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Short Synopsis
In Masters of Death, Richard Rhodes gives full weight, for the first time, to the part played by the Einsatzgruppen—the professional killing squads deployed in Poland and the Soviet Union, early in World War II, by Himmler's SS.

Full Synopsis
In Masters of Death, Richard Rhodes gives full weight, for the first time, to the Einsatzgruppen's role in the Holocaust. These "special task forces," organized by Heinrich Himmler to follow the German army as it advanced into eastern Poland and Russia, were the agents of the first phase of the Final Solution. They murdered more than 1.5 million men, women, and children between 1941 and 1943, often by shooting them into killing pits, as at Babi Yar.

These massive crimes have been generally overlooked or underestimated by Holocaust historians, who have focused on the gas chambers. In this painstaking account, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Rhodes profiles the eastern campaign's architects as well as its "ordinary" soldiers and policemen, and helps us understand how such men were conditioned to carry out mass murder. Marshaling a vast array of documents and the testimony of perpetrators and survivors, this book is an essential contribution to our understanding of the Holocaust and World War II.

"Rhodes, a Pulitzer winner for The Making of the Atomic Bomb, has pulled together a mountain of research on the mass murders of Jews perpetrated by the Einsatzgruppen . . . Rhodes holds the mirror up." ---Publishers Weekly Starred Review

“Through his fine and accessible account, Rhodes deepens our sense of the Holocaust’s utter evil.” ---New York Times

“This is an important and enormously powerful book.” ---Elie Wiesel
Publishers Weekly Review

Masters of Death

The SS-Einsatzgruppen and the Invention of the Holocaust

Author Richard Rhodes

Narrated by Neil Hellegers

Publication date Mar 21, 2017

Running time 14 hrs 8 min

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