The Holocaust: The Fate Of European Jewry

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The Holocaust: The Fate Of European Jewry

By Leni Yahil
Oxford, 1990
808 pp. $35.00

An Israeli historian attempts a comprehensive survey of the horror in all its phases and places. The book, based on an impressive command of the vast secondary literature, focuses on the varied responses of the victims, and on the still-controversial and largely hopeless role of the Jewish councils organized by the Germans or their collaborators. Efforts at resistance and rescue are also detailed. The book is episodic, marred by errors and simplifications of history and by lapses in translation. It is written from the perspective of the end, thus unintentionally slighting the uncertainties of the victims. It is an avowedly Zionist interpretation, arguing implicitly that the Holocaust proves the categorical necessity for the existence of a Jewish state.

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