Books

The Holocaust by Laurence Rees

January 26th 2017 | Viking | Audiobooks | eBooks | Hardbacks

Photo: Martin Patmore

The Holocaust by the award-winning, bestselling historian Laurence Rees is the first authoritative and accessible account of the Holocaust in three decades, featuring 25 years’ worth of previously unpublished eyewitness testimony. This landmark work answers two of the most fundamental questions in history – how, and why, did the Holocaust happen?

Laurence Rees has spent twenty-five years meeting survivors and perpetrators of the Third Reich and the Holocaust. Now, in his magnum opus, he combines this testimony with the latest academic research to create the first accessible and authoritative account of the Holocaust in over three decades. Rees argues that whilst hatred of the Jews was always at the epicentre of Nazi thinking - and the Holocaust was the most appalling crime in history - what happened cannot be fully understood without considering the murder of the Jews alongside other Nazi plans to kill millions of non-Jews as well. He also reveals the inner machinations of the Nazi state and shows how there was no single “decision” to start the Holocaust; instead, a series of escalations cumulatively created the horror.

Through a chronological, intensely readable narrative, featuring the latest historical research and enthralling eyewitness testimony, this is the compelling story of humanity’s lowest point.

Laurence Rees is a former Head of BBC TV History programmes and Creative Director of BBC Television History, for whom he wrote, directed and produced several award-winning series on the Nazis and the Second World War. He also wrote the companion books, including "Auschwitz", which won History Book of the Year at the British Book Awards and is the world’s bestselling history of the camp.

‘By far the clearest book ever written about the Holocaust, and also the best at explaining its origins and grotesque mentality, as well as its chaotic development’
 - Antony Beevor

‘Anyone wanting a compelling, highly readable explanation of how and why the Holocaust happened, drawing on recent scholarship and impressively incorporating moving and harrowing interviews with victims as well as chilling accounts by perpetrators, need look no further than Rees’s brilliant book’
- Professor Sir Ian Kershaw

‘A masterpiece. Laurence Rees's best book yet. This riveting book traces every aspect of the Holocaust from its inception through to the liberation of the extermination camps. In compelling prose, Rees tells the full story of the most shameful period in the story of mankind’
- Andrew Roberts

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