Timothy Snyder, Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning. New York: Tim Duggan Books, 2015. 462 pp. $35.00.
Reviewed by Michael Berenbaum, American Jewish University
Timothy Snyder's much-acclaimed book Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin, published by Basic Books in 2010, aroused serious concern among many Holocaust historians. They feared that his emphasis on double genocide—German and Soviet—was a backdoor attempt to diminish the uniqueness and singularity of the Holocaust. In Black Earth Snyder's emphasis on the Holocaust and its lessons should assuage these critics. Early in the book he writes: “The History of the Holocaust is not over. Its precedent is eternal and its lessons have not yet been learned… . The Holocaust is not only history but warning.” He makes good on this promise, perhaps too good. He treats the Holocaust as the axial event of modern history, thus giving testimony to its centrality.