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Martin Gilbert was born in London in 1936 and educated at Highgate School and Magdalen College, Oxford. In 1962, he became research assistant to Randolph Churchill and, after Randolph's death, succeeded him as biographer of Sir Winston Churchill. He is the author of many works of history and lives in London and Jerusalem.
A poignant introduction by the author (official biographer of Winston Churchill) is followed by his instructive analysis of anti-Semitism in Europe, from Martin Luther's venomous fulminations against Jews to the motivating power of anti-Semitism in the National Socialist movement. Hitler's ``final solution'' began formally within hours of the German invasion of Russia, a campaign that, as Gilbert shows, provided an opportunity for genocide hitherto lacking. With a relentless accumulation of detail and eyewitness accounts, he writes of the systematic efficiency of the Nazi attempt to destroy European Jewry and the widespread disbelief that such could be happening. Though the figure of Adolf Hitler remains in the background, such executives as Himmler, Eichmann and Mengele are very much in evidence throughout the gripping narrative (there is new material on the latter's labors at Auschwitz). An element in the historical tragedy that Gilbert stresses is the deliberate destruction of childrenone of Mengele's principal interestswhich the author calls ``the new barbarism.'' The narrative reaches its dreadful climax with the convergence on the death camps of the Allied and Soviet armies, a time when ``rescue and slaughter marched hand in hand.'' A particularly disturbing section deals with outbreaks of anti-Semitism after the German surrender. On July 4, 1946, for instancemore than a year after V-E Day42 Jews were massacred by Poles in the town of Kielce. Gilbert brings within the pages of this volume all the major substantiated evidence of Jewish resistance throughout the war, plus many examples of Gentiles risking their lives to protect Hitler's prey. Photos. Major ad/promo. January
British Churchill biographer and Holocaust historian Gilbert has written a massive, detailed account of the destruction of European Jewry. In a strictly chronological progression he supplies an almost day-by-day chronicle (1933-45) of the expropriation, isolation, starvation, and eventual annihilation of the Jews in regions under German sway. From hundreds of contemporary sources and documents Gilbert quotes thousands of passages describing incidents of brutality, degradation, and murder of individuals and masses of humanity. The author has employed all relevant secondary work, interviews with survivors, SS records, the Eichmann, Nuremberg, and other war crimes trials records, etc. Gilbert's book is primarily a catalog of events; Raul Hilberg's new three-volume edition of The Destruction of the European Jews remains the definitive analysis of all aspects of the Holocaust. Still, this exhaustive descriptive work belongs in most libraries. James B. Street, Santa Cruz P.L., Cal .
YA Gilbert, a noted historian and the official biographer of Winston Churchill, has written an extremely well- documented account of the plight of the Jews in Europe from 1933 to 1945. He gives historical background of Germany's economic troubles after World War I and shows how Hitler came to power. He cites the sanctions and laws promulgated against the Jews in minute detail. The epilogue is a summary of events after 1945 and includes the actions and feelings of the survivors up to the present day. Included in the text are a few black-and-white newspaper photographs of events of this time period. The 65-page bibliography cites mainly primary sources. This is a moving and detailed study, written in a factual and controlled manner, which serves to underscore the devastation of these terrible events.Pat Royal, Prince George's County Public School System, Md.
"A fascinating work that overwhelms us with its truth . . . This book must be read and reread." --Elie Wiesel, "Chicago Tribune" "A classic story . . . Indispensable for the material it contains, for the soundness of its scholarship, and for Gilbert's ability to narrate and present this history in a style that bears the weight of the subject matter." --"The Christian Science Monitor"