Ashes in the Wind: The Destruction of Dutch Jewry
Focusing on a country often forgotten in Holocaust histories, this comprehensive account describes how 110,000 Jews were deported from the Netherlands to concentration camps in 1940 but less than 6,000 returned at the end of the war. Utilizing 15 years of research and documents from the Netherlands State Institute for War Documentation, the incremental demands on Jewish citizens are analyzed - starting with forced registry and ending with death at concentration camps - while demonstrating how this slow progression led the Germans involved to accept these atrocities. Graphically recounting stories of persecution, going into hiding, and life in the transit camps, it conveys the despair experienced as families and lives were destroyed, while showing how these stories fit into a wider, global picture.
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I am just re-reading the book, which I bought a couple of years ago as part of my research in the Holocaust, aiming to complete a PhD.
It is written in a scholarly style but is not stilted or difficult to read. There are many touches of irony and even personal feelings, which some have criticized in historical writing; I find this evidence of the author's own experience moving and justified.
I would say that this is a brilliant book, superbly written, telling the almost unbelievable story of the Holocaust in Holland.