A comprehensive history of the Nazi persecution and murder of European Jews, paying detailed attention to an unrivalled range sources. Focusing clearly on the perpetrators and exploring closely the process of decision making, Longerich argues that anti-Semitism was not a mere by-product of the Nazis' political mobilization or an attempt to deflect the attention of the masses, but that anti-Jewish policy was a central tenet of the Nazi movement's attempts to implement, disseminate, and secure National Socialist rule - and one which crucially shaped Nazi policy decisions, from their earliest days in power through to the invasion of the Soviet Union and the Final Solution. As Longerich shows, the 'disappearance' of Jews was designed as a first step towards a racially homogeneous society - first within the 'Reich', later in the whole of a German-dominated Europe.
Peter Longerich is Professor of Modern German History and Director of the Research Centre for the Holocaust and Twentieth-Century History at Royal Holloway, University of London. He has published widely on the subject, in English and German, including The Unwritten Order: Hitler's Role in the Final Solution, and The Systematic Character of the National Socialist Policy for the Extermination of the Jews. The latter formed part of his Expert Opinion
in the notorious David Irving v. Penguin/Lipstadt trial. He is currently working on a biography of SS leader Heinrich Himmler.