Before Auschwitz: Jewish Prisoners in the Prewar Concentration Camps

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9780674967595: Before Auschwitz: Jewish Prisoners in the Prewar Concentration Camps

Auschwitz―the largest and most notorious of Hitler’s concentration camps―was founded in 1940, but the Nazis had been detaining Jews in camps ever since they came to power in 1933. Before Auschwitz unearths the little-known origins of the concentration camp system in the years before World War II and reveals the instrumental role of these extralegal detention sites in the development of Nazi policies toward Jews and in plans to create a racially pure Third Reich.

Investigating more than a dozen camps, from the infamous Dachau, Buchenwald, and Sachsenhausen to less familiar sites, Kim Wünschmann uncovers a process of terror meant to identify and isolate German Jews in the period from 1933 to 1939. The concentration camp system was essential to a regime then testing the limits of its power and seeking to capture the hearts and minds of the German public. Propagandized by the Nazis as enemies of the state, Jews were often targeted for arbitrary arrest and then routinely subjected to the harshest treatment and most punishing labor assignments in the camps. Some of them were murdered. Over time, shocking accounts of camp life filtered into the German population, sending a message that Jews were different from true Germans: they were portrayed as dangerous to associate with and fair game for acts of intimidation and violence.

Drawing on a wide range of previously unexplored archives, Before Auschwitz explains how the concentration camps evolved into a universally recognized symbol of Nazi terror and Jewish persecution during the Holocaust.

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About the Author:

Kim Wünschmann is DAAD Lecturer in Modern European History at the University of Sussex.

Review:

An impressive, well-written study of a little-known chapter in the persecution of the Jews in Nazi Germany. Wünschmann has carried out prodigious archival research, unearthing all kinds of interesting and troubling material, particularly on the fate of Jewish citizens who were sent to the camps without trial and held without rights in what the police euphemistically called ‘protective custody.’ Her book will certainly find a wide readership. (Robert Gellately, author of Stalin’s Curse: Battling for Communism in War and Cold War)

Wünschmann presents a skillfully narrated, analytically rigorous, tightly argued look at the prewar camp system and, more importantly, its immediate impact on the fate of German Jewry. She convincingly asserts that in the formative phase of the evolving system of terror, actions directed against Jews were of central importance to a regime then testing the limits of its expanding power while seeking maximum influence over the hearts and minds of the German public as a whole. Wünschmann persuasively argues that a fresh examination of this early phase in the history of the concentration camps can tell us much about how, feeling its way, yet possessed of an unwavering sense of its mission to root out internal enemies and enact institutional violence, the regime was gaining both experience and strength for even greater transgressions to come. (Gordon Horwitz, author of Ghettostadt: Łódź and the Making of a Nazi City)

Wünschmann’s fine study argues persuasively that the main purpose of incarcerating German Jews prior to 1939 was to intimidate them into emigration...This is an assiduously researched, rigorously considered and carefully argued book. It combines this rigor with a thoroughly humane perspective on the experiences of the victims, whose sense of horror at early murders and outrage at the denial of their own often deeply felt German identity is captured in Wünschmann’s sensitive treatment of sometimes quite difficult material...Indeed, her vivid discussion of the experiences of a wide variety of individuals serves as an uncomfortable reminder of just how prone historians still are to reproducing the homogenising, dehumanising category of ‘the Jews’ when discussing the Holocaust. Not least for this reason, Wünschmann’s book is to be highly commended. (Neil Gregor Times Higher Education 2015-04-30)

[An] excellent monograph. (Richard Evans New York Review of Books 2015-07-09)

This book is a thorough exploration of the relationship between the prewar Nazi German concentration camps and the Jews who were imprisoned in them between 1933 and 1939. Wünschmann has harvested significant data from a large variety of archival sources, as well as survivor testimonies and postwar trial records. She details how the concentration camps served to reinforce and shape the Nazi German regime in its first years, and how they began to show rudimentary patterns that blossomed poisonously after 1939. (R. M. Shapiro Choice 2015-11-01)

