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History of the Holocaust, A: From Ideology to Annihilation, CourseSmart eTextbook, 4th Edition

By Rita Steinhardt Botwinick

Published by Pearson

Published Date: Jul 20, 2009

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For undergraduate courses on the Holocaust and Hitler and Nazi Germany.


Told with scrupulous attention to detail and accuracy, this text examines the causes and events of the Holocaust, providing important background information on Jewish life in Europe, the functions of the hierarchy within the Nazi government, and the psychological foundations of prejudice. Unlike other texts on the subject, A History of the Holocaust tries to give students an idea of just who the victims of the Holocaust were. The author tells this story from a unique point-of-view, having experienced Nazi Germany as a child. This book seeks to explain the sequence of events that led up to what we now refer to as the Holocaust or Shoah. The new edition reflects the latest scholarship, contains an updated bibliography, and introduces a powerful new feature: Voices—-the testimonies of five individuals who shared their experiences of the Holocaust with author Rita Steinhardt Botwinick.

Table of Contents





Chapter 1 The Nature and Roots of Prejudice

Some Dynamics of Prejudice

Personality and Prejudice

The Costs

Origins of Anti-Semitism

Christianity and the Jews

The New Faith Established

The Medieval Church and the Jews

Early Ghettos

The Reformation

The Era of Enlightenment

The French Revolution

The Age of Reaction


Twentieth Century

The New Anti-Semitism

Anti-Jewish Racism


Chapter 2 The World That Was Annihilated

The Victims

Brief History of Polish Jewry

Polish Jewry

Shtetl Life

Cultural Achievements


Rational Orthodoxy

The Hasidic Challenge


Roots of Zionism

The Rebirth of Poland

The Interwar Decades


Chapter 3 The Nazis’ Rise to Power

The Totalitarian Prerequisite

The Treaty of Versailles

The Weimar Republic

Economic Problems

Momentary Recovery

The Great Depression

The Nazi’s Enter History

The Party Platform

The SA

The Failed Beer Hall Putsch

The Aryan Superiority Myth

Legitimizing Hitler

The End of the Republic


Chapter 4 Masters of the Third Reich

Ideological Antecedents

The Irrationality of the Holocaust

Intellectual Roots

Psychological Hypotheses

Hitler: A Man of Paradoxes

The Parents

A Psychosexual View

An Uncertain Conclusion

Three Executioners of the Fuehrer’s Will

Hermann Goering

Joseph Goebbels

Heinrich Himmer


Chapter 5 Germans under the Nazis

Destruction of the Republic

The Last Election

The Reichstag Fire

The Enabling Act

Political Centralization

The Party and the Government

Governing the Reich

Party Organization

The Blood Purge


Economic Policy


Business Interest

Public Education

Training the Nazi of the Future

The Catholic Church

Hitler and the Papacy

Hitler and the Protestant Churches

Nazi Justice


Chapter 6 German Jews to 1939


Can Jews Be Germans

Economic Anti-Semitism

Political Anti-Semitism

Jewish Reaction: The Reform Movement

Is Zionism the Answer?

The CV Reaction

World War I

The Weimar Years

Jewish Responses to the Nazi Danger

Organizing for Survival

The Holocaust: Master Plan or Expediency?

Who Is a Jew?

Early Legal Disqualifications

The Nuremberg Laws

Juden Raus (Jews Get Out)


VOICES: Papa’s Slippers and Crystal Night

The Aftermath


Chapter 7 Hitler’s War


The European Climate

Early Nazi Diplomacy

Inertia in France and Great Britain

Bloodless Victories

Austria–Fiasco and Victory

The Sudeten Germans

Appeasement at Munich

The Czech Finale

The Startling Hitler-Stalin Pact

The War at a Glance

The Defeat of Poland

Himmler’s Vision of Poland

The War in the West

Governing the Conquered Nations

VOICES: Excerpts from Windmills, War, and Water

Great Britain Alone

The Balkans and Operation Barbarossa

The Turning Point of the Tide


Chapter 8 From Ideology to Isolation

An Overview

Types and Aims of Concentration Camps

Himmler’s Empire

SS Membership and Training

Organizing the Shoah

The Deportations


Life in the Ghettos

Functions of the Judenraete

The Lodz Ghetto: A Case in Point

The Warsaw Ghetto: Another Case in Point


Chapter 9 Annihilation: Theory and Practice

Mobile Killing Squads

Bolts from the Blue

Methods of Murder

The Killers

The Wannsee Decision

Some German Reactions

The Gas Van Experiment

Factories of Death

Gas Chambers

The Many Forms of Deception


Auschwitz’s Organization

Cheaper Than Slaves

VOICES: Jolie’s Soup


The Hungarian Tragedy

Surviving a Concentration Camp

The Doctors

Camps in Central Europe

Theresienstadt and Ravensbrueck

The Death Marches


Chapter 10 Resistance against All Odds

VOICES: My Mother and the Rosenstrasse Protest

Militant Jews

The Warsaw Ghetto Revolt

Results and Significance

Other Camp Revolts: An Overview

With the Partisans


Chapter 11 Rescue: Too Little, Too Late

VOICES: My Parents–My Heroes

Ordinary People

Questions of Opportunities

The Final Solution Revealed

Diverse Conditions for Rescue

Delay and Obstruction in the United States

American Jewry

Survival in Bulgaria

The Danes Mobilize for Rescue

The Plot

The Escape

Accounting for the Danish Achievement


Chapter 12 After the Deluge

Postwar Germany

Zones of Occupation

Survivors in Limbo

No Place to Go

Seeking Refuge: The United States

Seeking a Refuge: Palestine

Justice for the Murderers?

The Nuremberg Trials: 1945-1946

The Verdicts

Further Trials

The Western Military Zones

Germany and the Jews Today


Glossary and Abbreviations


Time Line


Bibliography and Selected Readings

Selected Websites



Europe under Nazi Occupation before June 22, 1941.
Germany's Expansion: 1933-1939.
Military Operations of WWII: The German Offensives, 1939-1942.
The Einsatzgruppen, 1941-1942.
The German Partition of Poland, 1939/41-1945.

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History of the Holocaust, A: From Ideology to Annihilation, CourseSmart eTextbook, 4th Edition
Format: Safari Book

$33.99 | ISBN-13: 978-0-205-69529-4