Why the Germans? Why the Jews?

Envy, Race Hatred, and the Prehistory of the Holocaust

Götz Aly
Paperback
Added to basketCheckout →
Ships in 4–10 business days
Why the Germans? Why the Jews?
Other formats available
Why the Germans? Why the Jews?

Subjects

History

Published

1 May 2014

ISBN

9780522866711

Pages

304

Weight

424g

Size

233mm x 154mm

Subjects

History

Imprint

Melbourne University Press

Why the Germans? Why the Jews?

Envy, Race Hatred, and the Prehistory of the Holocaust

Götz Aly
A provocative and insightful analysis that sheds new light on one of the most puzzling and historically unsettling conundrums
Why did the Holocaust happen in Germany, of all places? How did a country known for its culture and refinement turn so rabidly anti-Semitic? Why did a nation where Jews had full civil rights and many opportunities—a place that Jews had eagerly flocked to in the early twentieth century to escape racist persecution in Poland and Russia—turn upon them so violently just a few decades later?
Countless people have grappled with these questions, but few have come up with answers as original and perceptive as those of German historian Götz Aly. Tracing the prehistory of the Holocaust—from the 1800s to the Nazis' assumption of power in 1933—Aly shows that German anti-Semitism did not originate with racist ideology or religious animosity, as is often supposed. Instead, through striking statistics and economic analysis, he demonstrates that it was rooted in a more basic emotion: material envy.
As Germany made its way through…
Why did the Holocaust happen in Germany, of all places? How did a country known for its culture and refinement turn so rabidly anti-Semitic? Why did a nation where Jews had full civil rights and many opportunities—a place that Jews had eagerly flocked to in the early twentieth century to escape racist persecution in Poland and Russia—turn upon them so violently just a few decades later?
Countless people have grappled with these questions, but few have come up with answers as original and perceptive as those of German historian Götz Aly. Tracing the prehistory of the Holocaust—from the 1800s to the Nazis' assumption of power in 1933—Aly shows that German anti-Semitism did not originate with racist ideology or religious animosity, as is often supposed. Instead, through striking statistics and economic analysis, he demonstrates that it was rooted in a more basic emotion: material envy.
As Germany made its way through the upheaval of the Industrial Revolution, the largely agrarian, mostly illiterate German majority found itself floundering in the rapidly modernizing world. On the other hand, the urban, well-educated Jewish minority enjoyed great success. Less than thirty years after they were freed from the ghettos, more than half the Jews were firmly middle class, and a sizable proportion of them were in the upper-middle classes. Envying this success, Germans embraced compensatory theories of Jewish racial inferiority. And the growing resentment pervading society provided fertile ground for Hitler and his genocidal politics.
Aly's groundbreaking account of this fatal social dynamic opens up a new vantage point on the greatest crime in history and is sure to prompt heated debate for years to come.

Götz Aly

Götz Aly is the author of Hitler's Beneficiaries and Into the Tunnel, among other books. One of the most respected historians of the Third Reich and the Holocaust, he has received the National Jewish Book Award, Germany's prestigious Heinrich Mann Prize, and numerous other honors.

More

Paperback
Added to basketCheckout →
Ships in 4–10 business days
Other formats available