Eber, Irene. The Choice: Poland, 1939-1945 (Shocken, 2004).
In 1980, at the age of fifty, Irene Eber returned to her father’s hometown of Mielec, Poland, where she and her middle-class Jewish family had first gone in 1938 when they were expelled one evening from their home in Germany. Her journey back would unleash a life’s worth of memories, and the result is this extraordinary book. Eber re-creates life in wartime Mielec: the rivalries and opportunism, the acts of courage and generosity, the constant fear borne by the Jewish community, and the moment in 1942 when the Germans marched all of Mielec’s Jews out of town and toward the death camps. And she reveals what was perhaps the defining decision of her life: when an opportunity arose for her to escape, Irene left, despite her father’s desperate wish that the family stay together. Thus began her life-long journey toward reconciling her lifesaving grasp at freedom with her heartbreaking separation from her family, setting her on a path to self-acceptance.
Edsel, Robert M. with Bret Witter. The Monuments Men (Center Street, 2009).
At the same time Adolf Hitler was attempting to take over the western world, his armies were methodically seeking and hoarding the finest art treasures in Europe. The Fuehrer had begun cataloguing the art he planned to collect as well as the art he would destroy: "degenerate" works he despised. In a race against time, behind enemy lines, often unarmed, a special force of American and British museum directors, curators, art historians, and others, called the Momuments Men, risked their lives scouring Europe to prevent the destruction of thousands of years of culture. Focusing on the eleven-month period between D-Day and V-E Day, this fascinating account follows six Monuments Men and their impossible mission to save the world's great art from the Nazis.
Edsel, Robert M. Rescuing Da Vinci: Hitler and the Nazis Stole Europe's Great Art (Laurel Publications, 2006).
During and following WWII, a special multinational group of more than 350 men and women served behind enemy lines and joined frontline military units to ensure the preservation, protection, liberation and restitution of the world's greatest artistic and cultural treasures. This "band of unsung heroes," formally referred to as the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives (MFAA) section, or commonly referred to as the "Monuments Men," worked tirelessly to track down, identify and catalogue millions of priceless works of art and irreplaceable cultural artifacts, including masterpieces by Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Rembrandt and Vermeer, that had been stolen by Hitler and the Nazis.
The story of the Monuments Men, including their heroics and exploits in rescuing and safeguarding many of the world's greatest artworks for the benefit of mankind, has never before been fully revealed until now, with the publication of Rescuing Da Vinci, an exhaustively researched historical account written by Robert M. Edsel. Mr. Edsel can best be described as a successful athlete and business entrepreneur turned modern day "Indiana Jones." Mr. Edsel has dedicated the last five years of his life to painstaking and far-reaching research to unravel the secrets of the Monuments Men and, in so doing, to make the world aware of their unprecedented contributions, both during and after WWII, and to ensure that these unsung heroes receive appropriate recognition from the United States government, as well as the broad public.
The detailed documentation, inventories and photographs developed and catalogued by the Monuments Men during and following World War II, have made possible, and continue to make possible, the restitution of stolen artworks of to rightful owners and their descendents. Long after WWII, many Monuments Men went on to become renowned directors and curators of preeminent international cultural institutions, including the National Gallery of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Toledo Museum of Art and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, among many others, as well as professors at esteemed universities such as Harvard, Yale, Princeton, New York University, Williams College and Columbia University. Others became founders, presidents, and members of associations such as the New York City Ballet, the American Museum Association, the American Association of Museum Directors, the Archaeological Institute of America, the Society of Architectural Historians, the American Society of Landscape Architects, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as respected architects, archivists, artists and musicians.
"Mr. Edsel's book is captivating in several respects, from the graphic, garish reminders of the faces of the great plunderers, to the singular beauty of the art they sought to steal. And it is a high and overdue memorial to the "Monuments Men," who did the herculean job of tracking down and repatriating the great art." -- William F. Buckley Jr.
Ehrenreich, Eric. The Nazi Ancestral Proof: Genealogy, Racial Science, and the Final Solution (Indiana University Press, 2007).
