The Years of Extermination Summary and Reviews

The Years of Extermination

Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939-1945

by Saul Friedlander

The Years of Extermination

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Book Summary

The enactment of the German extermination policies that resulted in the murder of six million European Jews depended upon many factors, including the cooperation of local authorities and police departments, and the passivity of the populations, primarily of their political and spiritual elites. Necessary also was the victims' willingness to submit, often with the hope of surviving long enough to escape the German vise.

The Years of Extermination, the completion of Saul Friedländer's major historical opus on Nazi Germany and the Jews, explores the convergence of the various aspects of this most systematic and sustained of modern genocides. In this unparalleled work—based on a vast array of documents and an overwhelming choir of voices from diaries, letters, and memoirs—the history of the Holocaust has found its definitive representation.

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Book Awards

  • award image Pulitzer Prize for Letters, Drama and Music, 2008

Reviews

Media Reviews

Starred Review. "This is a masterful synthesis that draws on a lifetime of learning and research." - Publishers Weekly.

"[Friedländer] avoids delving into the motivations for the anti-Semitism of Hitler and his cohorts; for him, such blind hatred is beyond true comprehension. The deeper problem is comprehending why people were willing to become a part of such an affront to decency." - Booklist.

"Friedländer's book offers a useful, updated panorama of the events of the Holocaust." - The Washington Post.

"[A]n account of unparalleled vividness and power that reads like a novel." - The New York Times.

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More Information

Saul Friedländer (born Prague, 1932) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning Czechoslovak-born Franco-Israeli historian who now lives in the USA. This book is the companion volume to Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1933-1939, published in 1997.

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