Friday, February 2, 2007

Ideology of Death: Why the Holocaust Happened in Germany by John Weiss

This was one of the first books I read on the historical anti-semitism in Germany. It is a great source beginning with the first Jews on German territories and their slow spiral toward the 'Final Solution" being initiated by the Germans in WWII. Although in fact many German Jews were converted or left and the majority of those Germans killed weren't Jews it is an important study to see how German anti-semitism was fostered throughout the centuries. Starting from the 'Hep! Hep!' riots in early 19th century the Jews of Germany were no longer reasonably safe within German territory and as a result some of the first immigrations to the US were German Jews. I found particularly interesting that rabid anti-semites would be seen walking the streets in Germany and mumbling to themselves "Jesus couldn't have been Jewish!" Even more interesting was that when Martin Luther saw he couldn't convert the Jews to his ideas he turned against them and in the end the Church itself labeled him a Jew for his ideas. An important work that will explain anti-semitism in Germany and how racist ideas came about and turned such a cultured and productive society into a genocidal machine during WWII.

No comments: