reading. This is a meticulously referenced scholarly treatise, not a popular (or populist) history, Hilberg's deliberate historical style only occasionally leavened by an understated irony or outright sarcasm. Despite (or perhaps because of) the dryness of the language, the numerous organizational tables, the footnotes, and the statistics, the text is straightforward and not difficult to follow. The facts and events speak for themselves; particularly with the first two volumes, there a ...more
FiveBooks


Hilberg had great difficulty getting this book published. At that time people did not feel that the Holocaust was a subject that there was a lot of interest in. But, once it did get published, people saw that it was a subject of enormous historic importance. Hilberg concentrated on the way the mass murder was organised by the German state, and he had an eye especially for the issues of bureaucracy and technology, which he thought were the decisive factors that made this a new kind of major crime
...more
Kris Sellgren
Jan 31, 2014 Kris Sellgren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
I read this history of the Holocaust asking myself: could the Holocaust have been prevented? And if so, when and how? Raul Hilberg suggests that the time to stop the Holocaust was when Germany passed its first law limiting Jewish civil rights. Think about that the next time you vote.

Hilberg first examines the history of anti-semitism before Hitler, which helps to understand why there was so little opposition. Jews faced slaughter in Europe repeatedly over 2000 years; the Nazis merely industrial
...more
Heather
Jul 15, 2012 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
a classic in genocide theory - honestly, its a first source for operations and order in genocide. a must read for those interested
Steven  Godby
Nov 25, 2014 Steven Godby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
His better book is the Destruction of European Jews.
John
Dec 01, 2009 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first of three volumes, comprising a thorough historical study of the Jewish Holocaust. The author's method places high emphasis on documentational evidence for his sources, but anectodal testimonials are not excluded.

Hilberg begins Volume I by explaining how a long European tradition of historical anti-semitism, social as well as legal, established a precedent and set the stage for the Nazi era.

He then proceeds to show us that creating the machinery of destruction entailed the heav
...more
Denise
Jun 14, 2008 Denise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The definite book about the destruction of the Jews during WWII. Hilberg deconstruct the Nazi machinery bolt by bolt and explains the steps taken to destroy the Jews in Europeit is nopw the recognized source for all the other books on the subject. I've read the French version in 3 volumes, updated a few years ago, after the opening of the russian archives.
Kara
Jun 29, 2009 Kara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a textbook about the Holocaust. The prose is dry as dust, but somehow the horrible things Hilberg discusses have more impact because of the scholarly tone. Lots of facts, figures and quotes from primary sources. I admit to skimming some parts, but overall, it was a very interesting (and sad) book.
Chris
May 21, 2014 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a thorough, authoritative, and extensively documented work on the Holocaust. It is full of statistics and charts, but it does not minimize the human aspect of this horrible tragedy. The facts and figures are perhaps the biggest indictment and judgement against the Nazi regime.
Rebecca
Dec 16, 2007 Rebecca marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, history
I heard about this book from the author's NYTimes obituary. On my recent roadtrip I listened to an audiobook set in pre-Nazi Munich. Many of the camps & gas chambers were located there. This sounds like a good book to follow on to that.
Chaim
Sep 22, 2013 Chaim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This must be one of the most informative books on the Holocaust in so few pages. Highly recommended.
Emily
Oct 02, 2010 Emily marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
*To read for: list of coded terms used to mask murder, i.e. "Sonderbehandlung," meaning Special Treatment in German, but code for immediate killing.
Güis Guerrero-Enterría
Es una de esas obras que lees con pesar por lo que cuenta pero que lees hasta el final. Muy completa. casi definitiva sobre el tema.
Leif Barron
Apr 13, 2008 Leif Barron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Anxiously awaiting this text which may be the single most important study of the Holocaust ever written.
Courtney Stirrat
Oct 13, 2007 Courtney Stirrat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, jewish, wwii
There have been a million books written on the history of the holocaust, but this remains the authoritative tomb. Must read for every liberally educated person. Must, must!
Tina
Apr 27, 2010 Tina marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Foundational
James
Nov 21, 2013 James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a powerful, quiet book
Christine
Jul 01, 2007 Christine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hgs
Of course.
jjonas
Dec 12, 2016 jjonas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
The Destruction of the European Jews is written in a calm, matter-of-fact, even dry style, but it wasn't boring. The writing style was precisely what I like it to be in works like this. No matter what the topic is, I don't really need the writer to insert their ego into the text, with all kinds of quips, one-liners, exclamations and moral judgements that are the curse of popular history books. Like the dust jacket of his later book on the same topic, Perpetrators Victims Bystanders, says, "He [H ...more
Sophie
This is the abridged, student edition of Raul Hilberg's classic three volume history of the Holocaust; in which the author provides the reader with the Nazi perspective of the Jews and the so-called 'Jewish question', as well as a view of how the victims reacted to their persecution and ultimate destruction. Hilberg asserts that without the cooperation of the Jewish communities themselves, millions of people would not have been killed.

