The Germs of Genocide by Christopher R Browning, Jürgen Matthäus - review by David Cesarani

David Cesarani

The Germs of Genocide

The Germs of Genocide


Heinemann 615pp £25 order from our bookshop

CHRISTOPHER BROWNING WAS invited by Yad Vashem, the memorial and research institute in Jerusalem, to contribute this study of the origins of the Final Solution to what promises to be the definitive, multi-volume history of the genocide committed upon Europe's Jews. He was a wise choice. No one is better placed to perform such a task than Browning, author of acclaimed studies of policymaking at the heart of the Nazi empire and its far-flung implementation. The commission gave him the luxury of concentrating on the perpetrators in the knowledge that sensitive issues such as Jewish responses or the behaviour of collaborators would be handled in later works and country- by- country studies. This has enabled Browning to situate anti-Jewish policy in the wider context of Nazi racial imperialism, dwelling on the oft-neglected 'other victims', and to include all the agencies that drove and executed it

No previous account of the Final Solution has demonstrated so vividly the importance of Poland. The outbreak of war and the conquest of Poland transformed the 'Jewish Question'. War ended Nazi hopes of getting rid of the German Jews by mass emigration and burdened them with more Jews of the

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