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The Architect of Genocide
Himmler and the Final Solution
Richard Breitman

The Tauber Institute Series for the Study of European Jewry

1992 • 348 pp. 6 x 9"
Jewish Studies / Biography / Holocaust Studies

$40.00 Paperback, 978-0-87451-596-1

No sales to UK, Europe, Middle East, Japan, & South Africa

“This decisively important book should serve for years to come as required reading for all who wish to make sense of the Holocaust.”—The Nation

How Heinrich Himmler turned Hitler’s Nazi policy toward the Jews into horrific reality.

Among the Nazi leaders, Heinrich Himmler was, as Richard Breitman observes in this ground- breaking study, an easy man to underestimate—short, pudgy, near-sighted, chinless. Yet Himmler holds a peculiarly memorable place in the roster of Nazi war criminals: he was the man most closely associated with the creation and operation of the Final Solution, the programme of formal mass murder responsible for the deaths of six million Jews in death camps. Thus, to understand the Holocaust it is first necessary to understand Himmler, and it is this The Architect of Genocide at last permits us to do. Drawing on thousands of published and unpublished sources—ranging from the Nuremburg War Crimes trial records to papers held in the Central State Archives of the October Revolution of the Ukrainian SSR in Kiev—Breitman shows us the man himself, growing from unlikeable boyhood to be the perfect bureaucrat, seemingly the antithesis of the mad policies he espoused. At the same time, with unchallengeable authority, he presents us with the hitherto mysterious and much—debated facts about the origins of those policies, establishing among other things that before the war, Himmler had plans to murder all German Jews who would not- or could not—leave the country and that as early as 1939, Himmler was considering the use of gas chambers and crematoriums.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“Breitman’s book is decisively important... [It] should serve for years to come as required reading for all who wish to make sense of the Holocaust.”—Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, The New Republic

“A truly path-breaking book, one of the few that will have a lasting impact on historical research of the period. It shows both the primacy of Hitler as the motivating force in the mass murder, and the way in which his initiatives were accepted and internalized by the SS, on the basis of ideology.”—Yehuda Bauer, Holocaust and Genocide Studies

“Breitman’s research [is] meticulous. Especially valuable are his novel insights into the full and frequent communication between Himmler and Hitler, who, it is known, seldom signed an order.”—New York Times Book Review


Winner of the Fraenkel Prize in Contemporary History

RICHARD BREITMAN is the author or co-author of nine books and many articles in German history, U. S. history, and the Holocaust. Breitman teaches at American University and is editor of the journal Holocaust and Genocide Studies. He served as director of historical research for the Nazi War Criminal Records and Imperial Japanese Records Interagency Working Group, which helped to bring about declassification of more than eight million pages of U.S. government records under a 1998 law.

Thu, 14 Mar 2019 13:08:11 -0500