Born in Prague, Saul Friedländer spent his boyhood in Nazi-occupied France. He is a professor of history at UCLA, and has written numerous books on Nazi Germany and World War II.
Giving considerable emphasis to a wealth of new archival findings, Saul Friedlander restores the voices of Jews who, after the 1933 Nazi accession to power, were engulfed in an increasingly horrifying reality. We hear from the persecutors themselves: the leaders of the Nazi party, the members of the Protestant and Catholic hierarchies, the university elites, and the heads of the business community. Most telling of all, perhaps, are the testimonies of ordinary German citizens, who in the main acquiesced to increasing waves of dismissals, segregation, humiliation, impoverishment, expulsion, and violence.
The book's first part, dealing with the National Socialist campaign of oppression, restores the voices of Jews who were engulfed in an increasingly horrifying reality following the Nazi accession to power. Friedländer also provides the accounts of the persecutors themselves—and, perhaps most telling of all, the testimonies of ordinary German citizens who, in general, stood silent and unmoved by the increasing waves of segregation, humiliation, impoverishment, and violence.
The second part covers the German extermination policies that resulted in the murder of six million European Jews—an official program that depended upon the cooperation of local authorities and police departments, the passivity of the populations, and the willingness of the victims to submit in desperate hope of surviving long enough to escape the German vise.
A monumental, multifaceted study now contained in a single volume, Saul Friedländer's Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1933-1945 is an essential study of a dark and complex history.