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Masters of Death: The SS-Einsatzgruppen and the Invention of the Holocaust

Masters of Death: The SS-Einsatzgruppen and the Invention of the Holocaust

Written by Richard Rhodes

Narrated by Neil Hellegers


Masters of Death: The SS-Einsatzgruppen and the Invention of the Holocaust

Written by Richard Rhodes

Narrated by Neil Hellegers

ratings:
4/5 (6 ratings)
Length:
14 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Mar 21, 2017
ISBN:
9781541470378
Format:
Audiobook

Description

In Masters of Death, Richard Rhodes gives full weight, for the first time, to the Einsatzgruppen's role in the Holocaust. These "special task forces," organized by Heinrich Himmler to follow the German army as it advanced into eastern Poland and Russia, were the agents of the first phase of the Final Solution. They murdered more than 1.5 million men, women, and children between 1941 and 1943, often by shooting them into killing pits, as at Babi Yar.

These massive crimes have been generally overlooked or underestimated by Holocaust historians, who have focused on the gas chambers. In this painstaking account, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Rhodes profiles the eastern campaign's architects as well as its "ordinary" soldiers and policemen, and helps us understand how such men were conditioned to carry out mass murder. Marshaling a vast array of documents and the testimony of perpetrators and survivors, this book is an essential contribution to our understanding of the Holocaust and World War II.
Publisher:
Released:
Mar 21, 2017
ISBN:
9781541470378
Format:
Audiobook


About the author

Richard Rhodes is the author of numerous books and the winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award. He graduated from Yale University and has received fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Appearing as host and correspondent for documentaries on public television’s Frontline and American Experience series, he has also been a visiting scholar at Harvard and MIT and is an affiliate of the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University. Visit his website: RichardRhodes.com

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4.2
6 ratings / 2 Reviews
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  • (2/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    This is a glorified highschool essay. Almost the entire book consists of strung-together quotes of other historians' work. If it is well-written it is because other authors and memoirists wrote well.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (5/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    This book is definitely not for the faint of heart! Little has been written about the Einsatzgruppen, the mobile killing squads, in large part because their story is so gruesome. One passage that stood out particularly in my mind was a story about how a bunch of Jews, including women and children, were pushed into a pit and then slaked lime was poured over them. Slaked lime is a powerful corrosive and these people essentially dissolved while fully alive. Their sufferings were so awful that not even the Einsatzgruppen tried that again.This is a very well-researched and -written book, thorough but fairly short, and the author has some interesting theories about how "ordinary men" were driven to kill unarmed civilians over and over. I would recommend, but with the caveat that it's not for the squeamish.

    1 person found this helpful