Author(s): Gotz Aly
Countless people have grappled with these questions, but few have come up with answers as original and perceptive as those of German historian Gotz Aly. Tracing the prehistory of the Holocaust, from the 1800s to the Nazis' assumption of power in 1933, Aly shows that German anti-Semitism did not originate with racist ideology or religious animosity, as is often supposed. Instead, through striking statistics and economic analysis, he demonstrates that it was rooted in a more basic emotion: material envy. Resenting the success of the urban, well-educated Jewish minority in the rapidly modernizing world, Germans embraced compensatory theories of Jewish racial inferiority. And the growing resentment, pervading society, provided fertile ground for Hitler and his genocidal politics.
"Brilliant, passionate, provocative."--Micha Brumlik, "Die Zeit""Consistently absorbing ... a penetrating and provocative study [that] offers shrewd insight into the German mindset over the last two centuries."--"The Jewish Daily Forward""The most important contribution to the massive literature on the subject. Aly's analysis of a deeply rooted social malady has made the incomprehensible comprehensible."--Michael Blumenthal, director of the Jewish Museum Berlin
Gotz Aly is the author of "Hitler's Beneficiaries" and" Into the Tunnel," among other books. One of the most respected historians of the Third Reich and the Holocaust, he has received the National Jewish Book Award, Germany's prestigious Heinrich Mann Prize, and numerous other honors. He is currently the Sir Peter Ustinov guest professor at the University of Vienna.