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The Seventh Million: The Israelis and the Holocaust [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Tom Segev , Haim Watzman
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14. November 2000
The Seventh Million is the first book to show the decisive impact of the Holocaust on the identity, ideology, and politics of Israel. Drawing on diaries, interviews, and thousands of declassified documents, Segev reconsiders the major struggles and personalities of Israel's past, including Ben-Gurion, Begin, and Nahum Goldmann, and argues that the nation's legacy has, at critical moments--the Exodus affair, the Eichmann trial, the case of John Demjanjuk--have been molded and manipulated in accordance with the ideological requirements of the state. The Seventh Million uncovers a vast and complex story and reveals how the bitter events of decades past continue to shape the experiences not just of individuals but of a nation. Translated by Haim Watzman.

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  • Taschenbuch: 593 Seiten
  • Verlag: Henry Holt; Auflage: Reprint (14. November 2000)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0805066608
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805066609
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 23,4 x 15,5 x 3,6 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 104.124 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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"Superb . . . Throws new light on the central trauma of Israeli society, and the uses and abuses of this trauma for political manipulation. I, for one, learned from this book that, in order to survive, societies must learn not only to remember but also to forget."--Amos Elon, author of Founders and Sons

"This book is indispensable reading for anyone interested in Israel's self-image and identity . . . Any further discussion of the Holocaust must confront Tom Segev's work."--George L. Mosse, author of Nazi Culture

"Frank and eye-opening . . . A valuable addition."--Lawrence L. Langer, The New York Times Book Review

"Richly documented and written with great passion."--Elie Wiesel, Los Angeles Times Book Review

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Tom Segev is a columnist for Ha'aretz, Israel's leading newspaper, and author of three works on the history of Israel, 1949: The First Israelis, The Seventh Million: The Israelis and the Holocaust, and One Palestine, Complete: Jews and Arabs under the British Mandate. He lives in Jerusalem.

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5.0 von 5 Sternen
5.0 von 5 Sternen
Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen
5.0 von 5 Sternen standard- und referenzwerk 17. Juli 2012
Von David
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
tom segev ist ein ausgewiesener experte auf seinem gebiet, der nüchtern analysiert, auswertet und berichtet.

dieses werk ist ein standard- und referenzwerk und bringt einem breiten publikum bislang unbekannte fakten und zusammenhänge ans licht und stellt sie mit bekannten in den richtigen kontext.

absolut empfehlenswert!
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Amazon.com: 4.5 von 5 Sternen  16 Rezensionen
48 von 53 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Israelis and the Holocaust 27. April 2003
Von Amazon Customer - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
In the the span of only two weeks, Jews mark three separate modern holidays: Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), Yom Hazikaron (Israel's Memorial Day), and Yom Ha'atzmaut (Israel's Independence Day). These holidays, while observed separately, share many commonalities. This is a book that combines the Holocaust with the State of Israel, focusing on the issue of communal memory.
It is no secret that the modern Jewish State would not be in existence without the Holocaust having occurred. Yet, we often do not consider the relationship between Israel and Israelis to the Holocaust. Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust museum has long been the first stop in Israel for visiting world leaders, and virtually no Jew who visits Israel leaves without stopping there. However, as author Tom Segev documents in his study of Israelis and the Holocaust, the story of Israel's response to the Holocaust and its commemoration of the greatest atrocity to humankind is not so simple. Looking at the role of the Yishuv (the Jewish community in pre-1948 Palestine) during the Holocaust, how Israelis received survivors in the early years of the nation, and the struggle to establish national memory, Segev tells the story of the Israeli path from contempt to acceptance, and finally to compassion and commemoration.
Israelis reacted very critically to Segev's controversial book when it first appeared in Israel in the late 1980s. By the time it was translated into English and brought to the American audience, much of the controversy had subsided, yet it still makes for an uncomfortable reading, as it is very critical of Israeli society in the first few decades following World War II. As Segev describes, most Israelis were of the belief that their European relatives walked "like sheep to the slaughter." Also telling of the Israeli sentiment toward the Holocaust was the moniker "sabon" (soap) given to survivors during the first decades of Israel's statehood, taken from the myth that the Nazis made soap from the skin of Jewish victims in the camps.
Segev writes passionately about the refugees who found themselves despised by a society devoted to heroism. The new Jewish nation wanted to focus on the heroes of the Holocaust who in the face of death rose up to revolt (note that Yom Hashoah takes place on the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising). Much of Israel's identity in the years after the Holocaust was defined by the trial of Adolf Eichmann in Israel, the secret negotiations between Germany and Israel over reparation payments (how much for a human life?), and the revenge schemes against former Nazis (including a plot to poison the water systems of major German cities hoping to exact the same outcome on six million Germans). The decisions to create a national day of memory and to construct a Holocaust museum were major controversies in Israel. The focus was to be not on the sorrow of the demise of European Jewry, but rather on the stories of courage by some who chose to fight back. After all, to the brave young pioneers, the Holocaust was nothing short of embarrassment to the Jewish people.
This controversial and compelling book shows the divisive impact of the Holocaust on the identity, ideology, and politics of Israel. Segev was able to use many documents, previously classified by the Israeli government, for his research, and for this reason, many of his stories will come as a surprise to the reader. Was David Ben-Gurion involved in secret negotiations to buy Jews out of the camps? How did Prime Minister Menachem Begin's "survivor syndrome" affect his governing of Israel? In The Seventh Million, Segev answers these questions and expertly shows how the Holocaust continued to shape the experience not only of the individuals who experienced it, but also the experience of an entire nation.
It has taken much healing and newfound understanding for Israel to confront the Holocaust. We can now see how meaningful it is that immediately after Passover (our national commemoration of our ancestors' exodus from Egypt), we first remember our six million European ancestors, and then a week later, we pay homage to those who fell while defending our Jewish homeland only to advance to joy and merriment the next day celebrating another year of Israel's independence. As we learn from this important book, we must not take these acts of commemoration for granted.
20 von 22 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A History of Israel With Broad Implications 21. September 2006
Von Jan Peczkis - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
This one volume focuses on Israel from before its beginnings as a nation until the early 1990's. Owing to the breadth of this book, this review is necessarily limited to a small fraction of its content. Its content sheds light on many issues, including ones not explicitly elaborated in the book.