Based on a vast body of archival materials, including SS reports, newspaper articles, prisoner letters and post-war memoirs, Before Auschwitz is a remarkable, humane, thought-provoking book. (David Motadel Times Literary Supplement 2015-12-02)

With its discriminating integration of racial, gender, and political dimensions, this book is a valuable exemplar of the new, counterteleological history of the pre-war concentration camps. (Jane Caplan Journal of Interdisciplinary History 2016-01-01)

Kim Wünschmann has made an extraordinary contribution to our understanding of German history and Jewish history in the interwar period through her meticulously detailed and penetrating study of Jewish prisoners in Nazi concentration camps before the outbreak of the Second World War...This book should be of particular interest to criminologists, as the phenomena described and analyzed here reveal the degree to which discourses, laws and institutions were modified and created not as a response to lawbreaking in any conventional sense―but as a way to promote discrimination and racism, and especially as a means to persecute citizens deemed enemies of the state, in this case, Jews...A supremely well-argued and important study. (Michael Berkowitz British Journal of Criminology 2015-10-01)

Wünschmann’s book sheds light on an issue that Holocaust research has largely overlooked―the history of Jewish prisoners in the concentration camps in Germany from the Nazi accession to the beginning of the war...Before Auschwitz takes up the history of Jewish prisoners in the Nazi concentration camps in 1933–1939, as a topic worthy of discussion on its own merits, and not only as a prologue to the annals of the camps during the war and the Holocaust. (Guy Miron Yad Vashem Studies 2016-01-01)

[Wünschmann’s] prize-winning study offers an original, thorough analysis of the Jewish prisoners in prewar camps, which remain a difficult topic because of their relative obscurity, overshadowed by the camps that served mass murder in the 1940s. In comparison, the early camps were small, holding only hundreds of prisoners. The prewar camps have been the topic of an array of recent, often regional scholarship, which tends to be descriptive and hard to digest. To her credit, Wünschmann synthesizes an impressive array of this scholarship and demonstrates formidable archival mastery... Wünschmann’s careful research and eye for detail offers a wealth of original contributions to existing fields of research, including suicide, homosexuality, prisoner functionaries, constructions of criminality, and the function of concentration camps in Nazi Germany. The book will be a welcome addition to the reading list for those teaching modern Jewish or Holocaust history. (Anna Hájková American Journal of Sociology 2016-12-01)

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Descrizione libro HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, United States, 2015. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Auschwitz--the largest and most notorious of Hitler s concentration camps--was founded in 1940, but the Nazis had been detaining Jews in camps ever since they came to power in 1933. Before Auschwitz unearths the little-known origins of the concentration camp system in the years before World War II and reveals the instrumental role of these extralegal detention sites in the development of Nazi policies toward Jews and in plans to create a racially pure Third Reich.Investigating more than a dozen camps, from the infamous Dachau, Buchenwald, and Sachsenhausen to less familiar sites, Kim Wunschmann uncovers a process of terror meant to identify and isolate German Jews in the period from 1933 to 1939. The concentration camp system was essential to a regime then testing the limits of its power and seeking to capture the hearts and minds of the German public. Propagandized by the Nazis as enemies of the state, Jews were often targeted for arbitrary arrest and then routinely subjected to the harshest treatment and most punishing labor assignments in the camps. Some of them were murdered. Over time, shocking accounts of camp life filtered into the German population, sending a message that Jews were different from true Germans: they were portrayed as dangerous to associate with and fair game for acts of intimidation and violence.Drawing on a wide range of previously unexplored archives, Before Auschwitz explains how the concentration camps evolved into a universally recognized symbol of Nazi terror and Jewish persecution during the Holocaust. Codice libro della libreria AAU9780674967595

