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Eternal Treblinka: Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust
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Eternal Treblinka: Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  431 ratings  ·  41 reviews
The book examines the origins of human supremacy, describes the emergence of industrialized slaughter of both animals and people in modern times, and concludes with profiles of Jewish and German animal advocates on both sides of the Holocaust.

ETERNAL TREBLINKA describes disturbing parallels between how the Nazis treated their victims and how modern society treats animals.

Paperback, 312 pages
Published December 1st 2001 by Lantern Books
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Kai Schreiber
Aug 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
When I added this book to my reading list, I deleted the notification Goodreads had sent to Facebook. I did this in part because I knew that the comparison might be upsetting people, and likely lead to "well, I knew it, animal protection people are all nuts, so I'll discount everything they're saying, phew, nom, nom"-thought cascades. And I did not want to risk triggering those reflexes with a book that couldn't stand up to scrutiny. But it can and now I do risk that.

I doubt this review will be
May 21, 2012 rated it liked it
A very disturbing book that shocks you out of the state of numb ignorance.

A great quote from the book:
'Auschwitz begins wherever someone looks at a slaughterhouse and thinks: they're only animals.'
Theodor Adorno
Charles Patterson
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I like the book very much because I wrote it. :) The reason I'm (re)reading it now is I'm thinking about revising--expanding some parts and condensing others--to make a sort of sequel. Nobody wanted to publish it because it was too controversial, but I finally got it into print thanks to Lantern Books. It's now in 16 languages with Chinese, Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, and Norwegian translations underway.
Oct 17, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
This book gave some of the greatest arguments against the murder of animals for human consumption. Eternal Treblinka takes you through a methodical treatment of how hypocritical it is to condemn murder when millions of living beings are killed every year in our towns.
Dec 11, 2008 marked it as to-read
Shelves: speciesism
When I first saw the title I rolled my eyes and thought of Godwin's Law, but reading the actual description has opened my mind quite a bit...
Sawyer X
Apr 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A someone who visited Treblinka, and having had a grandfather who escaped Treblinka, I found this a crucial read.

No other book covers the history of people's treatment of each other and its relationship to our treatment of animals. It is a hard read, but it is worth every word.
May 03, 2012 rated it it was ok
The title of this book is taken from Isaac Bashevis Singer's famous quote and the theme of the book is, to quote, that "throughout the history of our ascent to dominance as the master species, our victimization of animals has served as the model and foundation for our victimization of each other. The study of human history reveals the pattern: first, humans exploit and slaughter animals; then, they treat other people like animals and do the same to them."
This is an interesting thesis and there a
Jan 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
Jarring, eye-opening stuff. Holocaust comparisons are almost universally shunned, often for good reason, and this could have been as trite as a PETA ad. Yet the devil's in the details -- the animal husbandry backgrounds of prominent SS leaders, for instance; the close readings of Isaac Bashevis Singer; the profiles of survivors who went on to work on animal issues.

Five centuries before the birth of Christ, Pythagoras wrote, "So long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other." Shocking e
Misha Fredericks
Dec 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
An excellent book. For anyone who cares at all about animals, please read this book.

The atrocities perpetrated on the innocent during Nazi Germany continue daily for millions of sentient beings around the world. Eating the flesh and secretions of animals or using any part of their bodies makes one complicit in the horrors experienced by small, innocent, defenseless sentient beings in concentration camps (a.k.a. slaughterhouses.)

I won't even feed my pets animals any longer. There are several ex
Feb 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
What a good read!

Patterson uses a daring approach to the mistreatment of animals. In fact, his book was rejected by some editors because it was "too heavy." He describes the disturbing similarities between the emergence of the food (animal) industry and the Nazi methods for exploiting and eliminating their "enemies."

What I found very interesting was the author's discussions about how humans have degraded animals to a very low level. In fact, in everyday's language humans use animal names to insu
Joshua Byrd
Feb 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the most important books ever written. Like a veil being lifted.
Get X Serious
Mar 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
I know this book has incredible potential to be extremely polarizing, considering that the title alone is drawing a metaphor between animal suffering and the Holocaust, a comparison that is pretty controversial and more than a little condemning, and that condemnation is not without merit. But regardless, this book goes into great detail about the legacy of domestication and livestock farming, a legacy that includes slavery. For that alone, this book is worth reading. I don't think that this book ...more
Jan 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
While Eternal Treblinka was not as earth-shattering for me as some reviews have positioned it, it was the most emotionally difficult book I’ve ever read.

