Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Hilary Earl speaks on her book

Dean Bavington alerts us to the fact that Dr. Hilary Earl has been interviewed in the podcast series New Books in History. Here's a brief summary from the NBIH webpage:

Hitler caused the Holocaust, that much we know (No Hitler, no Holocaust). But did he directly order it and, if so, how and when? This is one of the many interesting questions posed by Hilary Earl in her outstanding new book The Nuremberg SS-Einsatzgruppen Trial, 1945-1958: Atrocity, Law, and History (Cambridge UP, 2009). The book is about the trial of the leaders of the Einsatzgruppen, the mobile killing units that, in 1941 and 1942, spearheaded the Nazi effort to eradicate the Jewish people. The Einsatzgruppen murdered something on the order of a million people using almost nothing but firearms. In 1947, their commanders were brought to justice in what might be called the “other” (forgotten) Nuremberg Trials. The trial left an enormous body of reasonably fresh-after-the-fact testimony for historians to work with in trying to understand this episode in the Holocaust. Hilary does a masterful job of mining this material. She also points out that the roots of our own understandings of the Holocaust can in large measure be traced to these disturbing trails. The defendants were the first Nazi genocidaires to publicly describe what they had done and why they had done it.
And here is a link to the podcast. (Near bottom of that page.)