A groundbreaking academic study that shows how Germany derived from the Armenian genocide “a plethora of recipes” to address...

JUSTIFYING GENOCIDE

GERMANY AND THE ARMENIANS FROM BISMARCK TO HITLER

This scholarly study reveals how the Germans “received” the events of the Armenian genocide—and later whitewashed and even found motivation from it.

The attempted extinction of the Armenians by the Turks constitutes what Ihrig (Van Leer Jerusalem Institute) calls “the original sin of the 20th century,” not only by the Ottoman perpetrators, but also by the bystanders. In light of the later Holocaust visited upon the Jews and others by the Nazis, the Armenian genocide—the word was not actually defined by the U.N. until 1948—poses particular questions about guilt for the Germans, who were the Ottoman allies. They were knowledgeable about the massacres (both in 1894-1896 and in 1915-16) and were “inspired” (during the Third Reich) to use such methods and justification for purposes of “ethnic cleansing.” In this compelling narrative, Ihrig finds that the so-called Armenian Horrors were vigorously debated in the government and in periodicals of the time. Several important events would affect how the German public and private spheres came to view the “Armenian question”: the rise of the restive Young Turks in 1908; reports of Armenian rebellion and “treachery”; the strengthening of racial attitudes, especially during the 1920s; and the sensational assassination of the former Ottoman grand vizier in Berlin in 1921. Ihrig’s deep, scrupulous research reveals the official pattern set by the Germans “vis-à-vis the Armenians” as an “enabler” for the Ottomans, later giving way to open justification, denial, and whitewashing of the horrors visited on the Armenian people. In the final chapter, the author reveals how Hitler and the Nazis admired and were influenced by Ataturk and the new Turkey’s policies of ethnic cleansing based on a “foundation of national purity.”

A groundbreaking academic study that shows how Germany derived from the Armenian genocide “a plethora of recipes” to address its own ethnic problems.

Pub Date: Jan. 4, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-674-50479-0

Page Count: 472

Publisher: Harvard Univ.

Review Posted Online: Oct. 22, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2015

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

NIGHT

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

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Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

GOOD ECONOMICS FOR HARD TIMES

“Quality of life means more than just consumption”: Two MIT economists urge that a smarter, more politically aware economics be brought to bear on social issues.

It’s no secret, write Banerjee and Duflo (co-authors: Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way To Fight Global Poverty, 2011), that “we seem to have fallen on hard times.” Immigration, trade, inequality, and taxation problems present themselves daily, and they seem to be intractable. Economics can be put to use in figuring out these big-issue questions. Data can be adduced, for example, to answer the question of whether immigration tends to suppress wages. The answer: “There is no evidence low-skilled migration to rich countries drives wage and employment down for the natives.” In fact, it opens up opportunities for those natives by freeing them to look for better work. The problem becomes thornier when it comes to the matter of free trade; as the authors observe, “left-behind people live in left-behind places,” which explains why regional poverty descended on Appalachia when so many manufacturing jobs left for China in the age of globalism, leaving behind not just left-behind people but also people ripe for exploitation by nationalist politicians. The authors add, interestingly, that the same thing occurred in parts of Germany, Spain, and Norway that fell victim to the “China shock.” In what they call a “slightly technical aside,” they build a case for addressing trade issues not with trade wars but with consumption taxes: “It makes no sense to ask agricultural workers to lose their jobs just so steelworkers can keep theirs, which is what tariffs accomplish.” Policymakers might want to consider such counsel, especially when it is coupled with the observation that free trade benefits workers in poor countries but punishes workers in rich ones.

Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-61039-950-0

Page Count: 432

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: Aug. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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