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Nazi Germany and the Jews: The Years of Persecution, 1933-1939 (Nazi Germany and the Jews #1)

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  961 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
A great historian crowns a lifetime of thought and research by answering a question that has haunted us for more than 50 years: How did one of the most industrially and culturally advanced nations in the world embark on and continue along the path leading to one of the most enormous criminal enterprises in history, the extermination of Europe's Jews?

Giving considerable emp
Paperback, 439 pages
Published March 10th 1998 by Harper Perennial (first published January 30th 1997)
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Jun 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
In this first volume Friedlander concentrates on the policies of the Nazi regime toward the Jews during the years 1933-39, but also integrates the social context, both the attitudes of German society in general and the reactions to and perceptions of Nazi policies on the part of the Jewish population. He focuses on the measures enacted by the Nazis to increase legal discrimination against the Jews, and the ambivalence with which these measures were received by institutions or religion and higher ...more
Oct 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
The Years of Persecution is the first of a two-volume work on the Holocaust by Saul Friedlander. It covers the years 1933 (when Hitler was sworn in as Chancellor of Germany) to 1939 (when Germany invaded Poland, an event that generally marks the start of World War II, though I contend that World War II actually started in 1937, with the beginning of the Sino-Japanese War, and to hold otherwise is ethnocentric...but I digress).

The book starts with art and culture, and shows the Germans chipping
Mar 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: holocaust, favorites
For my money this is is one of the great history books. Together with its sequel 'The Years Of Extermination' Friedländer has undoubtedly written a seminal history of the Holocaust, but I found this volume particularly magnificent, perhaps because it deals with six years which inevitably receive less attention than the six years that followed, and yet which, if anything are even more crucial to trying to understand exactly what happened and how, if not why. How Germany went from being merely a c ...more
Aug 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009, ww2, germany, own, nonfiction
Saul Friedländer's Nazi Germany and the Jews seems destined to become one of the magisterial works in the field. The second volume clocks in at around 800 pages, but this first one is a shorter book, that nevertheless manages to detail the path to the death camps through a discussion both of the political maneuvering at the highest levels of German politics as well as through telling vignettes from the lives of ordinary Germans, both Jewish and non-Jewish. Friedländer is far too canny and wise a ...more
Feb 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is an excellent work of history- rigorous, balanced, and insightful. The most remarkable aspect of the book is its ability to weave together the individual stories of people from all levels of the Nazi regime and from all of the parts of the society that it victimized. It is moving in many places, and remarkably thorough. If you enjoy serious works of history, this book will not disappoint.
Sep 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A remarkable and must-read book. Thorough and scholarly and yet very readable. Full of information from the overall and historical viewpoint as well as the details that bring it all together. I am off to Volume II.
Margaret Morris
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
This book is the first of Freidlander's comprehensive history of the Holocaust, and is a lead-in to the second volume, The Years of Extermination. The Years of Persecution traces the gradual implementation of the Nazis final solution, and answers the "how could this have happened?" question, or at least, "how does this happen?"
Jan 26, 2010 rated it liked it
Em qualquer obra escrita por Saul Friedländer, é fundamental lembrar que o nazismo é parte da vida do autor. Parte essencial, fundamental – basta ler sua comovente autobiografia “When memory comes”.

A prosa de Freiedländer é essencialmente narrativa, ainda que a narração se organize sistematicamente:é bastante comum que ela divida tematicamente um assunto, examine um por um, e não siga adiante cronologicamente sem antes analisar horizontalmente o assunto.

A questão teórica central deste primeiro
Camilla Tilly
Apr 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
During a couple of weeks now, I have been watching a French 8 part series about the Holocaust. I have been taking notes, since this topic is one which has interested me for years, as the historian that I am. Among other things, I have written down the participating historians in this excellent documentary, in order to see what they have published on the topic. One of them who has been very impressive, was French Saul Friedländer. Not only does he have personal experience from those years but he ...more
John Bleasdale
Sep 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant and incredibly depressing.
Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Als je enigszins geïnteresseerd bent in het lot van de joden onder Hitlers heerschappij, is dit boek een must.
May 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Surgun'le baslayip Soykirim'la biten bir tarih daha. O andaki durumu her duzeyden orneklerle ortaya koymus.. Belgelerden dedikodulara (Dedikodunun belgesi mi olur? Diktatorluk olursa o da olur!), aci orneklerden Nazi burokrasisi aptalliklarindan olusmus durum komedilerine her sey titizlikle incelenmis. Inanilmaz detayli ve olabildigince nesnel. Cok iyi bir tarih calismasi.

