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Before Auschwitz


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About the Author

Kim Wunschmann is Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary History at Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich.


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" (12/02/2015)
Wu nschmann'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" (01/01/2016)
An impressive, well-written study of a little-known chapter in the persecution of the Jews in Nazi Germany. W nschmann 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
W nschmann 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. W nschmann 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: L dz and the Making of a Nazi City
Before Auschwitz is the first comprehensive monograph on the prewar fate of the roughly 40,000 Jewish men and women incarcerated in Nazi concentration camps. Clearly structured, well written, and solidly grounded in both primary sources and an extensive secondary literature, Kim Wu nschmann's study provides crucial insights into the ways in which the evolution of concentration camps intersected with the regime's prewar Judenpolitik and what that meant for Jewish prisoners...This study marks a major advance in the existing Holocaust literature.-- (06/01/2017)

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