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               Newsletter & Book Club
November 2015
                                                                                
Sir Martin's Book Club
November Book Club Anniversaries
Kristallnacht, 9 November 1939
Remembrance Day, 11 November 1918
It is our pleasure to suggest Sir Martin's
Book Club Choice & Book Club Offer
 to honour these anniversaries:
The Routledge Atlas of the First World War

"Six years of legalised anti-Jewish discrimination, isolating the Jews from their fellow Germans and depriving them of the rights of full citizenship, were replaced on Kristallnacht by the first manifestations of direct, nationwide, physical violence, combined with arson, the destruction of property, the theft of property, the impoverishment of a whole community, physical assault, deportation, and mass murder. 

"It was a brutal, hysterical, uninhibited assault on everything Jewish, on a far wider scale than hitherto, and yet only a prelude to something far larger still.”

 
“Martin Gilbert's account of Kristallnacht identifies the event as a turning point. Afterwards no foreign government could continue to turn a blind eye to events in Nazi Germany. But as Gilbert's narrative makes clear, government responses to Kristallnacht largely combined public condemnation with bureaucratic inaction … meticulously documented.” Financial Times         

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An essential guide to viewing the battlefields and locations where the events occurred, for the student in class, on the ground, or as a graphic way to envision history unfolding.
 
The original Armistice Day was recognised when, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day in November 1918, the guns of the Great War fell silent and the armistice ending hostilities was signed.  Commonwealth countries around the world mark that day, also known as Remembrance Day, Poppy Day, and Veteran's Day.  In Britain, two minutes of silence are observed and wreaths are laid at cenotaphs and memorials around the country. 

At the Canadian War Museum memorial in Ottawa, a gravestone from a Canadian unknown soldier has been placed in such a way that
a shaft of sunlight shines on the gravestone exactly at 11 o'clock on the 11th day of the 11th month, in remembrance.

This atlas tells in graphic detail the story of that war, its battles, its theatres, its gains and losses, and its memorials.
 
“ … it is as much concerned with the political, economic and social aspects of the First World War as with the campaigns.”  Economist

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Buy The Atlas of The First World War
Enter code MGA97 at checkout to receive 20% off this title from
Routledge until November 30th.
Sir Martin on Kristallnacht
During the ten months between Kristallnacht and the outbreak of war nearly as many German Jews left (120,000) as in the five and a half years before then (150,000).
The Austrian emigration figure for the ten months were about 140,000. 
Thus more than a quarter of a million people left their homes and their homeland in the wake of that one night and day of violence.
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Sir Martin's Blog
"Kristallnacht taught several lessons"
From Kristallnacht, Prelude to Destruction
Harper Collins

 
"Kristallnacht taught several lessons. It taught those who were the source of prejudice that a whole people can be demonised; that a whole nation can be turned totally and obscenely against a decent, hard-working, creative, loyal and integral part of its own society.  This point was made on 19 August 2005 when Pope Benedict XVI, on his first visit to his native Germany after becoming Pope, went to the Roonstrasse synagogue in Cologne, which had been destroyed on Kristallnacht and rebuilt after the war, and denounced the rise of anti-Semitism in the twenty-first century.
 
"Kristallnacht taught those German Jews who still retained hope that Nazism would modify its anti-Jewish stance that the time had come to leave, except those who still clung, as some did, to the belief that the norms of civilised behaviour could not be totally breached or abandoned, and that, for example, war service for one's country must be more meaningful than a stirred-up racial animosity.  …
 
The destruction of Fasanbenstrasse Synagogue, Berlin, November 10, 1938

"Kristallnacht taught several overseas governments that the time had come to open their gates to the growing tide of refugees.  Britain was among those countries that opened their gates widely, although still retaining, as did all countries except, for a while at least, the International Settlements of Shanghai, restrictions and barriers to unrestricted immigration.

 "Kristallnacht taught the Nazi administrators and planners that they must in future act with silence and secrecy, hiding what they were doing to the Jews from the eyes of world indignation.  The less the outside world knew or saw, the more efficient would be whatever policy they chose, and the less liable to outside concern or interference.   
 