Iki cok temel husus var. Ilki bu klasik yukaridan/devletten gelen modernlesme versus asagidan gelen modernlesme ayrimina dai
Jul 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is not the sort of book one reads for pleasure, and in many ways, although it's written well and is an "easy read," it is very much a textbook. I read it because I'm writing a book about a family that lived in Berlin during this period. A number of comments:
1. It's often painful to read. At times I could not read no more than about 10 pages before putting the book down.
2. What I discovered and what I had not known before was how brilliant a politician Hitler was. Evil yes, but a brilliant p
Apr 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Corny by: NY Times
Shelves: non-fiction
The chilling story of the persecution of the Jews from Hitler's rise to power until the outbreak of World War II. This was written in English 10 years ago by a man whose native language is Czech and who fled the Nazis during the war. It is horrifying in the recounting of the bureaucratic methods used by Hitler to force the Jews out of Germany, something he could only achieve by extermination. Friedlander goes meticulously through the records to recount the step by step removal of Jewish rights, ...more
Mar 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
A powerful work. I am thinking about it again as I read its sequel, The Years of Extermination.

To my mind, Nazi Germany was able to nearly carry out its act of genocide by removing first the citizenship and then the humanity of the Jewish people. They also counted on the acceptance of both their own and other European peoples of this action.

It is a warning that we must always be wary of labeling people as "the other", whether it be American Muslims looking to build a cultural center in New York
Sep 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read it in little over a fortnight, which is quick for a history book. And a tribute to its writer.
It really helped in comprehending and clarifying the mechanisms behind the persecution of the jewish people of Europe. And how incomprehensible it still is.
Reading this now, you're inclined to wish for a happy ending, for some divine intervention, as if it were a fiction, a farfetched figment of some extremist's imagination. But it all happened. Every single detail of it. In our grandparents' life
Morris Massre
Sep 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
More technical insight into the 1930s pograms that the Nazis implemented than I ever knew. Really gave me a lot of food for thought, especially given the fact that all of this could have been prevented at least somewhat if there rest of the world wasn't so damned racist at the time. The book was loaded with numerous dates and laws that were enacted during the '30s and after a while that can get a bit boring, but other than that it was quite enlightening.
Apr 21, 2013 rated it liked it
I found this book dry and a little boring. The subject matter is important so I forced my way through it, but I found it a chore. The facts of the book are horrifying and I am in disbelief that something like this could happen. I'm going to read the second book because I believe understanding how this could happen trumps readability. Recommended for anyone who wants to understand the plight of the Jews and is willing to sacrifice readability for an authoritative description.
Jun 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
But have to wait a while before I read Years of Extermination. I was a little upset after reading some passages.

From a public policy perspective, I found it interesting how the Nazis used public opinion and the structures of government to isolate and demonize. Reminds me of what our nation is doing to immigrants (even legal) and (at least in TN) the members of the Islamic faith.
Sarah Finch
Jun 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Disturbing, depressing, enraging. All words that are applicable to this book, but because of the subject rather than the author and his style. This book could also be called lucid, compelling, and -- most impressively -- thoroughly rational when dealing with an entirely irrational chapter of history.
May 13, 2016 rated it liked it
A detailed look at Hitler and the NSDAP's rise to power, this was a little drier than I was expecting. Not that I was expecting conversational prose, but it veered more towards college textbook than I had anticipated.

That said, the depth of information covered was impressive and the first hand stories were very effective; I'll probably check out the second installment in the future.
Steve Yohn
Apr 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very good information - possibly too much. The writing is maybe too detailed, and I found myself often going back and rereading sentences. Definitely would recommend it to someone who was very interested in the subject.
Apr 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
In depth look at the early years of the persecution of the Jews. I didn't realize how long this was coming. If you want to learn the dirty details that led to the concentration camps, this is the place to start.
Nov 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Dawn Wells
Jul 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Remarkably well written.
Feb 19, 2010 rated it liked it
I had to read this book for a Holocaust and History class and have to say it was an interesting read as I never realized before all the laws and such that went into effect before the Holocaust.
Michel Van Goethem
Nazi Germany And The Jews: The Years Of Persecution: 1933-1939
by Saul Friedlander
Oct 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Vivid and depressing, but a must read when it comes to the factors that led to Jewish persecution and the Holocaust.
Yossi Gurvitz
Feb 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A must read. The second book, too.
Stephanie Phipps
Jun 09, 2016 rated it liked it
Only gave this book 3 stars because I found it mostly dry almost like a textbook. I was only able to finish reading it due to my love of history.
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  • Holocaust: A History
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  • The Nazi Dictatorship: Problems and Perspectives of Interpretation
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