Kristallnacht: Prelude to Destruction (Making History)

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9780007192403: Kristallnacht: Prelude to Destruction (Making History)

One of our most eminent historians presents a powerful look at the buildup to and aftermath of one of the most decisive moments of the Second World War – Kristallnacht – not only for the Jewish population suddenly identified as a group to be destroyed, but also in terms of the international response it inspired and its larger implications.

In KRISTALLNACHT, Martin Gilbert seamlessly combines a moving account of the suffering of the victims of the Nazi regime with a sophisticated analysis of the gradual process which made the horrors of the Third Reich possible. Broadening his canvas, Gilbert also powerfully depicts how the rest of the world failed Europe’s increasingly desperate Jewish population: in the aftermath to Kristallnacht almost every country was asked to help; most would not do so, despite the transport of a staggering 10,000 German Jewish children to Britain. This international indifference had direct implications for future German policy, while the events of Kristallnacht went on to radically influence the attitudes of governments – and people – outside Germany towards Nazism.

This is the third book to be published in the illustrious Making History Series edited by Lisa Jardine and Amanda Foreman, which examines a broad and eclectic range of history's most crucial turning points. Eminent guest writers have been invited to write on subjects about which they feel particularly passionate to create a collection of provocative and enlightening essays that provides a sweeping panorama of the past. The series sheds new light on familiar topics – Waterloo, Mussolini, the fall of the Aztecs – as well as uncovering more subtle shifts of fortune which went on to turn subsequent events on their head.

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Review:

Praise for EMPIRES IN CONFLICT:

‘Martin Gilbert is the most prodigious author of our time… He is a phenomenon who arouses envy among less productive professional historians… He has a fine eye for a telling passage and a memorable detail.’ John Ramsden, Financial Times

Praise for HISTORY OF THE 20TH CENTURY:

‘In his great work, the writing is lucid, the pace perfectly judged, the evidence vividly conjured. The horrors are heightened by a style of almost Confucian reticence, which teaches without didacticism. In Gilbert's vision of history, the vast range never blurs the human scale.’ Felipe Fernàndez-Armesto, Sunday Times

About the Author:

Martin Gilbert was born in London in 1936 and educated at Highgate School and Magdalen College, Oxford. In 1962, he became research assistant to Randolph Churchill and, after Randolph’s death, succeeded him as biographer of Sir Winston Churchill. He is the author of many works of history and lives in London and Jerusalem.

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