Archi­tects of the Holocaust

Dar­lene R. Stille
  • Review
By – August 30, 2011
Archi­tects of the Holo­caust presents the deeds of key lead­ers of the Ger­man gov­ern­ment and the Nazi regime. The book opens with Hitler’s rise to pow­er and the atmos­phere which allowed for it, includ­ing the after­math of World War I, Goebbels’s effec­tive pro­pa­gan­da, and youth recruit­ment. Inter­spersed are per­son­al nar­ra­tives by sur­vivors who wit­nessed the changes. The lat­ter half of the book dis­cuss­es con­cen­tra­tion and exter­mi­na­tion camps and the Nurem­berg tri­als and con­cludes with mod­ern reflec­tions on the atroc­i­ties. This book suc­ceeds in out­lin­ing a hor­rif­ic chap­ter in his­to­ry with­out over­sim­pli­fy­ing. The scale of the hor­rors per­pe­trat­ed against the Jew­ish peo­ple is nev­er min­i­mized, but the con­tent is han­dled in such a way that the audi­ence can grasp the events.

Enhanc­ing the text are numer­ous illus­tra­tions and pic­tures from the time, allow­ing stu­dents to visu­al­ize the archi­tects” as well as get a feel for the atroc­i­ties. Death and destruc­tion are implied through pho­tos of piles of rings, Nazi par­ty lead­ers, ghet­to life, pro­pa­gan­da, and peo­ple in con­cen­tra­tion camps. This short book, part of a series called The Holo­caust, pub­lished most­ly for school libraries, is an excel­lent sur­vey of the his­to­ry and main archi­tects as well as peo­ple liv­ing at the time. Ages 12 and up.
Dro­ra Arussy, Ed.D., is an edu­ca­tion­al con­sul­tant who spe­cial­izes in inte­grat­ing Jew­ish and sec­u­lar stud­ies, the arts into edu­ca­tion, and cre­ative teach­ing for excel­lence in Jew­ish edu­ca­tion. She is the moth­er to four school-age chil­dren and has taught from pre-school through adult. Dro­ra is an adjunct pro­fes­sor of Hebrew lan­guage at Drew University.

Discussion Questions