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Animals in the Third Reich: Pets, Scapegoats, and the Holocaust [Hardcover]

Boria Sax
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 1 2002
This book is a must for all collections in German history and animal rights. It is a deep and profound reflection on the complex and perplexing ways that animals can shape human culture and politics.->

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"throws new light on the Nazis and on the Holocaust...also forces us to confront our own uncertainties an ambivalences." -This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. (Andrew N. Rowan, The Humane Society)

"throws new light on the Nazis and on the Holocaust...also forces us to confront our own uncertainties an ambivalences." (The Humane Society)

"throws new light on the Nazis and on the Holocaust...also forces us to confront our own uncertainties an ambivalences." -This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. (,)

About the Author

Boria Sax received his doctorate in Intellectual History from the State University of New York, Buffalo. He has been a consultant to many human-rights organizations including Amnesty International, Helsinki Watch, and the International League. He is founder of the nonprofit organization Nature in Legend and Story (NILAS, Inc.), which is dedicated "to promoting understanding of traditional bonds between human beings and the natural world." He is the author of several books and many articles, and lives in Westchester County, New York.

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Laudable Project, Poorly Executed Feb. 7 2002
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Unfortunately, this beautifully written, morally reflective book was inadequately researched. Many of the author's anecdotes were simply culled from secondary sources (some of questionable reliability), and the book even contains lengthy sections of entirely unfootnoted assertions. Sax seems unaware of major recent work on Nazi Germany of direct relevance to the issues he addresses - Christopher Browning's "Ordinary Men," Ian Kershaw's "Hitler Myth", Paul Weindling's "Health, Race and German Politics" and Kurt Schleunes', "A Twisted Road to Auschwitz" are all missing from his bibliography. As a result, his book unfortunately adds little to contemporary scholarly understanding of the Nazi regime, despite the novelty and importance of his initial questions.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Valuable insight into the Nazi world view June 27 2001
By plhgg
Format:Hardcover
In this useful and interesting book, Sax discusses the treatment of animals in the Third Reich, but the focus is broader than that; he also explores the way that metaphors from the animal kingdom became an important way of expressing the Nazi world view. In the twisted ideology of the Third Reich, there was no important differentiation between "human" and "animal" life. Instead, the Nazis tended to look on the world as a continuum. The highest position on the continuum belonged to healthy humans the "Aryan race." Animals could be found lower down on that continuum, while lower still were the humans who were considered inferior because of their racial identity or mental handicaps. As Sax put it in the introductory material, "In their nihilistic perspective the important distinction was not between "humans" and "aniimals" .... It was between victor and vanquished, between master and slave. The underlying paradigm was ... that of predator and prey." This attitude reflected the viewpoint in National Socialism that depicted nature as "a harsh and implacable power," demanding obedience.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Valuable insight into the Nazi world view June 27 2001
By plhgg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
In this useful and interesting book, Sax discusses the treatment of animals in the Third Reich, but the focus is broader than that; he also explores the way that metaphors from the animal kingdom became an important way of expressing the Nazi world view. In the twisted ideology of the Third Reich, there was no important differentiation between "human" and "animal" life. Instead, the Nazis tended to look on the world as a continuum. The highest position on the continuum belonged to healthy humans the "Aryan race." Animals could be found lower down on that continuum, while lower still were the humans who were considered inferior because of their racial identity or mental handicaps. As Sax put it in the introductory material, "In their nihilistic perspective the important distinction was not between "humans" and "aniimals" .... It was between victor and vanquished, between master and slave. The underlying paradigm was ... that of predator and prey." This attitude reflected the viewpoint in National Socialism that depicted nature as "a harsh and implacable power," demanding obedience.
3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Exploration of Unexplored Topic April 22 2010
By Eros Faust - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Anyone who reads this book and criticizes its scholarship is suspect in my opinion. The scholarship here is excellent, its the information that is controversial. The book contains translations of many of the National Socialist Animal Rights Acts.

Animal rights activists will hate the conclusions to be drawn from this research, in the same way that they hated the Nazi War on Cancer. However, understanding that the National Socialists had a domestic problem that would appeal to many modern progressives makes it that much more fascinating.
7 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Laudable Project, Poorly Executed Feb. 7 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Unfortunately, this beautifully written, morally reflective book was inadequately researched. Many of the author's anecdotes were simply culled from secondary sources (some of questionable reliability), and the book even contains lengthy sections of entirely unfootnoted assertions. Sax seems unaware of major recent work on Nazi Germany of direct relevance to the issues he addresses - Christopher Browning's "Ordinary Men," Ian Kershaw's "Hitler Myth", Paul Weindling's "Health, Race and German Politics" and Kurt Schleunes', "A Twisted Road to Auschwitz" are all missing from his bibliography. As a result, his book unfortunately adds little to contemporary scholarly understanding of the Nazi regime, despite the novelty and importance of his initial questions.
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