We have come to believe that the Holocaust was the industrial-style killing of millions of Jews in gas chambers, organised by faceless German bureaucrats working for a totalitarian state. In fact, by the time the first gas chambers were operational in occupied Poland, the vast majority of European Jews were already dead: they had been shot, face to face, over pits in forests and ravines. They had been murdered in lawless killing zones, on the fertile black earth of eastern Europe that the Nazis believed would feed the German people.
Today most of us also believe that the Holocaust was a unique event which is unlikely to be repeated. But as Timothy Snyder shows in this authoritative and challenging study, some of our own ideas and beliefs are surprisingly close to the ecological panic that Hitler expressed in the 1920s. We are in danger not to heed that important warning from history.
Timothy Snyder’s Bloodlands was an acclaimed exploration of what happened in eastern Europe between 1933 and 1945, when between them the Nazis and the Soviets murdered 14 million people. Black Earth is about why it happened.Über den Autor:
Timothy Snyder received his doctorate from the University of Oxford in 1997. He has held fellowships in Paris and Vienna, and an Academy Scholarship at Harvard. He has written and edited a number of critically-acclaimed and prize-winning books about twentieth-century European history, including Bloodlands, which won the Leipzig Prize for European Understanding and the Ralph Waldo Emerson Award in the Humanities, The Reconstruction of Nations, Sketches from a Secret War and The Red Prince. He is Professor of History at Yale University.
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