The Holocaust: Roots, History, and Aftermath
The Holocaust: Roots, History, and Aftermath takes a fresh, probing look at one of the greatest human tragedies in modern history. Author David M. Crowe begins with a detailed overview of the history of the Jews, their two-millennia-old struggle with a larger Christian world, and the historical anti-Semitism that created the environment that helped pave the way for the Holocaust. But it would take more than traditional prejudices to bring Europe to the edge of the Shoah. It would take someone like Adolf Hitler, who blended his own hatred of the Jews with contemporary ideas about eugenics, Aryan racial superiority, and German nationalistic frustration with the post-1918 Weimar democratic experiment, to bring to life the Nazi racial policies that led to the Final Solution-the mass murder of all of the Jews in Europe.Crowe analyzes the complex origins and evolution of these policies not only toward the Jews, the Nazis’ principal victims, but also toward the Roma, the handicapped, and other groups deemed racial or biological threats to Hitler’s goal of creating an Aryan-pure Europe. He discusses the spread of these policies in Germany as well as throughout Europe and concludes with a detailed discussion of liberation, Displaced Persons and the founding of Israel, the major war crimes investigations and trials, and continuing international efforts to bring Nazi war criminals to justice.
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Crowe's book is the best Holocaust textbook. But, it should have adopted a global historical perspective to history of the Shoah (persecution and Jewish genocide), to include the history of the Shoah in the French and Italian empires in North Africa (French Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Italian Libya.
To the best of my knowledge, Crowe’s textbook is the only Holocaust textbook which follows the important pedagogical guidelines of the National Council of History Education (NCHE):
“History is a great, suspenseful story whose turning-points and consequences are best revealed in a narrative that is analytical and comparative. Chronological development is essential, but within it, major topics and questions must make clear the significance of the unfolding story.”
Crowe's book provides a quite meaningful Holocaust education.
A complete meaningful Holocaust education is rooted in a true and total knowledge of the history of the Holocaust, and in a critical understanding of all the historical realities of the period. But, to reflect all the historical realities of the Shoah, Crowe should have had adopted a global historical perspective (not limited to a European approach), and should have narrated a global history of the Shoah, inclusive of the Shoah outside the geographic borders of the European continent. It is essential
1) to present all the characteristics of Nazi ideology, all the goals of the Nazi regime, and all the persecutions and murders of all the different victims;
2) to integrate thoroughly and accurately, all the political, economic, and social factors associated with this tragic history – in the geographic border of the European continent, in the French and Italian empires in North Africa, and beyond them; and
3) to teach all of them in relation to significant topics and in a consistent chronological manner. Students will then be better able to understand all the various causal chains and the many combinations of political, economic, and social factors that enabled the Holocaust to take place.
Crowe's book is a must.
Edith Shaked, Holocaust instructor