Wednesday, October 19, 2016

★ Book Review: Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning ★

I apologize that this book review is so late. I had a lot on my plate and finally got a chance to writing it. I've been busy with college work, and also with my previous trip to Canada.  First, I want to give a back history as to why I chose this book. My Grandmother and Father are from Germany. My Grandmother had to endure the Nazi occupation and without touching on what could possibly be bad memories, I learned about the Holocaust through books, and film. I chose Timothy Snyder's book because I felt that the title, and the synopsis itself made a lot of sense and hit a personal . The Holocaust is a constant reminder of what had happened to innocent people who were placed under the barrel of a firing gun simply because the world wasn't going right for majority of the world.  I have read many books about the Holocaust but none like this where it takes the tragedy and makes it into a warning that we could use for future generations.  The layout of the book is quite simple and easy to follow. I found it most helpful with the maps being placed inside the book so you can gain a sense of geographical sense. Overall, this is one book I plan to have my future children read. I'm going to go over my favorite chapter which was chapter 8: The Auschwitz Paradox.  Auschwitz was one of the most famous interment camps, and also one that has always intrigued me, but this chapter had opened my eyes to the realization that we had somehow memorialize Auschwitz as one of the most famous concentration camps, when in fact, all of them should be recognized.

I'll go into detail some of the things I have learned from reading this book. Timothy Snyder goes into depth detail about how things really are. Timothy Snyder said  that Auschwitz is a prominent symbol of the Holocaust, and that there is no way that Germans did not know what was going on at Auschwitz. That they didn't know that there were mass murders that were committed every day.  On the other hand, if Auschwitz is all we think about when it comes to Holocaust history then we are at a lost, and the other concentration camps become obsolete as if Auschwitz was only the 7th large concentration camp in the reich. (P.G. 209)

I give this book 5 stars out of 5. The book is well laid out, and it wasn't jumping all over with the history. The commentary in it is straightforward, and it has facts to support it. I personally wished this was one of the books I got to read in high school because it was truly amazing, and an remarkable story. Very well informed, and educational. If you do have a deep interest in the history of the Holocaust, and want to learn more then I suggest this book.  I also think it's important that we educate our children about the Holocaust, and what happened. This book made me realize that the only way we can prevent a tragedy like this from ever happening is if we teach our children what took place, and how we can prevent it from happening. It'll also teach them that we are all human, and we all have to share this planet.

My favorite line from the book is at the end, and it says: We share Hitler's planet and several of his preoccupations, we have changed less than we think.    With today's events going on, I believe that this rings true. We are now placing a lot of blame on other cultures, races,  and religions because things are not going as we wanted them to go. I don't want to get political here, but there is someone who is now with the ideology of Hitler, and he must be stop, or else we're looking at another Holocaust, not against the Jewish community, but against other people because they are feeding into the fear of the nation. Please, I suggest picking this book up, and read it. It may or may not open your eyes to some things you'd never thought about.

Click here to learn more about the author of this book: Timothy Snyder

Click here to Purchase this book or to obtain more information: Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning

Other books about the Holocaust that I recommend:

  • Alicia: My Story by Alicia Appleman-Junman
  • The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank
  • Forgotten Voices of the Holocaust by Lyn Smith
  • Number the Stars by Lois Lowry


Disclaimer: I was given this book for free in exchange for my honest review.

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