Omer Bartov, a leading scholar of the Wehrmacht and the Holocaust, provides a critical analysis of various recent ways to understand the genocidal policies of the Nazi regime and the reconstruction of German and Jewish identities in the wake of World War II. Germany's War and the Holocaust both deepens our understanding of a crucial period in history and serves as an invaluable introduction to the vast body of literature in the field of Holocaust studies. Drawing on his background as a military historian to probe the nature of German warfare, Bartov considers the postwar myth of army resistance to Hitler and investigates the image of Blitzkrieg as a means to glorify war, debilitate the enemy, and hide the realities of mass destruction. The author also addresses several new analyses of the roots and nature of Nazi extermination policies, including revisionist views of the concentration camps. Finally, Bartov examines some paradigmatic interpretations of the Nazi period and its aftermath: the changing American, European, and Israeli discourses on the Holocaust; Victor Klemperer's view of Nazi Germany from within; and Germany's perception of its own victimhood.
"Bartov's book ... is among the most accessible books for the layman hoping to understand the contours of the current historiography on the Holocaust... Bartov draws nuanced but crucial distinctions between wartime atrocities generally (including those of the other combatant states of the Second World War) and those that Germany committed, especially on the Eastern Front, which were, as he shows with precision, uniquely terrible. Although Bartov is an innovative military historian, in his essay on the diaries of the great German conservative, patriot, and Jew, Victor Klemperer, he also displays a subtle grasp of social and cultural developments, especially the growing, and in the end nearly total, Nazification of German society under the Third Reich."-The Atlantic Monthly "Bartov is wise when wisdom is required, hard-hitting when scholarship is inaccurate or inadequate to truly understand the Holocaust, and open to learning from each discipline. He is firmly rooted in history, but not held back by it. He is open to new ideas and new means of presenting the Holocaust-open, but certainly not uncritical. These essays solidify his growing reputation."-The Forward "Bartov has been in the forefront of historians who have debunked the myth of the innocent, professional, correct German Wehrmacht. He demonstrates that the German army in Russia violated all norms governing the rules of war."-International History Review "Bartov's arguments are always interesting, sometimes brilliant. His writing is elegant. He never forgets the moral implications of the scholarly arguments he dissects with such clarity and verve."-H-German, H-Net Reviews "Omer Bartov is internationally recognized as a leading expert on the Holocaust. I greatly welcome this collection of his most important essays on this defining issue of the twentieth century."-Sir Ian Kershaw, Sheffield University
Introduction PART ONE: War of Destruction 1. Savage War: German Warfare and Moral Choices in World War II 2. From Blitzkrieg to Total War: Image and Historiography PART TWO: Extermination Policies 3. Killing Space: The Final Solution as Population Policy 4. Ordering Horror: Conceptualizations of the Concentrationary Universe 5. Ordinary Monsters: Perpetrator Motivation and Monocausal Explanations PART THREE: Interpretations 6. Germans as Nazis: Goldhagen's Holocaust and the World 7. Jews as Germans: Victor Klemperer Bears Witness 8. Germans as Jews: Representations of Absence in Postwar Germany Abbreviations Acknowledgments Index