History Martin Gilbert Atlas of the Holocaust

ISBN 13: 9780688123642

Atlas of the Holocaust

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9780688123642: Atlas of the Holocaust

Maps trace each phase of the Holocaust from random killings and expulsion from towns and villages, to the setting up of ghettos and death camps

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About the Author:

Sir Martin Gilbert, the author of many historical works, was appointed official biographer of Sir Winston Churchill in 1968. He wrote six of the eight volumes of the landmark biographical series and also compiled ten volumes of Churchill documents. In addition, he is the author of a definitive history of the Holocaust, a series of twelve historical atlases, and comprehensive studies of both World War I and World War II. He is married with three children and lives in London. Since 1962, he has been a Fellow of Merton College, Oxford (an Honorary Fellow since 1994). He was knighted in 1995.

From Booklist:

First published by Macmillan (1982) and later by Pergamon (1988), Atlas of the Holocaust features 316 black-and-white maps showing "in chronological sequence, the destruction of each of the main Jewish communities of Europe, as well as acts of resistance and revolt, avenues of escape and rescue, and the fate of individuals." Written by a preeminent historian (Gilbert has written several books on the Holocaust and is the official biographer of Churchill), the atlas presents a chilling portrait--using primarily maps rather than pictures--of one nation's attempt to wipe out an entire people.

After the list of maps and a key to special symbols used on them, Gilbert's brief introduction features a map that shows a personal portrait of the fate of 17 people out of the 6,000,000 killed. The atlas proper opens with a map depicting anti-Jewish violence before World War I and continues chronologically from there. Maps typically include numbers of Jews living in an individual country, town, or village before the Holocaust; the number seeking refuge in a place; or the number executed in a place. Maps vary greatly in general themes and are not all devoted to the more infamous mass executions. "The Hirschsprung Family Deported, 15 September 1942," for example, traces the movement of one family. The atlas graphically depicts how wide-ranging the Holocaust was. All maps are accompanied by very readable text, and approximately 50 photographs are spread throughout the book.

A comparison with the 1982 Macmillan work reveals that there has not been any revision to the maps or to the text accompanying them. All maps in this volume, in fact, bear a 1982 copyright. The bibliography--a superb nine-page list of unpublished and published sources--has likewise not been updated, failing, for example, to cite the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust. The only addition to the previous printings of this work are two indexes: a 23-page index of places, which gives map numbers for each listed on a map, and a four-page index of individuals mentioned in the text. They are great improvements over the 1982 index, which listed only the principal camps and mass-murder sites.

Libraries owning a previous edition of this work may not find it necessary to purchase this newer printing, save for the convenience of having a good index. However, given the extremely reasonable price of this volume, the atlas constitutes an exceptional value and deserves a place in every high school, public, and academic library. The text accompanying the maps may even warrant the purchase of an additional copy for the circulating collection.

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