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Descrizione libro HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, United States, 2015. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Auschwitz--the largest and most notorious of Hitler s concentration camps--was founded in 1940, but the Nazis had been detaining Jews in camps ever since they came to power in 1933. Before Auschwitz unearths the little-known origins of the concentration camp system in the years before World War II and reveals the instrumental role of these extralegal detention sites in the development of Nazi policies toward Jews and in plans to create a racially pure Third Reich.Investigating more than a dozen camps, from the infamous Dachau, Buchenwald, and Sachsenhausen to less familiar sites, Kim Wunschmann uncovers a process of terror meant to identify and isolate German Jews in the period from 1933 to 1939. The concentration camp system was essential to a regime then testing the limits of its power and seeking to capture the hearts and minds of the German public. Propagandized by the Nazis as enemies of the state, Jews were often targeted for arbitrary arrest and then routinely subjected to the harshest treatment and most punishing labor assignments in the camps. Some of them were murdered. Over time, shocking accounts of camp life filtered into the German population, sending a message that Jews were different from true Germans: they were portrayed as dangerous to associate with and fair game for acts of intimidation and violence.Drawing on a wide range of previously unexplored archives, Before Auschwitz explains how the concentration camps evolved into a universally recognized symbol of Nazi terror and Jewish persecution during the Holocaust. Codice libro della libreria AAU9780674967595

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Descrizione libro Harvard University Press, 2015. Condizione libro: New. Nazis began detaining Jews in camps as soon as they came to power in 1933. Kim Wunschmann reveals the origin of these extralegal detention sites, the harsh treatment Jews received there, and the message the camps sent to Germans: that Jews were enemies of the state, dangerous to associate with and fair game for acts of intimidation and violence. Num Pages: 367 pages. BIC Classification: 1DFG; 3JJH; HBJD; HBLW; HBTZ1; JFSR1. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 243 x 166 x 32. Weight in Grams: 728. . 2015. First Edition. Hardcover. . . . . . Codice libro della libreria V9780674967595

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Descrizione libro Harvard University Press. Hardback. Condizione libro: new. BRAND NEW, Before Auschwitz, Kim Wunschmann, Auschwitz the largest and most notorious of Hitler s concentration camps was founded in 1940, but the Nazis had been detaining Jews in camps ever since they came to power in 1933. Before Auschwitz "unearths the little-known origins of the concentration camp system in the years before World War II and reveals the instrumental role of these extralegal detention sites in the development of Nazi policies toward Jews and in plans to create a racially pure Third Reich. Investigating more than a dozen camps, from the infamous Dachau, Buchenwald, and Sachsenhausen to less familiar sites, Kim Wunschmann uncovers a process of terror meant to identify and isolate German Jews in the period from 1933 to 1939. The concentration camp system was essential to a regime then testing the limits of its power and seeking to capture the hearts and minds of the German public. Propagandized by the Nazis as enemies of the state, Jews were often targeted for arbitrary arrest and then routinely subjected to the harshest treatment and most punishing labor assignments in the camps. Some of them were murdered. Over time, shocking accounts of camp life filtered into the German population, sending a message that Jews were different from true Germans: they were portrayed as dangerous to associate with and fair game for acts of intimidation and violence. Drawing on a wide range of previously unexplored archives, Before Auschwitz" explains how the concentration camps evolved into a universally recognized symbol of Nazi terror and Jewish persecution during the Holocaust.". Codice libro della libreria B9780674967595

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Descrizione libro Harvard University Press. Condizione libro: New. Nazis began detaining Jews in camps as soon as they came to power in 1933. Kim Wunschmann reveals the origin of these extralegal detention sites, the harsh treatment Jews received there, and the message the camps sent to Germans: that Jews were enemies of the state, dangerous to associate with and fair game for acts of intimidation and violence. Num Pages: 367 pages. BIC Classification: 1DFG; 3JJH; HBJD; HBLW; HBTZ1; JFSR1. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 243 x 166 x 32. Weight in Grams: 728. . 2015. First Edition. Hardcover. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Codice libro della libreria V9780674967595

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