Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Die deutschen Mörder” as Want to Read:
Blank 133x176
Die deutschen Mörder
Richard Rhodes
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Die deutschen Mörder

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  1,025 ratings  ·  61 reviews
Masters of Death is Richard Rhodes's chronological account of the Third Reich's Einsatzgruppen (a hand-picked task force) and its death work--the executions of 1.5 million people, Jews and non-Jews--in Russia and Eastern Europe from 1941 through 1943. Rhodes sees these operations (the victims were, almost exclusively, shot) as a ghastly prelude to the subsequent (and much ...more
Published (first published 2002)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,412)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
This book is definitely not for the faint of heart! Little has been written about the Einsatzgruppen, the Nazis' mobile killing squads, in large part because their story is so gruesome. One passage that stood out particularly in my mind was a story about how a bunch of Jews, including women and children, were pushed into a pit and then slaked lime was poured over them. Slaked lime is a powerful corrosive and these people essentially dissolved while fully alive. Their sufferings were so awful tha ...more
Patrick Belair
I've had this book for a while now,I really didn't know what to expect.More facts that we already know, some one else's take on the facts.I was very surprised by this book,the content of this story is truly disturbing,We all know about the executions the starvation,beatings etc.
What it contains is a true and detailed history of the final solution from the planning to it's implementation and near success.Of course 6 million dead is not trivial.The shear scope of Himmler and Hitlers plans boggles
WARNING! This book is very graphic and disturbing. It is truly a horror story of a different sort.

After reading this book, I once told someone, "If a movie were made about this book, without being edited for content, it would be very difficult to watch. It is that graphic and horrifying." MASTERS OF DEATH begins innocently enough, drops you right in the middle of the Holocaust, and shows you the true face of evil.
Melody Boggs
Anyone who considers himself a Holocaust historian--or anyone who enjoys reading of the Holocaust for knowledge and remembrance's sake--needs to pick up this book at some point in his life. This book is both easy to read yet nearly unbearable to get through. Rhodes makes a clear argument of how the Einsatzgruppen were able to kill as many people as they did--using Lonnie Athens' theory of violent-socialization--through mass shootings and other executions. He draws from an historical record compr ...more
Michael Flanagan
Rhodes delivers a book like few others, the sheer horrific nature of the subject is delivered in such a way that pulls at your soul. A difficult book to read at times but a must for all if only to remind us why it can never happen again. Rhodes gives a masterful mix of fact and firsthand accounts from both sides and delves into the question how can humanity visit the horror of the holocaust on itself.
The most brutal book I have ever read in my life but the largest treasure trove of SS-Einsatzgruppen information I've yet to run across. If you're into history, particularly that of the Holocaust, I suggest this book - but please be warned that the violence is graphic, gruesome, and absolutely heartbreaking at best. It certainly gives a better understanding of how it all got going but it definitely leaves you feeling haunted by memories that are not your own.
Richard Rhodes has written many great books. The subject matter in this one is so intense and mind-bogglingly horrific that to review it like a good GoodReads member trivializes it's subject matter. Is it worth one's time? Unless you are already an expert on the subject, learning more about this topic is one of the essential (albeit painful) experiences of any member of humanity.
This is quite possibly one of the hardest books I've ever had to read in terms of content, as it concerns mass murder on an industrial scale in stomach churning detail. The story is of the setting up of the Ensatzgruppen in Nazi Germany before the invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941. Their task was to destroy the Jewish communities in those areas conquered by the Nazis, by lining them up, shooting them, & burying the bodies in pits, over and over and over again.
Whilst this is a harrow
Gwen Burrow
One of the most difficult books I've read. Reviews had told me that it was gruesome -- too gruesome for some to finish. One reader couldn't get past page 30. But I bought it, read it (about thirty minutes at a time; no more), and finished it for one simple reason: I wanted to know. I wanted to know the name of every Jew that died by bullets, by beating, by gas, by burning alive, by suffocating beneath the bodies in the mass graves. It kills me that I will never know them all. That I will never k ...more
A much more engaging read than Goldhagen's book. It posits vaguely similar ideas (about the militarization of German society, and how it led to organizations like the Einsatzgruppen), but is a much easier read for interested parties who are not WWII history specialists. It has also escaped the criticisms which Goldhagen's book has received (which is not to say I would recommend skipping Goldhagen's book if you are a WWII history buff, but if you have a casual interest, this is a better choice).
Trey Allen
Rhodes's novel, Masters of Death, displays a very detailed and graphic image of the Holocaust. If you do not like books about gruesome deaths and very descriptive events of death I would not recommend this novel for you. On the other hand if you love books like this, Masters of Death is perfect for you. This Novel was one of the hardest books I have ever had to read, not because it was to hard to read, but because the descriptiveness of death almost made me sick to my stomach.

