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98 SHOFAR attached. When such beliefs are reified by the biases of the prevailing science establishment, the way is open for demonic forces to be unleashed. The book includes a number of turn-of-the-century illustrations as pictorial evidence for this thesis, especially jew-baiting caricatures that came to full bloom in "Der Sturmer." Professor Gilman's contribution to the study of antisemitism has merit although it implies that the more things change, the more things stay the same. Presumably, after centuries of prejudice, antisemitism has become part of the human condition. Werner 1. Halpern Psychiatrist Rochester, New York The Holocaust: The Fate of Europeall]ewry, 1932-1945, by Leni Yahil. New York: Oxford University Press, 1990. 808 pp. $39.95. Since Raul Hilberg's magisterial The Destruction ofthejews, published in 1961, there have been many works that have dealt with some aspect of the Holocaust but only a few that have attempted to discuss the Holocaust in its entirety. Among these one thinks of Nora Levin's The Holocaust, Lucy Dawidowicz's 1be War Against the jews, and Yehuda Bauer's A History of the Holocaust. To this short list one can now add Leni Yahil's The Holocaust. Yahil, who teaches at the University of Haifa, mentions that she spent some twenty years on this monumental work. Her book was first published in Hebrew and has been ably translated for the Oxford edition by Ina hiedman and Iolaya Galai. It includes twenty-one chapters which are grouped into three major sections punctuating the three stages of the Holocaust. These were the prewar stage, 1932-1939, the first phase of World War II, 1939-1941, and the Final Solution, 1941-1945. Although his description of the organization of the Final Solution is unsurpassed, Hilberg based his book almost entirely on primary German sources and was therefore unable to describe adequately the Jewish response to Nazi policies. For example, he underestimated jewish resistance and misinterpreted the role of the jewish Councils. Yahil, following Dawidowicz, uses German, jewish, and other materials to tell a more rounded story, which includes the perspective of the victims. Both the strength and weakness of this work is that Yahil punctuates her story of the Holocaust with broad overviews of the war and with intensive small-scale case studies of individual actors or communities Vol. 10, No.4 Summer 1992 99 caught up in the events. On the one hand, this strategy allows her to move from the macro to the micro level of analysis while maintaining the continuity of the story. On the other hand, it is a metho~ that apparently tempts Yahil to pack too much into one volume. The uninitiated reader may sometimes miss the signil1cance of some of her overviews and her too brief case studies. Since Hilberg's and Dawidowicz's important contributions, there have been many other inSightful works dealing with various aspects of the Holocaust. These have now helped to resolve some of the earlier controversies , especially those started by Hilberg and Hannah Arendt pertaining to the role of Jewish resistance and the Jewish Councils in occupied Europe. But in the meantime new issues have arisen especially concerning the decision process leading to the Final Solution. On the one hand, "intentionalists" like Dawidowicz and Fleming have argued that the planned intention to destroy the European Jews was implicit in Hitler's writings from the start and that the Final Solution was put into effect as soon as conditions permitted. On the other hand, "functionalists " like Schleunes and Mommsen have suggested that although ideology was a powerful motivating and legitimating factor, the Nazis, including Hitler, did not have a well articulated plan to kill the Jews until 1941, when the war with Russia commenced. Crucial to the "intentionalistfunctionalist " controversy is the 1939-1941 period. Did the brutal and massive deportations ofJews to the east and their concentration in ghettos in Poland imply a well thought-out plan of extermination, or was it a stopgap measure implemented by abureaucracy that had not as yet arrived at the Final Solution? In her introduction Yahil tells us that she is well aware of such controversies and that she intends to address them...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-5165
Print ISSN
0882-8539
Pages
pp. 98-100
Launched on MUSE
2012-10-03
Open Access
No
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