HITLER’S SHADOW WAR

THE HOLOCAUST IN WORLD WAR II

Breaks little ground and enters a crowded field, but nonetheless: a useful one-volume survey.

Wide-ranging study of the Holocaust argues that WWII was something of an afterthought for the architects of genocide.

“Hitler and his Nazi associates used the war in Europe, with its massive violence, as a cover or camouflage for the real war they meant to fight,” writes McKale (History/Clemson Univ.). That was the war against Jews, no matter where in the world they lived; anti-Semitism was central to Nazi thought and practice. Pragmatic considerations kept Hitler from immediately attending to his promise in Mein Kampf to rid Europe of Jews on coming to power in 1933; propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels explained that “both domestic and foreign pressures prevented a more radical anti-Jewish policy,” a point that sorely displeased party radicals and may have contributed to the purge of Ernst Röhm’s SA soon thereafter. Measures to remove Jews from business proved unpopular and were not uniformly enforced, McKale adds; the disappearance of Jewish business leaders would have endangered Germany’s recovery from depression, and Jewish firms employed many Aryan workers. Still, when rising international opposition to German expansionism made war inevitable, the Nazi regime renewed its campaign against the Jews with murderous force. Even then, the author notes, not all Germans and not even all Nazis shared the regime’s hostility to Jews. Members of the killing units on the Eastern Front who refused to participate in the slaughter were quietly reassigned to other posts; “none suffered punishment for their refusal to involve themselves in the grisly work,” McKale argues, which puts the lie to postwar protestations that had Germans opposed the genocide they would have been shot. The author also observes that most ordinary Germans did in fact know full well of the murders taking place all around them—and so did the Allies, at least as early as 1941.

Breaks little ground and enters a crowded field, but nonetheless: a useful one-volume survey.

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-8154-1211-8

Page Count: 530

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2002

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 16


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller


  • National Book Award Finalist

KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON

THE OSAGE MURDERS AND THE BIRTH OF THE FBI

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 16


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller


  • National Book Award Finalist

Greed, depravity, and serial murder in 1920s Oklahoma.

During that time, enrolled members of the Osage Indian nation were among the wealthiest people per capita in the world. The rich oil fields beneath their reservation brought millions of dollars into the tribe annually, distributed to tribal members holding "headrights" that could not be bought or sold but only inherited. This vast wealth attracted the attention of unscrupulous whites who found ways to divert it to themselves by marrying Osage women or by having Osage declared legally incompetent so the whites could fleece them through the administration of their estates. For some, however, these deceptive tactics were not enough, and a plague of violent death—by shooting, poison, orchestrated automobile accident, and bombing—began to decimate the Osage in what they came to call the "Reign of Terror." Corrupt and incompetent law enforcement and judicial systems ensured that the perpetrators were never found or punished until the young J. Edgar Hoover saw cracking these cases as a means of burnishing the reputation of the newly professionalized FBI. Bestselling New Yorker staff writer Grann (The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession, 2010, etc.) follows Special Agent Tom White and his assistants as they track the killers of one extended Osage family through a closed local culture of greed, bigotry, and lies in pursuit of protection for the survivors and justice for the dead. But he doesn't stop there; relying almost entirely on primary and unpublished sources, the author goes on to expose a web of conspiracy and corruption that extended far wider than even the FBI ever suspected. This page-turner surges forward with the pacing of a true-crime thriller, elevated by Grann's crisp and evocative prose and enhanced by dozens of period photographs.

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Pub Date: April 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-385-53424-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

NIGHT

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

Close Quickview