SMOKE AND ASHES by Barbara Rogasky


The Story of the Holocaust
Age Range: 12 & up
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The reissue of the 1988 first edition freshens up the format (the lines have more space between them, making the text easier to read) and adds new information to this monumentally important history of the Holocaust. Rogasky takes the reader from the roots of anti-Semitism in Germany through Hitler’s rise to power and his immediate implementation of the war against the Jews, the death camps, the liberation of the camps, and the Nuremberg trials. Additions to the text include a section on the role of the German army and the Order Police, the mobile death squads responsible for killing approximately two million Jews. The evidence is overwhelmingly against the argument that the Holocaust was carried out only by the Special Forces of the SS and not by the ordinary soldiers of the German army. A chapter has been added about the desperate efforts of the Germans to finish off the job of killing the Jews and to destroy the evidence as it became clear that they were losing the war. The last chapter about hate groups and Holocaust deniers is expanded to include direct responses to specific claims made by so-called revisionists. Rogasky pulls no punches in her forthright and unflinching account. The shameful suppression of the truth when it was known by the British and American governments, their refusal to help by taking in Jewish refugees when it was still possible, the Allied decision not to bomb Auschwitz and thus disable the killing machinery are all detailed. A source list that is more than three times as long as in the earlier edition speaks to the scrupulously thorough research, with most of the additional sources having been published since the first edition. Clearly written, comprehensive, sensitive, and nuanced: an indispensable resource. (bibliography, footnotes, time line, photo credits, index) (Nonfiction. 12+)

Pub Date: Aug. 15th, 2002
ISBN: 0-8234-1612-7
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Holiday House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2002


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