Model Nazi tells the story of Arthur Greiser, the man who initiated the Final Solution in Nazi-occupied Poland. Between 1939 and 1945, Greiser was the territorial leader of the Warthegau, an area of western Poland annexed to Nazi Germany. In an effort to make the Warthegau "German," Greiser introduced numerous cruel policies. He spearheaded an influx of hundreds of thousands of ethnic Germans. He segregated Germans from Poles, and introduced wide-ranging discriminatory measures against the Polish population. He refashioned the urban and natural landscape to make it "German." And even more chillingly, the first and longest standing ghetto, the largest forced labour program, and the first mass gassings of Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe were all initiated under Greiser's jurisdiction.
Who was the man behind these dreadful policies? Catherine Epstein gives us a compelling biographical portrait of Greiser the man: his birth in the German-Polish borderlands, his rise to Nazi prominence in Danzig, his actions as party leader in the Warthegau, and his trial and execution in postwar Poland. Drawing on a remarkable array of German and Polish sources, she shows how nationalist obsessions, political jealousies, and personal insecurities shaped the policies of a man who held remarkable power in his Nazi fiefdom. Throughout, Epstein confronts a burning question of our age: why do individuals imagine genocide and ethnic cleansing to be solutions to political problems?
Excellent...Epstein's book is a most welcome addition to the vast literature on the Third Reich and an important contribution to the debate on the origins, manifestations and consequences of racially motivated mass murder. * Robert Gerwarth, Irish Times *
[A] finely crafted and superbly researched biography * Christopher Browning, Central European History *
A valuable new biography * Timothy Snyder, New York Review of Books *
Epstein's biography of Greiser is careful and rigorous. Her assessment of him is frank and sober, eschewing the dangers of either over-identification or demonization. * L.N. Faulkner, Holocaust and Genocide Studies *
Epstein provides a refreshingly sober and balanced account of Greiser's life ... a most welcome addition to the vast literature on the Third Reich and an important contribution to the debate on the origins, manifestations and consequences of racially motivated mass murder. * Robert Gerwarth, English Historical Review *
Epstein has done a remarkable job excavating Greiser's life ... a wide-ranging, vivid and readable history of occupation policies in western Poland that engages deftly with continuing debates on Greiser's role at key junctures * Elizabeth Harvey, Journal of Contemporary History *
Series: Oxford Studies in Modern European History
Number Of Pages: 451
Published: 27th May 2010
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.62 x 16.0 x 3.05
Weight (kg): 0.85