There is of course an extensive literature on the Holocaust, and many readers over twelve would do well to start there with, say, Nora Levin or Elie Wiesel. Surprisingly little has been written specifically for juveniles, and Meltzer says he decided to begin this brief, basic history after reading Henry Friedlander's study of American history textbooks which concluded that the version presented to high school students is "bland, superficial, and misleading." Here, then, Meltzer concentrates on excerpted personal testimony and, extensively, on why more Jews didn't anticipate the Final Solution--why didn't they, or couldn't they flee--and on documenting both the gradual hardening of Nazi policy and the question of resistance--actual fighting in the ghettoes, forests and camps as well as the Orthodox concept of Kiddush Hashem or spiritual sacrifice. Both Meltzer's introduction and his conclusion are relatively weak: Switzer's How Democracy Failed gives a dearer idea of why Nazism took hold; there is little discussion of the fate of Jews outside Germany and Eastern Europe; and a moving but simplistic final chapter states that "Jews everywhere" identified future survival with the State of Israel. Despite these limitations, Meltzer's twin focus on the human tragedy and historical uniqueness of the Holocaust is an appropriate one and fills a need for a factually concise, yet not depersonalized survey.