* Lew’s review of “The Holocaust in History” by Michael Marrus

Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 24, 2017

Marrus - Holocaust

My brilliant marketing professor at the Harvard Business School (Ted Levitt) often reminded us “if you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.” This is particularly crucial as I move into those aspects of my novel where my fictional characters Berthold Becker and Anna Gorska react to the persecution of Jews and try to tell the world so that those who had power would act to stop Hitler before he accomplished his goal of total annihilation.

Michael Marrus’ book, published in 1987, is the best outline I have read of the origins and evolution of what Karl Schleunes called the “twisted road to Auschwitz”. So I think I have my best understanding yet as to where my characters are going to go, and thus I have guidance for the road(s) they will take and how they will fare along the way. This is an exciting moment for me as I plan my work for the months ahead.

Since I started A Flood of Evil with the 1945 trial of Berthold at Nuremberg, and since everyone knows about the Holocaust, the essence of my story in the sequel I am now writing (covering the years 1934 through 1945) must be the journey, and since Hitler was not stopped during those years, it must in many ways be a journey of failure … but … may it not be true that the greatest humanity of which we are capable arises, not from our successes, but from our failures?



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