The Origins of the Final Solution: The Evolution of Nazi Jewish Policy, September 1939-March 1942

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University of Nebraska Press, 2004 - 615 pages
Published by the University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, and Yad Vashem, Jerusalem

In 1939, the Nazi regime’s plans for redrawing the demographic map of Eastern Europe entailed the expulsion of millions of Jews. By the fall of 1941, these plans had shifted from expulsion to systematic and total mass murder of all Jews within the Nazi grasp. The Origins of the Final Solution is the most detailed and comprehensive analysis ever written of what took place during this crucial period—of how, precisely, the Nazis’ racial policies evolved from persecution and “ethnic cleansing” to the Final Solution of the Holocaust.

Focusing on the months between the German conquest of Poland in September 1939–which brought nearly two million additional Jews under Nazi control—and the beginning of the deportation of Jews to the death camps in the spring of 1942, Christopher R. Browning describes how Poland became a laboratory for experiments in racial policies, from expulsion and decimation to ghettoization and exploitation under local occupation authorities. He reveals how the subsequent attack on the Soviet Union opened the door for an immense radicalization of Nazi Jewish policy—and marked the beginning of the Final Solution. Meticulously documenting the process that led to this fatal development, Browning shows that Adolf Hitler was the key decision-maker throughout, approving major escalations in Nazi persecution of the Jews at victory-induced moments of euphoria. Thoroughly researched and lucidly written, this groundbreaking work provides an essential chapter in the history of the Holocaust.

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User Review  - AuntieCatherine - LibraryThing

A detailed, punctilious description of the way the brutality of the German invasion of Poland, Russian and the Baltic States spiralled into genocide. Difficult to read but necessary to dispel some of ... Read full review

The origins of the Final Solution: the evolution of Nazi Jewish policy, September 1939-March 1942

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Browning (history, Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) argues that while the Nazis' effort to find a Final Solution to their self-created Jewish Question was inherent in their ideology, we cannot ... Read full review


The Search for a Final Solution through Expulsion 19391941
The Polish Ghettos

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About the author (2004)

Christopher R. Browning is Frank Porter Graham Professor of History at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill. He is the author of numerous books on Nazism and the Holocaust, including Nazi Policy, Jewish Workers, German Killers and Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland.

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