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The Germans and the Holocaust: Popular Responses to the Persecution and Murder of the Jews

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Volume 6

Vermont Studies on Nazi Germany and the Holocaust

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The Germans and the Holocaust

Popular Responses to the Persecution and Murder of the Jews

Edited by Susanna Schrafstetter and Alan E. Steinweis

198 pages, 7 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78238-952-1 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (November 2015)

ISBN  978-1-78533-736-9 $27.95/£22.95 Pb Published (September 2017)

eISBN 978-1-78238-953-8 eBook

Hb Pb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook from these vendors Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“This volume brings to light fresh material from hitherto neglected primary sources, and also makes available in English some findings only previously available to German readers. Especially valuable is the careful evaluation and comparison of reports about life in Nazi Germany from Nazi perpetrators, Jewish victims, and foreign bystanders.” · Geoffrey J. Giles, University of Florida


For decades, historians have debated how and to what extent the Holocaust penetrated the German national consciousness between 1933 and 1945. How much did “ordinary” Germans know about the subjugation and mass murder of the Jews, when did they know it, and how did they respond collectively and as individuals? This compact volume brings together six historical investigations into the subject from leading scholars employing newly accessible and previously underexploited evidence. Ranging from the roots of popular anti-Semitism to the complex motivations of Germans who hid Jews, these studies illuminate some of the most difficult questions in Holocaust historiography, supplemented with an array of fascinating primary source materials.

Susanna Schrafstetter is Associate Professor of History at the University of Vermont. She is the author of two books about the history of nuclear non-proliferation, and has recently published Flucht und Versteck, a book about fugitive Jews in Munich and Bavaria during World War Two.

Alan E. Steinweis is the Miller Distinguished Professor of Holocaust Studies and director of the Miller Center for Holocaust Studies at the University of Vermont. His books include Studying the Jew: Scholarly Antisemitism in Nazi Germany and Kristallnacht 1938.

Subject: History: 20th Century to Present Jewish Studies Genocide History
Area: Germany


List of Abbreviations
List of Figures

Introduction: The German People and the Holocaust
Alan E. Steinweis and Susanna Schrafstetter

Chapter 1. Antisemitism in Germany, 1890-1933: How Popular Was It?
Richard S. Levy

Chapter 2. German Responses to the Persecution of the Jews as Reflected in Three Collections of Secret Reports
Frank Bajohr

Chapter 3. Indifference? Participation and Protest as Individual Responses to the Persecution of the Jews as Revealed in Berlin Police Logs and Trial Records, 1933-45
Wolf Gruner

Chapter 4. Babi Yar, but not Auschwitz: What Did Germans Know about the Final Solution?
Peter Fritzsche

Chapter 5. Submergence into Illegality: Hidden Jews in Munich, 1941-1945
Susanna Schrafstetter

Chapter 6. Where Did All “Our” Jews Go? Germans and Jews in Post-Nazi Germany
Atina Grossmann


  1. Proclamation of the Alliance against the Arrogance of Jewry, 1912
  2. Reports from American Diplomat George S. Messersmith to the State Department (Excerpts), 1933
  3. Police Precinct Report, Berlin, 1938
  4. Social Democratic Party (SoPaDe) Report on the November 1938 Pogrom (Excerpts), 1938
  5. Report from the Mayor of Amt Borgentreich to the Gestapo in Bielefeld (Excerpt), 1938
  6. SD Reports on German Popular Opinion during World War II (Excerpts), 1943-44
  7. Berlin Memories of Marcella Herrmann (Excerpt), Early 1940s
  8. Statement from Dr. Sophie Mayer (Excerpts), 1946
  9. Moses Moskowitz, “The Germans and the Jews: Postwar Report” (Excerpts), 1946


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