While the text has a reputation for being rather dry, I only
...more
Matthew Griffiths
May 09, 2016 Matthew Griffiths rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The seminal work on the holocaust and arguably still one of the most succinct and balanced accounts of the tragedy. Hilberg tracks the progress of the Holocaust from the early stages of the legal definition of whom was to be discriminated against through to the eventual last trains arriving in Auschwitz before the wars end. for anyone seeking a good grounding in the topic this is undoubtedly the place to start.
Dino Vettri
Dec 08, 2013 Dino Vettri rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is part of flawed investigation based mainly on witness and not cross checked follow up.

It is part of the folk created by the allied propaganda and yet little challenged.


Have a critical, and careful, thinking when reading Hilberg. As a note: Hilberg was basically completely debunked in Canadian court, and refused to be cross checked in a second round as, on his words, he was afraid he wouldn't cope with the challenge.

So here we are, a storry teller standing as "historian"

Steve
Nov 24, 2016 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
The broadest historical perspective I've come across about the holocaust. The most interesting part involved logistics of the ghettoization of Europe's Jews. This book is well written with little to no personal bias, although I wonder if this would simply be an overwhelming book to read when first learning of these atrocities. Highly recommended.
AskHistorians
Basically the original work on the Holocaust by the father of Holocaust studies. Originally published in 1961, and revised in 1985, it is available in both an abridged version and as three volumes. Hilberg was a stellar scholar, and while some of it is naturally out of date, it still holds up well today.
David
Mar 22, 2016 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Would have preferred to read the unabridged version as this feels rushed, but they did not have lending copies at NYPL and it's ridiculously expensive on Amazon.
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  • The Origins of the Final Solution: The Evolution of Nazi Jewish Policy, September 1939-March 1942
  • The War Against the Jews: 1933-1945
  • Nazi Germany and the Jews: The Years of Persecution, 1933-1939
  • Into That Darkness: An Examination of Conscience
  • Holocaust: A History
  • The Good Old Days: The Holocaust as Seen by Its Perpetrators and Bystanders
  • The Last Days of Hitler
  • The Holocaust: The Fate of European Jewry, 1932-1945 (Studies in Jewish History)
  • Masters of Death: The SS-Einsatzgruppen and the Invention of the Holocaust
  • The Theory and Practice of Hell: The German Concentration Camps and the System Behind Them
  • Hitler's Beneficiaries: Plunder, Racial War, and the Nazi Welfare State
  • Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory
  • The Nazi Dictatorship: Problems and Perspectives of Interpretation
  • Hitler
  • A History of the Holocaust
  • The Order of the Death's Head: The Story of Hitler's SS
  • Becoming Eichmann: Rethinking the Life, Crimes, and Trial of a "Desk Murderer"
  • The Righteous: The Unsung Heroes of the Holocaust
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Raul Hilberg was an Austrian-born American political scientist and historian. He was widely considered to be the world's preeminent scholar of the Holocaust, and his three-volume, 1,273-page magnum opus, The Destruction of the European Jews, is regarded as a seminal study of the Nazi Final Solution.
More about Raul Hilberg...

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