Winner of the New South Wales Premier's History Award and one of the New York Times' ten best books of 1999.
In this searching and eloquent book, Inga Clendinnen explores the experience of the Holocaust from both the victims' and the perpetrators' points of view. She discusses the remarkable survivor testimonies of writers such as Primo Levi and Charlotte Delbo, the vexed issue of resistance in the camps, and strategies for understanding the motivations of Nazis at all levels.
Clendinnen focuses an anthropologist's precise gaze on the actions of the murderers in the police battalions and among the SS in the camps. And she considers how the Holocaust has been portrayed in poetry, fiction and film. Searching and eloquent, Reading the Holocaust is an uncompromising attempt to extract the comprehensible-the recognisably human-from the unthinkable.
'Inga Clendinnen claims for history the same power as poetry or fiction to enter the silences and make them speak.' David Malouf