On the origins of the Holocaust, Segev comments: "Scholars of the Holocaust know of no extermination order signed by Hitler...David Ben-Gurion said that no one needed official announcements to know that Hitler intended to exterminate the Jews--it was all in Mein Kampf. All that people had to do was read the book." (p. 79). This, of course, undermines the common argument that Germans did not understand what they were doing when they freely voted for Hitler.

Segev's book sheds light on the world's reaction to early news of the Holocaust. David Engel has criticized the Polish government-in-exile for allegedly being slow and low-keyed in publicizing the extermination of Polish Jews, and then doing so only within the context of other wartime events (all because of ulterior motives). It is therefore interesting to note that comparable accusations could be made against Jewish sources in Palestine at the time. As Segev writes: "The newspapers generally published such Jewish stories beside the major reports from the war fronts, as if they were only a local angle on the real drama. From a professional point of view, the newspapers missed one of the biggest stories of the century." (p. 73). And, "...the Revisionists charged that the Mapai leadership had known about the extermination of Jews for months and had deliberately kept the public in the dark. Their silence had been intended to conceal their own failure, the Revisionists claimed..." (pp. 78-79).

Segev wades into controversial issues. He tackles Jewish passivity as follows: "Yitzhak Gruenbaum said, while the Holocaust was still at its height, that the fact that the Jews of Poland 'had not found in their souls the courage' to defend themselves filled him with a feeling of 'stinging mortification.'" (p. 109). Segev also discusses the Judenrat, and focuses harshly on Jewish collaborators: "The kapos had authority to impose punishments; many were notorious for their cruelty. 'Every one of them murdered, ' Dov Shilansky related. 'The Jews who worked for the Germans, and almost every Jew with even the ribbon of a deputy kapo on his arm, murdered---all but an exceptional few.'" (p. 259).

Segev elaborates on efforts to free the Jews from Nazi-ruled Europe, including the unfulfilled Europa Plan (p. 91) and Trucks-for-Blood proposal (p. 93); as well as the successful Kastner-Eichmann deal, in which 1, 685 Jews were freed (p. 265) to go to neutral Switzerland. Based on Document D. I 5753, housed in the Bundesarchiv Koblenz (p. 534), Segev comments: "And the idea of trading Jews for ransom was not, apparently, foreign even to Adolf Hitler himself. A memo Heinrich Himmler wrote on December 10, 1942, states that Hitler agreed to the exchange deals, on condition that they bring Germany large amounts of foreign currency." (p. 96). The potential and actual freeing of Jews by Nazis contradicts the claim of Holocaust uniqueness, which posits that, unlike the situation of non-Jews, the killing of EVERY SINGLE Jew was the Nazi goal, and furthermore that this was the very highest of Nazi objectives. Along the same lines, columnist Boaz Evron is mentioned as rejecting the claim that the extermination of Jews had been a unique Nazi crime (p. 402). He cites the non-Jewish victims of the Nazis and the fact that the Germans intended eventually to exterminate other peoples besides the Jews.

Segev's description of the red tape that Holocaust survivors encountered in securing German reparations (pp. 246-248) rings true. My father, a former inmate of the concentrations camps at Dachau and Gross Rosen, had the same experience.