The author obvious
After about fifty pages into this history, I could no longer go on. The descriptions of the violence were too graphic for me. A previous book that I read by this author, “The Making of the Atomic Bomb,” won a Pulitzer Prize. I don’t think that this one will receive a very wide audience.
An omnivorous intellect who has written incisively and authoritatively on a wide variety of subjects, Richard Rhodes here deploys his skills to not just describe, but also to explain the phenomenon of the Einsatzgruppen within the Holocaust.

In so doing he makes practical application of the research and "violent socialization" theories of Professor Lonnie Athens, which he had previously explored in his book Why They Kill: The Discoveries of a Maverick Criminologist. Like many (perhaps even most)
Jonathan Hedgpeth
Thoroughly depressing as one would expect. It is mostly about the psychotic nature of the Einsatzgruppen. The most morbidly interesting parts were about how members of the Einsatzgruppen lost their minds because of all the killing they were doing. This ofcourse necessitated the more industrial methods of the Final Solution. Sickening.
Step by step Rhodes deepens the awful sense of the utter evil of the Holocaust. The numbers of the dead blur and lose all meaning - One has to try hard to remember that these are individual lives that are being systematically destroyed. Truly a war against the Jews.
A horrific episode, incomprehensible in its depravity. The book draws you in, easy to follow though it's hard to get through and I almost couldn't. Hard to think that anything could ever be ok again in a world where this happened. There's a little insight though, into the main henchmen who brought about these horrors, and that it was largely Himmler responsible for this throughout the war. There's some intriguing info on how Jews previously had dealt with their less cultured, less medically adva ...more
John Christy
This is a truly disturbing account of the machinations behind the gas chambers and death camp systems created by the Nazis. While most have learned of the industrialized slaughter of 6 millions Jews, and millions more political prisoners, homosexuals, Gypsies and more... what most do not know is that this industrialization was developed due to difficulties encountered by the regime in "sanitizing" their newly conquered lands by the use of Special Action Groups, "Einsatzgruppen". Himmler himself ...more
Well written, not for the faint of heart and covers a subject that mostly gets a general overview in most holocaust history's but not often covered in this amount of detail.
Arthur Sperry
Excellent and well-researched book about the Einsatzgruppen and the Holocaust. It is very sad and depressing, but an important book.
Dan Cohen
This is certainly a well written and well researched book on an interesting subject. At his best, Rhodes is a masterful popular historian and I've yet to read a duff book by him. However, I did find it a little same-y as I read the book. We're treated to descriptions of one appalling massacre after another, then another, then another, and after a while they were hard to distinguish in my memory. Although they are described well, and it's hard to see how the book could have been written different ...more
The Grim Details …

Six million is a number that will always be synonymous with the Holocaust. While it may shockingly convey the magnitude of loss, the figure somehow comes across as disturbingly clinical in the way it overshadows the multitude of hideous incidents that contributed to the final figure. Richard Rhodes’ MASTERS OF DEATH shines a light on the gut-wrenching atrocities committed by roving bands of German Einsatzgruppen in Eastern Europe to facilitate the Nazi pursuit of Jewish-free Le
Shawn Fairweather
I am having trouble trying to decide between giving 3 or 4 stars, but I have come to the conclusion that if I can’t decide if it’s worthy or not of 4 then it probably isn’t. Rhodes provides a variably detailed recap of the atrocities carried out by Himmler and his Eastern Front SS however in many ways the work reads like the back of a baseball card, which I agree with in many ways because in order for the reader to get their arms around the topic, they need to see beyond the vivid gore to unders ...more
Lords of Life and Death: 'Masters of Death' by Richard Rhodes is the disturbing account of the SS-Einsatzgruppen death squads that roamed the occupied territories of the eastern front of WW2. They were tasked with the liquidation of all Jews, as well as other enemies of the Third Reich such as partisans, gypsies, and communists. These death squads preceded the death camps that usually come to mind when speaking of the holocaust. Before the gas chambers and crematoriums, victims were simply round ...more
Betsey Brannen
Surprisingly, this was a very quick read. A patron returned it, I picked up around 10 a.m. and was finished around 10 p.m.

