Chris's Reviews > Kristallnacht: Prelude to Destruction

Kristallnacht by Martin  Gilbert
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's review
Oct 13, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: history-ww-ii, history-germany-and-austria

Martin Gilbert collects and relates first hand experiences of Kristallnacht. At times, the book feels like a loosely connected series of mini-narratives, but it is so engrossing that this fact doesn't distance the reader. It should be noted that if Gilbert's footnotes are any indication some of the accounts came from letters that Gilbert recieved (most likely after solicting) from witnesses.

In addition to the first hand accounts, Gilbert goes into great deapth about the international reaction to Kristallnancht. At times the stories are despairly, others hopeful, and at least one, concerning the city of New York will promote a smile.

What comes across is the feeling of horror and helpless, of even anger on behalf of those mentioned in the book. Equally impactive are the maps in the back which show where the destruction took place. In many ways, these speak more than the actual narrative.
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