"Kristallnacht taught, in hindsight, a historical lesson, that what begins as something finite in destruction and limited in time can quickly develop into a monster of mass murder; that evil has gradations, but is also a process, and can move smoothly, effortlessly forward to greater evil."
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The Book Club Quiz
 
How many synagogues were destroyed on Kristallnacht?
Find The Answer
               From Esther Gilbert
                     
     Kristallnacht Book Launch at The German Embassy
In 2006, when Martin's book Kristallnacht came out, he was invited to a party to celebrate the book and to launch it on its way.  The party was held at the Residence of the German Ambassador in London, and our host was the German Chargé d'Affaires, Hans-Henning Blomeyer-Bartenstein. 
 


Martin brought eight large maps from the book that showed the towns and villages in Germany whose synagogues had been destroyed during Kristallnacht, on the 9th and 10th November 1938, so people could see not only the places that had been affected by Kristallnacht but how Jewish communities were an integral part of the German landscape.  He spoke about what had happened and described some of the events in the book.  He signed books for those who were interested.

To me it was one of the most moving events I had ever attended.  For the first time I felt it really was a different century.  Imagine coming to the Residence of the German Ambassador in London and leaving with a copy of Sir Martin's Kristallnacht!

It gave me a sense that we can look back together at a tyrannical brutal period of time and learn from History, that actions do not need to be repeated, that we can change and grow and celebrate our differences and the common humanity that we share.  There is a German word 'überleben' which means 'survive'.  It is the same word in Yiddish, the mother tongue of many Jews living in Europe before the war.  In that evening at the German Ambassador's Residence, we had all überlebt, we had survived.     
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eBook Club Offer

Get the continuing story: 
After Kristallnacht exploded across Germany and Austria,
and with the outbreak of war, these books describe different facets,
vital to any study of the Holocaust.

In conjunction with Sir Martin's eBook publisher RosettaBooks,
these eBook titles are being offered at
special promotion this month.




1st to 30th November 2015


UK store: £1.99
US store: $2.99
CA store: $3.94


Click below to purchase at Amazon
 
The Holocaust
Sir Martin's classic one-volume history of the Holocaust,
from East to West and North to South.


Auschwitz and the Allies
Sir Martin's examination of how the news of Auschwitz
reached the West and how the news was handled.


Holocaust Journey
A diary of Sir Martin's rail journey with his students and survivor Ben Helfgott across Europe to visit key spots of pre-war vibrancy, and the destruction, resistance, and post-war landscape of the Holocaust.


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Tributes

Lisa Jardine

It is with much sadness that we recognise the loss of Lisa Jardine who, along with Amanda Foreman, were the editors of the Making History Series, of which our November Book Choice Kristallnacht,
Prelude to Destruction
, was the third publication.


David Cesarani
It is also with great sadness that we remember the contribution of the Holocaust historian David Cesarani who had a correspondence with Sir Martin dating from 1981.  A decade later, after Cesarani had been in Belarus, in Minsk, their correspondence centred on the need to have the wartime murder of 200,000 Jews at the nearby camp of Maly Trostenets
recognised and remembered through proper historical research.
 
What irony that these two people, who had been a part of Sir Martin's working life, should die on the same day,
the day that would have been Sir Martin's 79th birthday. 
My heart goes out to their families. 
May we all appreciate the fragility of life and live our days generously.
On This Day
'On This Day' is a feature of the website that highlights an historical event in November for each of Sir Martin's book collections.

* Churchill Biography * Churchill Collection * First World War *
*
The Second World War * Holocaust * Israel & Jewish History
*
20th Century * Historical Atlases *

Sir Martin's Web Citings
24 October 2015
Londonderry Sentinel, Maiden City Great War Roll of Honour, Part 7,
by Trevor Temple

"Martin Gilbert in his book, First World War, recounts the actions of the Irish Guards on the day Guardsman Rankin lost his life ….

Read More Citings

Keeping History Alive
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