The Holocaust : Origins, Implementation, Aftermath book cover
2nd Edition

The Holocaust
Origins, Implementation, Aftermath

Edited By

Omer Bartov

ISBN 9780415778510
Published January 2, 2015 by Routledge
444 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Containing an almost entirely new selection of texts, this second edition of The Holocaust: Origins, Implementation, Aftermath presents a critical and important study of the Holocaust. Many of the pieces challenge conventional analyses and preconceived notions about the Holocaust, whether regarding genocidal precedents and the centrality of antisemitism, the relationship between ideological motivation and economic calculations, or the timing of the decision on the Final Solution.

Starting with the background of the Holocaust and focusing on colonial violence, antisemitism and scientific racism as being at the root of the Final Solution, the book then examines the context of the decision to unleash the genocide of the Jews. Several powerful texts then provide readers with a close look at the psychology of a perpetrator, the fate of the victims – with a particular emphasis on the role of gender and the murder of children – and the impossible choices made by Jewish leaders, educators, and men recruited into the Nazi extermination apparatus. Finally, there is an analysis of survivors' testimonies and the creation of an early historical record, and an inquiry into post-war tribunals and the development of international justice and legislation with a view to the larger phenomenon of modern genocide before and after the Holocaust.

Complete with an introduction that summarises the state of the field, this book contains major reinterpretations by leading Holocaust authors along with key texts on testimony, memory, and justice after the catastrophe. With brief discussions placing each essay in historical and scholarly context, this carefully selected compilation is an ideal introduction to the topic and essential reading for all students of the Holocaust.

Table of Contents

List of maps

List of figures

Series editor’s preface




Part I

Origins: racism and antisemitism

  1. "One of these races has got to go…" Colonialism and Genocide
  2. Cathie Carmichael (Genocide before the Holocaust, Yale UP, 2009, 56-70)

  3. Judeophobia and the Nazi Identity
  4. Philippe Burrin (Nazi Anti-Semitism, The New Press, 2005, 39-63)

  5. Defining "(Un)Wanted Population Addition": Anthropology, Racist Ideology, and Mass Murder in the Occupied East
  6. Isabel Heinemann (Racial Science in Hitler’s New Europe, 1938-1945, ed. Anton Weiss-Wendt, et al., University of Nebraska Press, 2013, 35-59)

    Part II

    Implementation: normalizing genocide

  7. Camps and Ghettos – Forced Labor in the Reich Gau Wartheland, 1939-1944
  8. Wolf Gruner (Jewish Forced Labor Under the Nazis, Cambridge UP, 2006, 177-195)

  9. The Holocaust and the concentration camps
  10. Dieter Pohl (Concentration Camps in Nazi Germany, ed. Jane Caplan et al., Routledge, 2010, 149-166)

  11. Decision-making in the "Final Solution"
  12. Peter Longerich (Holocaust, Oxford UP, 2010, 422-435)

  13. "Once again I’ve got to play general to the Jews": from the war diary of Blutordensträger Felix Landau
  14. Ernst Klee, Willi Dressen and Volker Riess (Simon&Schuster, as in 1st ed., 187-203)

  15. Keeping calm and weathering the storm: Jewish women’s responses to daily life in Nazi Germany, 1933-1939
  16. Marion Kaplan (Women in the Holocaust, ed. D. Ofer, et al., Yale UP, 1998, 39-54)

  17. "Give Me Your Children"
  18. Gordon J. Horwitz (Ghettostadt, Harvard UP, 2008, 192-231)

  19. Ghetto diary
  20. Janusz Korczak (Yale UP, 2003, 100-115)

  21. "And it was something we didn’t talk about": Rape of Jewish Women during the Holocaust
  22. Helene J. Sinnreich (Holocaust Studies 14/2, 2008, 1-22)

  23. Between sanity and insanity: spheres of everyday life in the Auschwitz-Birkenau Sonderkommando
  24. Gideon Greif (Gray Zones, ed. J. Petropoulos, et al., Berghahn Books, 2005, 37-60)

    Part III

    Aftermath: testimony, justice, and continuity

  25. Wartime Lies and Other Testimonies: Jewish-Christian Relations in Buczacz, 1939-1944
  26. Omer Bartov (East European Politics and Societies 25/3 2011, 486-511)

  27. Khurbn Forshung – Jewish Historical Commissions in Europe, 1943–1949
  28. Laura Jockusch (Simon Dubnow Institute Yearbook 6, 2007, 441-473)

  29. Semantics of Extermination: The Use of the New Term of Genocide in the Nuremberg Trials and the Genesis of a Master Narrative
  30. Alexa Stiller (Reassessing the Nuremberg Military Tribunals, ed. Kim C. Priemel et al., Berghahn Books, 2012, 104-133)

  31. Theorizing Destruction: Reflections on the State of Comparative Genocide Theory

Maureen S. Hiebert (Genocide Studies and Prevention 3/3 2008, 309-339)


  1. Geographical maps
  2. Chronology of events


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Omer Bartov is the John P. Birkelund Distinguished Professor of European History and Professor of History and German Studies at Brown University and has written on the Holocaust, Nazi Germany and modern genocide. His books include Erased: Vanishing Traces of Jewish Galicia in Present-Day Ukraine (2007), Germany's War and the Holocaust: Disputed Histories (2003) and Mirrors of Destruction: War, Genocide and Modern Identity (2000).


"In this sophisticated anthology, Omer Bartov has assembled an outstanding sampling of research literature illustrating some of the most fruitful new directions in studying the Holocaust that have emerged during the last decade. These academic writings are supplemented with important primary sources illustrating many of the problems of interpretation with which contemporary scholars are grappling. The Holocaust offers students a fine introduction to a complex subject."

David Engel, New York University, USA

"…outstanding. Professor Bartov has selected instructive, clearly written articles of the highest quality by leading scholars in Third Reich and Holocaust Studies that deftly combine historiography, narrative and argument. This volume will engage university students and generate important discussions."

Paul E. Kerry, Brigham Young University, USA