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German Railroads, Jewish Souls: The Reichsbahn, Bureaucracy, and the Final Solution

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German Railroads, Jewish Souls

The Reichsbahn, Bureaucracy, and the Final Solution

Christopher R. Browning, Peter Hayes and Raul Hilberg
Published in Association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

164 pages, 22 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78920-275-5 $149.00/£110.00 Hb Published (November 2019)

ISBN  978-1-78920-276-2 $19.95/£15.95 Pb Published (November 2019)

eISBN 978-1-78920-277-9 eBook

Hb Pb   Buy the eBook! $19.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“This important book unites three prominent scholars tackling crucial questions about German railways and the Holocaust. Two essays from the late, renowned Raul Hilberg investigate their overlooked role in the extermination of the European Jews. They provide groundbreaking investigations into the German railway as the prototype of a bureaucracy and challenge its supposed banality. While Christopher Browning eloquently situates Hilberg’s essays within the historical literature, Peter Hayes makes a detailed critique of the common but false belief that the deportation and annihilation of the Jews were more of a priority for the Nazis than the war effort. This question, arising from Hilberg’s essays, demonstrates the continued significance of his work today.” • Wolf Gruner, author, The Holocaust in Bohemia and Moravia: Czech Initiatives, German Policies, Jewish Responses


Renowned Holocaust scholar Raul Hilberg considered the German railway system that delivered European Jews to ghettos and death camps in Eastern Europe to be not only an essential component of the “machinery of destruction” but also emblematic of the amoral bureaucracy that helped to implement the Jewish genocide. German Railroads, Jewish Souls centers around Hilberg’s seminal essay of the same name, a landmark study of German railways in the Nazi era long unavailable in English. Supplemented with additional writings from Hilberg, primary source materials, and historical commentary from leading scholars Christopher Browning and Peter Hayes, this is a rich and accessible introduction to a topic in Holocaust history that remains understudied even today.

Raul Hilberg (1926-2007) was the founding scholar of Holocaust studies in the United States and the author of numerous publications, including the classic The Destruction of the European Jews. He taught at the University of Vermont from 1955 to 1991.

Christopher Browning is Frank Porter Graham Professor Emeritus at the University North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His books include Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland.

Peter Hayes is Theodore Zev Weiss Holocaust Educational Foundation Professor of Holocaust Studies Emeritus at Northwestern University. His most recent book is Why?: Explaining the Holocaust.

Subject: Jewish Studies Genocide History Transport Studies
Area: Germany


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