Antisemitism: A Historical Encyclopedia of Prejudice and Persecution, Volume 1

ABC-CLIO
Free sample

The word "antisemite" was first used to describe a politically motivated enemy of the Jews in 1879. The subject of antisemitism has often been focused on the Holocaust; however, current events and history have much to add to this discussion. For example, in 1995 a Japanese pseudo-Buddhist religious cult, imagining itself to be under attack by Jews, released sarin gas on the Tokyo subway, killing 12. From 1881 to 1900 there were 128 public accusations of Jewish "ritual murder" allegedly involving the killing of Christian children to use their blood for religious purposes. Entries in this encyclopedia span the period from ancient Egypt to the modern era. Key theoreticians of Jew-hatred and their written works, its permeation of Christianity and modern Islam, and its political, artistic, and economic manifestations are covered. This is the first comprehensive work that deals with the entire history of ideas and practices that engendered the Holocaust.
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About the author

Richard S. Levy, PhD, is professor of history at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL.

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Additional Information

Publisher
ABC-CLIO
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Published on
Dec 31, 2005
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Pages
828
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ISBN
9781851094394
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
History / World
Social Science / Anthropology / Cultural & Social
Social Science / Discrimination & Race Relations
Social Science / Jewish Studies
Social Science / Sociology / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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From the moment I got to Auschwitz I was completely detached. I disconnected my heart and intellect in an act of self-defense, despair, and hopelessness." With these words Sara Nomberg-Przytyk begins this painful and compelling account of her experiences while imprisoned for two years in the infamous death camp. Writing twenty years after her liberation, she recreates the events of a dark past which, in her own words, would have driven her mad had she tried to relive it sooner. But while she records unimaginable atrocities, she also richly describes the human compassion that stubbornly survived despite the backdrop of camp depersonalization and imminent extermination.

Commemorative in spirit and artistic in form, Auschwitz convincingly portrays the paradoxes of human nature in extreme circumstances. With consummate understatement Nomberg-Przytyk describes the behavior of concentration camp inmates as she relentlessly and pitilessly examines her own motives and feelings. In this world unmitigated cruelty coexisted with nobility, rapacity with self-sacrifice, indifference with selfless compassion. This book offers a chilling view of the human drama that existed in Auschwitz.

From her portraits of camp personalities, an extraordinary and horrifying profile emerges of Dr. Josef Mengele, whose medical experiments resulted in the slaughter of nearly half a million Jews. Nomberg-Przytyk's job as an attendant in Mengle's hospital allowed her to observe this Angel of Death firsthand and to provide us with the most complete description to date of his monstrous activities.

The original Polish manuscript was discovered by Eli Pfefferkorn in 1980 in the Yad Vashem Archive in Jerusalem. Not knowing the fate of the journal's author, Pfefferkorn spent two years searching and finally located Nomberg-Przytyk in Canada. Subsequent interviews revealed the history of the manuscript, the author's background, and brought the journal into perspective.

A bold new exploration that answers the most commonly asked questions about the Holocaust.

Despite the outpouring of books, movies, museums, memorials, and courses devoted to the Holocaust, a coherent explanation of why such ghastly carnage erupted from the heart of civilized Europe in the twentieth century still seems elusive even seventy years later. Numerous theories have sprouted in an attempt to console ourselves and to point the blame in emotionally satisfying directions—yet none of them are fully convincing. As witnesses to the Holocaust near the ends of their lives, it becomes that much more important to unravel what happened and to educate a new generation about the horrors inflicted by the Nazi regime on Jews and non-Jews alike.

Why? dispels many misconceptions and answers some of the most basic—yet vexing—questions that remain: why the Jews and not another ethnic group? Why the Germans? Why such a swift and sweeping extermination? Why didn’t more Jews fight back more often? Why didn’t they receive more help? While responding to the questions he has been most frequently asked by students over the decades, world-renowned Holocaust historian and professor Peter Hayes brings a wealth of scholarly research and experience to bear on conventional, popular views of the history, challenging some of the most prominent recent interpretations. He argues that there is no single theory that “explains” the Holocaust; the convergence of multiple forces at a particular moment in time led to catastrophe.

In clear prose informed by an encyclopedic knowledge of Holocaust literature in English and German, Hayes weaves together stories and statistics to heart-stopping effect. Why? is an authoritative, groundbreaking exploration of the origins of one of the most tragic events in human history.

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