Veidlinger‰۪s book ranks alongside Timothy Snyder‰۪s Bloodlands in forcing our eyes eastwards. It is deeply researched and masterfully written, with a cool restraint that only intensifies its power. It reminded me of Faulkner‰۪s line that ‰ÛÏthe past is never dead. It‰۪s not even past.‰[An] exhaustive, clearly written, deeply researched story of events in a time and place most of us know nearly nothing about - the pogroms of 1918-21 in Ukraine and Poland . . . [an] imortant and scholalry book.We now know much more about the pogroms of 1918‰ÛÒ21 because of Veidlinger‰۪s painstaking research . . . he has succeeded in shining a bright scholarly light on a much less well-known attempt to exterminate European Jews two decades before the Holocaust. In its thoroughness and controlled passion, In the Midst of Civilized Europe is descriptive history at its best.Superbly researched . . . Jeffrey Veidlinger askes big historical questions that will change our understanding of the relation between pogroms immediately after the First World War and the Holocaust, barely twenty years later.Revelatory . . . Veidlinger‰۪s crisp prose and extensive research makes the scale of the tragedy immediate and devastating. This is a vital addition to understanding how the Holocaust happened.Chilling . . . unequivocal . . . A vital history that draws a direct line from Eastern European antisemitic violence to the Holocaust.The mass killings of Jews from 1918 to 1921 are a bridge between local pogroms and the extermination of the Holocaust. No history of that Jewish catastrophe comes close to the virtuosity of research, clarity of prose, and power of analysis of this extraordinary book. As the horror of events yields to empathetic understanding, the reader is grateful to Veidlinger for reminding us what history can do.This brilliant account of the bloody pogroms, which were perpetrated in Ukraine during the Russian Revolution, represents an important advance on a neglected subject, and is more than welcome. The author's thesis on links to subsequent events gives serious food for thought.A work of singular importance: a meticulous, original and deeply affecting historical account, one that provides new insights into the conditions that catalyzed mass-murder on an industrial scale.In this extraordinary work Veidlinger disinters a largely forgotten history of tragic and portentous dimensions. Compelling and well-written, the book will find a broad audience. This is a story that needs to be told.In this deeply learned but highly readable book, Veidlinger demonstrates how the all-but-forgotten pogroms in the collapsing Russian Empire in 1918‰ÛÒ21 set precedents for the horrors that were to follow just two decades later.In the Midst of Civilized Europe is an extensively researched account of a forgotten history.
A Times Literary Supplement Book of the Year
A riveting account of a forgotten holocaust: the slaughter of over one hundred thousand Ukrainian Jews in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution. In the Midst of Civilized Europe repositions the pogroms as a defining moment of the twentieth century.
'Exhaustive, clearly written, deeply researched' ‰ÛÒ The Times
'A meticulous, original and deeply affecting historical account' ‰ÛÒ Philippe Sands, author of East West Street
Between 1918 and 1921, over a hundred thousand Jews were murdered in Ukraine by peasants, townsmen, and soldiers who blamed the Jews for the turmoil of the Russian Revolution. In hundreds of separate incidents, ordinary people robbed their Jewish neighbors with impunity, burned down their houses, ripped apart their Torah scrolls, sexually assaulted them, and killed them. Largely forgotten today, these pogroms ‰ÛÒ ethnic riots ‰ÛÒ dominated headlines and international affairs in their time. Aid workers warned that six million Jews were in danger of complete extermination. Twenty years later, these dire predictions would come true.
Drawing upon long-neglected archival materials, including thousands of newly discovered witness testimonies, trial records, and official orders, acclaimed historian Jeffrey Veidlinger shows for the first time how this wave of genocidal violence created the conditions for the Holocaust. Through stories of survivors, perpetrators, aid workers, and governmental officials, he explains how so many different groups of people came to the same conclusion: that killing Jews was an acceptable response to their various problems.
|Title:||In the Midst of Civilized Europe|