Atrocities against victims human and otherwise are catalogued, in their many manifestations throughout history. This isn’t the sort of book to read if you still harbor a rosy view of the implicit goodness of humanity, especially when in a place of power. The voices raised against the tremendous cruelty and injustice seem but a mouse’s squeak ove
The title of this book is one that can quickly turn someone off to reading it but the content is absolutely important. It does an excellent job highlighting how US eugenics movements and the implementation of assembly lines for product production and nonhuman animal exploitation inspired and was used as a model for what was done to humans. The first half is a bit of a theory and history lesson and the last half is Jewish folks from a variety of backgrounds discussing how animals fit into their u ...more
Todd Myers
Nov 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very informative book, looking at similarities between the Holocaust and how we treat animals now. A lot of things I didn't know in here from Henry Ford's antisemitism to the eugenics in the US and how it all influenced Hitler and the Nazi's. Also how "lesser" people have been treated in general during the last several hundred years and our views on "lesser" beings.
Sep 08, 2012 added it
I am really looking forward to this one. I was dipping in and out of it already today and found some very interesting parallels. Added bonus: Mine was used and came signed by the author which was a nice surprise.
Derek Prine
Feb 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Lots of history and interesting facts. Would like to see an updated version with more modern studies comparing the mindsets of Nazi soldiers from the holocaust to slaughterhouse workers and the meat industry. Over all, pretty eye opening.
Dec 14, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: animals, non-fiction
Quite vivid and descriptive text. Yet another very disturbing and depressing story.
Jan 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ethology
Just READ IT!!!
Jul 10, 2020 rated it liked it
I feel a little bad giving this book 3 stars, because I did find it very interesting. I was however expecting it to be more about the treatment of animals, and less about animal activists.

The last 3 chapters consisted solely of the stories of animal activists, which got a bit much after a while. I would have like to read more about animal welfare and treatment, and arguments for the similarity between the holocaust and animal suffering, and why it is bad, as I thought that was the premise of th
Jan 16, 2015 rated it it was ok
The connection between the treatment of animals and the treatment of people is an important topic but this book is basically just a bad piece of vegan propaganda. I should probably start by saying that I'm not some right-wing Christian patriot or dogmatic free-market fundamentalist or something. I do get these problems. I hate industrial farming, vivisection labs, circuses, zoos, the way environmentalists routinely tranquilize wild animals to measure their genitals (because clearly lack of data ...more
Grumpy Bunny
Going in, I was aware that the comparison this book makes is considered controversial by some. Those people are the ones that I believe would most benefit from reading Eternal Treblinka. (If they don't read the book in it's entirety, I beg them to read the series of essays by Holocaust touched individuals who are active in animal rights.)
This was a truly enlightening book. That's all I can really say, short of just copy and pasting quotes from the book. Which wouldn't be too difficult, consideri
Jun 29, 2007 rated it did not like it
Shelves: history-class
I didn't like this book. I understood Charles Patterson argument, but I still think it is pretty inappropriate to compare the treatment of animals to the Holocaust... BUT, if you read it, you must remember that he is not comparing the atrocities of the Holocaust to the treatment of animals, he is comparing the mindset that drives both. ...more
Erwin Vermeulen
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
After reading this book you never have to wonder again if holocaust comparisons in human treatment of animals are justified.
Aug 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is unique. And I can understand why the reluctance of so many publishers to publish it (hence the somewhat amateurish print). But I feel that comparing the treatment of nonhuman animals to the Holocaust is a legitimate argument because it shows how expansive the nature of oppression is under patriarchy. The book does not really delve philosophically into the question of why exploitation occurs, but merely recounts a history of oppression that started with the exploitation of animals an ...more
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Woah. As someone sympathetic to the cause who would still cringe a bit when the words 'animal' and 'Holocaust' appeared in the same sentence, I'd have to agree after reading this with another review that argued that by not allowing the comparison, we support the perpetrators more than we hurt the victims. Although, I realize I'm not in a position to make it myself. Highly recommended to anyone who feels put off by this at all. I'm only rating it 4 stars because I thought it fell off a bit at the ...more
Mar 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
I would give this book 5 stars, except for two things:

1) the conflicting views of advancing veganism: through reform (gradual change) or through promoting veganism exclusively.
2) it makes a case that animal use led to the Holocaust (and by implication other horrors), without considering other possible factors.

Charles outlines the scale and awful nature of animal use, yet presents a wavering view of how to deal with it. You don't confront the gravity of the problem by tinkering at its edges with
Christos Fotiadis
Jul 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Charles Patterson had no need to obtain a graceful or sentimental or just a literary prose to pass the message he wanted to pass. Although, at first, I was a bit annoyed by the continuous straight forward statement of facts or examples, little by little, I found myself so "fed up" that I think there was no other possible way to be demonstrated the close relation between killing millions of animals for various reasons and the Holocaust!
For those who think that veganism is just a fashion and is ju
Sep 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
The topic is controversial so the book is a good presentation of human domination over human and non-human animals. The factual well referenced part is somewhat let down by the latter section, which is anecdotal and also about other literature including fiction. It would be good to see a second edited version focusing on the factual. Nonetheless an excellent, essential and revealing read for people interested in human society.
Lila Richardson
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
I’ve been debating becoming vegan for a little while now. This book has cemented my decision. Eternal Treblinka gives haunting parallels to the horrible acts humans have done over time to those that are perceived as weaker by whatever misguided opinion the masses follow.
As an animal lover my eyes have become wide open to give me the passion to make a lifestyle change.
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