Nazi Germany and the Jews 1933-1945 – Saul Friedländer

This book is a must-read, and yet frightening on so many levels. Frightening because of the extreme cruelty, persecution and violence that was inflicted on the Jews, but not less frightening because the various churches didn’t speak out against it – only pockets of Christians protested and tried to do what they could. The institutions themselves showed their true colours – which begs the question, if the situation were to present itself today, would the churches do the same again? Quite possibly.  What’s also frightening is the denial. The Jews didn’t believe what was happening to them, and likewise German society didn’t either. It’s frightening what terrible things can happen in a civilised country. It’s frightening that we don’t learn from our mistakes. And it’s frightening that otherwise good people were part of the problem because they did precisely nothing. God forbid that it will happen again.

Beautifully written by a person who was involved at the time. He uses a lot of sources, mainly of people who were recording events in the hope that someone would find their writing after they had perished, and use it to broadcast the truth of the times. What’s particularly refreshing is that Mr Friedländer says it like it is, and calls a murder a murder.


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