If it is a subject in which one would not be interested, the read probably wouldn't be as quick. However, the Einsatzgruppen are often a glossed over subject in world history (unless you took a class specifically on the Holocaust). Rhodes does an absolutely excellent job of portraying both those who were ruthless and relentless in their kills to the people who had more troubl
Rhodes provides an in-depth and moving account of the actions of the Einsatzgruppen in Eastern Europe and Russia during World War II. He examines everything from organization to motives behind killing to psychological damage. Of particular note are the two chapters that he devotes to the Reichsfuhrer-SS, Heinrich Himmler, which gives the reader a better understanding of Himmler's childhood and decisions made in adulthood.

Rhodes is incredibly detailed in his descriptions of individual killing act
Masters of Death: The SS Einsatzgruppen and the Invention of the Holocaust recounts the history of mass shootings in Eastern Europe that preceded the development of concentration camps. It describes some events that defy belief--the murder of a hundred small children by shooting, the use of quicklime to chemically burn people to death. It is a gruesome book, but I found it to be too much like a text book. There wasn’t much detail on survivors, partially because almost no one escaped these mass s ...more
Very informative but horribly disturbing. I had no idea the extent of the murders carried out outside of the camps. A must read for those interested in the Holocaust.
Mandy Perret
I know it is interesting, but it was so hard to get through. This is a topic that I wanted to learn about and I thoroughly struggled with this text.
Nancy Bielski
This was a really good, detailed account of the Einsatzgruppen's destruction of the Eastern Jewish population. I liked how instead of just giving accounts of what happened, Rhodes looked at the psychology of the perpetrators. I think many people ask "How could people do that to each other?" when reading about the Holocaust. Rhodes attempts to explain the psychology behind the mass murderers. I found this very thorough without being too dense and detailed. I read Saul Friedlander's The Exterminat ...more
This book starts out slowly, and covers everything from the psychology of building a killer to the multiple -graphic -ways in which people may be murdered with maximum humiliation. I thought this was an extremely well-researched and difficult to read book. It is fascinating and horrifying, and explains clearly how the Nazis moved toward the Final Solution, as well as how (and why) they changed killing methods. I saw the author on a History Channel program, which motivated me to read the book. No ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 80 81 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Into That Darkness: An Examination of Conscience
  • The Good Old Days: The Holocaust as Seen by Its Perpetrators and Bystanders
  • The Holocaust by Bullets: A Priest's Journey to Uncover the Truth Behind the Murder of 1.5 Million Jews
  • The Third Reich: A New History
  • Hitler, the Germans, and the Final Solution
  • The Envoy: The Epic Rescue of the Last Jews of Europe in the Desperate Closing Months of World War II
  • The Order of the Death's Head: The Story of Hitler's SS
  • Lying About Hitler: History, Holocaust, and the David Irving Trial
  • Mengele: The Complete Story
  • The Destruction of the European Jews
  • The Origins of the Final Solution: The Evolution of Nazi Jewish Policy, September 1939-March 1942
  • Nazi Germany and the Jews: The Years of Extermination, 1939-1945
  • Interrogations: The Nazi Elite in Allied Hands, 1945
  • Army of Evil: A History of the SS
  • Hitler and the Holocaust
  • Death Dealer: The Memoirs of the SS Kommandant at Auschwitz
  • The Devil's Disciples: Hitler's Inner Circle
  • The Theory and Practice of Hell: The German Concentration Camps and the System Behind Them
Richard Lee Rhodes is an American journalist, historian, and author of both fiction and non-fiction (which he prefers to call "verity"), including the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Making of the Atomic Bomb (1986), and most recently, Arsenals of Folly: The Making of the Nuclear Arms Race (2007). He has been awarded grants from the Ford Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation a ...more
More about Richard Rhodes...
The Making of the Atomic Bomb Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb Hedy's Folly: The Life and Breakthrough Inventions of Hedy Lamarr, the Most Beautiful Woman in the World Deadly Feasts: Tracking the Secrets of a Terrifying New Plague John James Audubon

Share This Book