Holocaust – The Nazis’ Wartime Jewish Atrocities, Stephen Wynn

Holocaust – The Nazis’ Wartime Jewish Atrocities, Stephen Wynn

I’m not entirely sure what to make of this book. Most of its chapters work perfectly well in their own right, but it feels a bit scatter gun, both in the choice of chapters and sometimes within the chapters themselves. The biggest gap is a good overview of the topic, which would have placed all the following chapters more firmly in context. 

Some of the individual chapters are very good. The best is probably the chapter on the Wannsee Conference, which explains more about why it happened, who was present and their fates, and how we know about it. The seven chapters on the most infamous of the camps are also good, looking at when they were built, what happened at them, their eventual fate, and tracing the careers of some of main figures involved with each of them.

The final few chapters feel a bit random. The chapter on Female guards is interesting enough, but really just a random collection of biographies. When Did the Allies Know is rather too short and gets distracted. It’s an interesting question, but needed more space. 

The key question is who this book is aimed at. For me it serves as a good introduction to the topic, although would be better with a proper summary. It covers many of the main elements of the Holocaust, and doesn’t pull its punches.

1 – The Odessa Massacre
2 – The Wannsee Conference
3 – Operation Reinhard
4 – Operation Harvest Festival
5 – The Warsaw Ghetto
6 – Reinhard Heydrich
7 – Einstazgruppen
8 – Auschwitz
9 – Bergen-Belsen
10 – Neuengamme
11 – Belzec
12 – Sobibor
13 – Treblinka
14 – Dachau
15 – Female Nazi Guards
16 – When Did the Allies Know?
17 – Newspaper Articles
18 – Telegrams and Reports

Author: Stephen Wynn
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 168
Publisher: Pen & Sword Military
Year: 2020

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