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The Anatomy of the Holocaust: Selected Works from a Life of Scholarship

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Volume 8

Vermont Studies on Nazi Germany and the Holocaust

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The Anatomy of the Holocaust

Selected Works from a Life of Scholarship

Raul Hilberg†
Edited by Walter H. Pehle and René Schlott

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246 pages, bibliog., index

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“With this compilation of essays and recollections, we […] once again come to know Hilberg as an immensely productive, curious and innovative historian.” • Süddeutsche Zeitung

“A volume of great humanity.” • Die Tageszeitung

“[Hilberg was] undoubtedly the most important pioneer in the field of perpetrator research, all of whose topics and controversies he anticipated in their essence.” • H-Soz-Kult


Though best known as the author of the landmark 1961 work The Destruction of the European Jews, the historian Raul Hilberg produced a variety of archival research, personal essays, and other works over a career that spanned half a century. The Anatomy of the Holocaust collects some of Hilberg’s most essential and groundbreaking writings—many of them published in obscure journals or otherwise inaccessible to nonspecialists—in a single volume. Supplemented with commentary and notes from Hilberg’s longtime German editor and his biographer, it not only offers a multifaceted look at the man and the scholar, but also traces the evolution of Holocaust research from a marginal subdiscipline into a diverse and vital intellectual project.

Raul Hilberg† 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 political science at the University of Vermont from 1955 to 1991. He passed away in 2007.

Walter H. Pehle studied in Cologne, Bonn and Düsseldorf, and holds a doctorate in history. From 1977 to 2011 he was an editor for history at the German publisher S. Fischer Verlag. Since 1988 he has served as the acquisitions editor for S. Fischer Verlag’s series “The Age of National Socialism”, which to date includes over 250 books. His own publications include, as volume editor, the anthology November 1938: From “Reichskristallnacht” to Genocide (Berg, 1991) and, together with Wolfgang Benz, Encyclopedia of German Resistance to the Nazi Movement (Continuum, 1997). He is an honorary professor at the University of Innsbruck.

René Schlott is a historian and researcher at the Centre for Contemporary History in Potsdam and teaches history at the universities of Potsdam and Berlin. He received his doctorate in 2011 from the University of Giessen and currently holds a postdoctoral fellowship focusing on the life, work, and legacy of Raul Hilberg. In 2017, he was awarded a three-year scholarship from the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung for his work on Hilberg.

Subject: Genocide Studies Jewish Studies WWII History
Area: Europe


Walter H. Pehle and René Schlott

Chapter 1. The Anatomy of the Holocaust
Chapter 2. German Motivations for the Destruction of the Jews
Chapter 3. The Bureaucracy of Annihilation
Chapter 4. The Significance of the Holocaust
Chapter 5. Incompleteness in Holocaust Historiography
Chapter 6. Bitburg as Symbol
Chapter 7. The Ghetto as a Form of Government
Chapter 8. The Judenrat: Conscious or Unconscious “Tool”
Chapter 9. I Was Not There
Chapter 10. The Holocaust Mission: July 29 to August 12, 1979
Chapter 11. In Search of the Special Trains
Chapter 12. Working on the Holocaust
Chapter 13. The Development of Holocaust Research: A Personal Overview


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