Some recent authors (e. g., Jan Thomas Gross) would have us believe that the Zydokomuna (Jewish Communism) was something between imaginary and insignificant. Such was emphatically not the attitude of early Israeli leaders: "Thus the Joint Distribution Committee continually came under attack in the Zionist executive for helping Jews build new lives in Europe. 'I feel the danger of the Communist vermin uniting with the Joint,' Ben Gurion said. He called the Jewish Communists of eastern Europe 'the dregs of Judaism.'" (p. 129).

In this book, common Polonophobic views stand in contrast with some reasonable ones, including those related to the subject of the victims of Auschwitz. Segev writes: "Teveth attacked the Poles for concealing from visitors to Auschwitz the fact that most of those murdered there had been Jews...Shalmi Barmor tried to explain to the students that the Poles were not guilty of the murder of the Jews. Indeed, the Poles felt they had been defeated in the war---they had traded the Nazi conquest for a Soviet occupation. Anti-Semitism in Poland should not be ignored, Barmor told his students, but he emphasized that the Poles considered the mass murder of the Jews part of their Polish national tragedy. The students argued with him. 'Someone, after all, has to be guilty of the Holocaust,' one of them said. 'We have to hate someone, and we've already made up with the Germans.'" (pp. 491-492). Although not developed further by Segev, the common displacement of Jewish anger over the Holocaust from the Germans to the Poles, besides being an act of historical revisionism that parallels that of Holocaust denial, is a discouraging portent for the future.

It turns out that the Carmelite convent controversy had been fuelled, in part, by old-fashioned politics: "Riegner said that Auschwitz was not only a national memorial belonging to the Jewish people that should not be taken by anyone else; it was also an important political asset. Among other things, it served the diplomatic efforts of both the World Jewish Congress and Israel." (p. 474).
12 von 13 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen a rare and interesting view 21. Februar 2003
Von Seth J. Frantzman - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Segev, renowned for his other books 'One Palistine: Complete' and '1949 the First Isrealis' has tackled a subject that to my knowledge has never been fully documented in another single book.
the only problem with this book is that Segev is a biased writer, coming from the left of Isreali politics and taking a decidedly revisionist tone in his documenting the birth of the Isreali state. nevertheless this book is the finer of the three he has written for it documents such interesting aspects of the holocaust as the Eichman trial, the Kastern affair, the Havarra agreements and the treatment german jews(Yekkes) recieved on arrival in palistine. He rigourously documents a myriad of sources and illuminates the struggle that Isreal has gone through to come to grips with the Holocaust.
I strongly recommend this book because it touches on so many subjects and no other account will provide the reader with such a variety of historical events, from retribution to reparations.
10 von 11 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Excellent! Very Well Done! 28. September 2005
Von Jeff - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
I'm biased. I am a huge Tom Segev fan. I have read all of his books now and am amazed by his objectivity and thoroughness in research. This is not a book about the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. This is a book about the psyche of the Israeli state and experience. Very well done! I would highly recommend this, and any Tom Segev book to any student of the state of Israel and the modern Middle East.
6 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen The Holocaust As Viewed By The Israelis 25. September 2008
Von voracious reader - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
This is one of the better translations from Hebrew to English. Nevertheless, I think that the same topic could be covered in a twenty page essay. The author did not need over 500 pages to discuss the odd juxtaposition of the holocaust and the ideals responsible for the creation of the state of Israel. Perhaps, some readers will be fascinated by the machinations of the various factions in the birth and development of the state of Israel. However, I found it somewhat boring. Clearly, the Israeli Jewish society before statehood looked forward to physically strong and fit young citizens who could work their farms and populate their armies. They wanted the best and the brightest. Instead many of their immigrants were the broken, physically and mentally damaged victims of the holocaust. The Israelis did not need professionals and business men and women who could not speak the language. Nevertheless, much like all immigrants who come to a country, they were the persecuted, disenfranchised, and poor.
Again in the 80's they took in many Russian immigrants who did not speak the language. Many of them were educated, but not neccessarily in a field that was relevant in Israel at the time. The great scientists and artists of the day did not come. They were welcomed into the U.S or some other country with a stable economy, a bright future, and no security problems.
The Israel of the pioneers was composed of so many factions each with their own philosopy that it is a wonder they became a single country. Still they pulled together for their common cause of an independant Jewish state. I have heard it said that if there are three Israelis in a group, there will be four opinions. This book is illustrative of that view. Their were communists, socialists, religious groups and others. I just think the book was too long. It is very well documented with pages of footnotes. However, clearly this author was paid by the word. Perhaps, Israeli citizens will find the book more interesting, because they will be familiar with the competing political groups and dynamics of Israeli life.
I do think that Segev believes that the Israeli pioneers could have done more to save the Jews from the ravages of the holocaust. However, unless, other countries like the U.S. would have agreed to accept the Jewish refugees, I don't think they would have been very effective. England could certainly have allowed more to emigrate to Israel. This is a failure of the free world and regardless of the efforts or views of the Yishuv, they would have perished. I don't think that the information I learned was worth the time.
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