How could Germans, inhabitants of the most scientifically advanced nation in the world in the early 20th century, have espoused the inherently unscientific racist doctrines put forward by the Nazi leadership? Eric Ehrenreich traces the widespread acceptance of Nazi policies requiring German individuals to prove their Aryan ancestry to the popularity of ideas about eugenics and racial science that were advanced in the late Imperial and Weimar periods by practitioners of genealogy and eugenics. After the enactment of Nazi racial laws in the 1930s, the Reich Genealogical Authority, employing professional genealogists, became the providers and arbiters of the ancestral proof. This is the first detailed study of the operation of the ancestral proof in the Third Reich and the link between Nazi racism and earlier German genealogical practices. The widespread acceptance of this racist ideology by ordinary Germans helped create the conditions for the Final Solution.
Eisenhower, Dwight David. Crusade in Europe (The Johns Hopkins University Press, Reprint edition, 1997).
Five-star General Dwight D. Eisenhower was arguably the single most important military figure of World War II. For many historians, his memoirs of this eventful period of U.S. history have become the single most important record of the war. Crusade in Europe tells the complete story of the war as Eisenhower planned and lived it. Through his eyes, the enormous scope and drama of the war—strategy, battles, moments of fateful decision--become fully illuminated in all their fateful glory. Yet this is also a warm and richly human account. Ike recalls the long months of waiting, planning, and working toward victory in Europe. His personal record of the tense first hours after he had issued the order to attack--and there was no turning back—leaves no doubt of Eisenhower's travail and reveals this great man in ways that no biographer has ever surpassed.
Erenberger, Timothy. Grandfather's Tale: The Tale of a German Sniper (Universe Star, 2001).
Grandfather’s Tale is the story of Georg’s transformation from reluctant new soldier into a master sniper. Georg fought in dozens of battles in several countries, including Poland, Belgium, the Soviet Union, Crete, Italy and Germany. After proving himself to be an exceptional sniper, he joined a special team of German paratroopers. This group of expert soldiers was parachuted into Eben Emael, the strongest single fortress in the world! Georg's story is one of adventure and survival under extreme circumstances, including the brutal Soviet winter, and the final battle, the Battle of Berlin. Join Georg as he recounts his harrowing experiences to his grandson, in hopes that he may learn the lessons of war, and not repeat them.
Evans, Richard. The Third Reich in Power (Penguin, Reprint edition, 2006).
This magnificent second volume of Richard J. Evans’s three-volume history of Nazi Germany was hailed by Benjamin Schwartz of the Atlantic Monthly as “the definitive English-language account... gripping and precise.” It chronicles the incredible story of Germany’s radical reshaping under Nazi rule. As those who were deemed unworthy to be counted among the German people were dealt with in increasingly brutal terms, Hitler’s drive to prepare Germany for the war that he saw as its destiny reached its fateful hour in September 1939. The Third Reich in Power is the fullest and most authoritative account yet written of how, in six years, Germany was brought to the edge of that terrible abyss.
Evans, Richard J. Rituals of Retribution: Capital Punishment in Germany, 1600-1987 (Penguin UK, 1999).
The state has no greater power over its own citizens than that of killing them. This book examines the use of that supreme sanction in Germany, from the seventeenth century to the present. Richard Evans analyses the system of traditional' capital punishments set out in German law, and the ritual practices and cultural readings associated with them by the time of the early modern period. He shows how this system was challenged by Enlightenment theories of punishment and broke down under the impact of secularization and social change in the first half of the nineteenth century. The abolition of the death penalty became a classic liberal case which triumphed, if only momentarily, in the 1848 Revolution. In Germany far more than anywhere else in Europe, capital punishment was identified with anti-liberal, authoritarian concepts of sovereignty. Its definitive reinstatement by Bismarck in the 1880s marked not only the defeat of liberalism but also coincided with the emergence of new, Social Darwinist attitudes towards criminality which gradually changed the terms of debate. The triumph of these attitudes under the Nazis laid the foundations for the massive expansion of capital punishment which took place during Hitler's Third Reich'. After the Second World War, the death penalty was abolished, largely as a result of a chance combination of circumstances, but continued to be used in the Stalinist system of justice in East Germany until its forced abandonment as a result of international pressure exerted in the regime in the 1970s and 1980s. This remarkable and disturbing book casts new light on the history of German attitudes to law, deviance, cruelty, suffering and death, illuminating many aspects of Germany's modern political development. Using sources ranging from folksongs and ballads to the newly released government papers from the former German Democratic Republic, Richard Evans scrutinizes the ideologies behind capital punishment and comments on interpretations of the history of punishment offered by writers such as Foucault and Elias. He has made a formidable contribution not only to scholarship on German history but also to the social theory of punishment, and to the current debate on the death penalty.