WINNER: NATIONAL JEWISH BOOK AWARD/WRITING BASED ON ARCHIVAL MATERIAL (THE JDC-HERBERT KATZKI AWARD)
“Surely the most comprehensive and clear guide in English to the manifold ways by which the Nazi regime, its agents, and its allies plundered the European Jews.... An admirable overview [and] also a depressing case study in the crushing effects of bureaucratic ingenuity.”
— Peter Hayes, Northwestern University
These are the mechanisms by which the Nazis and their allies despoiled Europe’s Jews, revealing in their detail the close relationship between robbery and the Holocaust. The Anschluss and Kristallnacht in 1938 demonstrate the confluence of pressure from below and state-directed measures. In Western Europe economic persecution took the form of legal decrees and administrative measures. In Eastern Europe authoritarian regimes adopted the Nazi program that excluded Jews from the economy and seized their property. In the occupied East, property was collected at the killing sites – the most valuable objects were sent to Berlin, items of lesser value supported the local administration and rewarded collaborators. At several junctures robbery was the catalyst for genocide, accelerating the progression from pogrom to mass murder.
“Martin Dean’s book is the first and fully comprehensive study on the confiscation of Jewish property in the Holocaust and will set the standard for future research and analysis. In the complicated field of robbing and spoliation it connects important archival findings with a masterly knowledge of even remote research literature, cogently integrating the process of confiscation into the general history of the Holocaust.”
— Frank Bajohr, Research Center for Contemporary History in Hamburg, Germany
“Few, if any scholars in the English-speaking world, can equal Martin Dean’s record of intense study of the most appalling primary sources generated by the most thorough and most minutely recorded genocide in human history…. Dean looks at all the ways that the German state stole Jewish property and shows the importance of hitherto neglected ones.... The horrible stories of pauperization and humiliation of the Jews under the Nazis make almost unbearable reading precisely because they are so real, so ordinary, and so terrible.”
— Jonathan Steinberg, University of Pennsylvania
Martin Dean is an Applied Research Scholar at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies. The recipient of a Pearl Resnick Postdoctoral Fellowship from the same institution in 1997, he also has held a DAAD grant. Martin Dean earned his PhD at Cambridge University, and subsequently served as Senior Historian for the Metropolitan Police War Crimes Unit in London, served as Staff Historian for the Australian Special Investigations Unit, and has acted as an expert witness in Nazi war crimes cases in Australia and Germany. Among his previous publications are Collaboration in the Holocaust: Crimes of the Local Police in Belorussia and Ukraine, 1941-1944, and as co-editor, Robbery and Restitution: The Conflict over Jewish Property in Europe (both published in association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum), as well as many articles.