Friday, February 2, 2007

Hitler's Shadow War by Donald M McKale

An excellent analysis of the Holocaust and how the Second World War incorporated into it. The authors premise is that a significant amount of literature devotes itself solely to the war or the Holocaust without infusing one with the other is true and this book tries to correct that. How many men in the SS and in general how many workers were needed to keep the massive genocidal machine going throughout the war are presented as well as how much material was used up transporting Jews to slave labor and their deaths.

A good amount of room is also given to how much money the Germans made by simply stealing from or blackmailing Jews and how much monetary value the goods taken from Jews after they arrived in concentration/death camps amounted to as well. It is a wonder that compensation wasn't forthcoming sooner from some of the countries that benefited from Jewish slave labor and harbored stolen goods (including art, furniture, etc).

The book is also a good analysis of some of the recent literature that has come out about the Holocaust, form the idea that it was a unique event in the history of this world to allied noncompliance when asked to bomb Auschwitz or to inform the world about what was going on within German occupied territory. A lot of room is also given to understanding how Jews left Germany and how many even returned for one reason or another.

Another point is Jewish resistance and how underrated it is in Holocaust literature, literally around 100 ghettos had some form of a resistance organization and even concentration/death camps such as Auschwitz, Treblinka, and Sobibor had some kind of rebellion or revolt. All in all this book is an excellent investment with a lot of information and analysis.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

While his book on the survival of nazis after the war is very valuable, it was pointless, ridiculous and demeaning to bog the introduction down with holocaust denial; he also repeatedly insults the reader's intelligence insisting that Hitler committed suicide.