When this book was originally published in Germany in 2003, it aroused considerable controversy. The English language edition has been shortened and edited, collecting all of the material about Joseph Wulf—an important Polish Jewish historian of the Holocaust—that was scattered throughout the original edition into the last, and longest, chapter of this version. The changes made to the American edition are explained in an editorial note and a special introduction.

The subject of the book is covered by a series of chapters about how individual West German historians handled, or more often ignored, the systematic persecution and killing of Jews during the Holocaust. The first historian that Berg examines is Friedrich Meinecke, whose book, The German Catastrophe (1946), attracted wide attention and raised the issue of what the German people knew, preferred not to know, and in many instances pretended afterward not to have known. It also raised the question...

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