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Jewish Forced Labor Under the Nazis


  • Page extent: 346 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.51 kg
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 (ISBN-13: 9780521743570)

Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer

$34.99 (P)

Forced labor was a key feature of Nazi anti-Jewish policy and shaped the daily life of almost every Jewish family in occupied Europe. For the first time, this book systematically describes the implementation of forced labor for Jews in Germany, Austria, the Protectorate, and the various occupied Polish territories. As early as the end of 1938, compulsory labor for Jews had been introduced in Germany and annexed Austria by the labor administration. Similar programs subsequently were established by civil administrations in the German-occupied Czech and Polish territories. At its maximum extent, more than one million Jewish men and women toiled for private companies and public builders, many of them in hundreds of now often-forgotten special labor camps. This study refutes the widespread thesis that compulsory work was organized only by the SS, and that exploitation was only an intermediate tactic on the way to mass murder or, rather, that it was only a facet in the destruction of the Jews.


1. Segregated labor deployment: central planning and local practice, 1938–45; 2. German Jews in forced labor camps, 1939–43; 3. 'Special service': forced labor of so-called Jewish mischlinge, 1942–5; 4. Initiatives in Vienna: Austrian Jews in the segregated labor deployment program, 1938–45; 5. The failure of deportation: forced labor of Czech Jews, 1939–45; 6. Camps and ghettos: forced labor in the Reich Gau Wartheland, 1939–44; 7. On the 'Führer's road': Polish Jews in the Old Reich, 1940–3; 8. The SS organization schmelt and the Jews from Eastern Upper Silesia, 1940–4; 9. The labor office versus the SS: forced labor in the general government, 1939–44.


"Gruner has written pathbreaking works...It is Gruner's great achievement to demonstrate how local, regional, and national initiatives constantly reinforced each other. Contemporary historians are wont to point to the various contradictory labor policies as evidence of a confused and inconclusive intent to murder the European Jews-even as evidence that a 'comprehensive Final Solution' did not exist." -Michael Thad Allen, Yale Law School, Journal of Genocide Research

"...a milestone in the historiography of the Holocaust..." - Frederick M. Schweitzer, The Historian

Prodigious achival research...demonstrates conclusively that forced labor by Jews during the Third Reich did not begin, as is often assumed, with the notorious wartime camp system of the SS but was instead initiated by civilian labor authorities in line with the persecutory measures adopted in the wake of the pogrom of November 1938." -Raul Hilberg, author of The Destruction of teh European Jews

"Roughly one half of the book is a condensed reworking and update of Gruner's two earlier monographs on Jewish forced labor in Germany and Austria respectively, as well as of his fascinating article on the use of Polish Jews from Ło´dz and Silesia in road construction projects in Germany." -Christopher R. Browning, Holocaust and Genocide Studies > -Christopher R. Browning, Holocaust and Genocide Studies

"This informative book shows why Wolf Gruner is widely recognized as one of the ablest German historians of his generation. Drawing on an unparalleled command of the extant sources, he gives us the first detailed examination of how, why, and to what extent the Nazi system of exploiting Jewish labor metastasized. He also carefully delineates the relationship between this process and the development of the Final Solution. The resulting study significantly refocuses attention on the role of German economic interests and civilian institutions in the persecution of the Jewsh-and in the remarkable survival of some of them." -Peter Haynes, Professor of History and German and Theodore Z. Weiss Professor of Holocaust Studies, Northwestern University

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