Die Juden in Deutschland 1933-1945: Leben Unter Nationalsozialistischer Herrschaft, Edited by Wolfgang Benz

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Die Juden in Deutschland 1933-1945: Leben unter Nationalsozialistischer Herrschaft, edited Wolfgang Benz

Die Juden in Deutschland 1933-1945, which is the fourth unrevised edition of a study first published in 1988, is a comprehensive social and cultural history of the German Jews under Nazi sovereignty. This study is unusual, perhaps unique, in that its primary concern is not to depict and discuss Jews as the victims of persecution, but rather to describe and document all aspects of the everyday life of German Jews living in Germany under the Nazis. To this end, Wolfgang Benz and the other very able scholars who contributed to this volume examine the economic and social conditions as well as the intellectual, spiritual and cultural life of these Jews in minute detail.

Die Juden in Deutschland 1933-1945 is well-researched and written with great sensitivity and intelligence. Each of the contributors is responsible for one or more chapters, and each chapter treats a single subject with considerable thoroughness. Thus, it was a pleasant surprise to discover that this book is not just the usual collection of loosely related essays; instead, the various contributions combine to form a coherent whole, evoking a real sense of both the excruciating plight and the seemingly undauntable spirit of a people. The structure of the book is both chronological and logical. It opens with a chapter that describes in great detail the reaction of German Jews to Hitler's ascension to power in 1933 and concludes with a chapter on the Jews who went underground in Germany in the years 1943-1945. The intervening chapters treat such topics as the economic life of the Jews, art and entertainment, pogroms and emigration.

Each contribution to this study offers a wealth of information and documentation that is likely to enhance the knowledge of all but the most serious students of the topic, and even they may well come away with, at least, some useful nuggets of information or even a new perspective on the subject. …