The Destruction of Dutch Jewry.
Beginning in 1940, 110,000 Jews were deported from the Netherlands to concentration camps. Of those, fewer than 6,000 returned.
Ashes in the Wind is a story of murder, on a scale never known before, with organised malice and forethought. It is a monumental history of the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, and a detailed and moving description of how the Nazi party first discriminated against Jews, before segregating them and finally deporting them to the gas chambers (a process fully outlined in the mass of administrative documents discovered by Dr Presser).
At a time when there are increasingly fewer survivors of the Holocaust the eye-witness accounts and contemporary descriptions in Ashes in the Wind powerfully outline, for future generations, the process of dehumanisation, and the silent conformity by Dutch civilians, that allowed the Holocaust to happen.
Using 15 years of research Jacob Presser graphically recounts stories of persecution, life in the transit camps and the process of going into hiding. In this detailed narrative, the author conveys the utter despair felt by people whose whole world had crumbled and would be destroyed.
Jacob Presser was a Professor of Modern History at the University of Amsterdam, and he was commissioned by the Dutch government to write this book. He spent part of the war years in the Netherlands hiding from the Nazis while his wife was captured and died in a concentration camp.
“Dr Presser has rendered a great service to the record of humanity… A monument to the memory of the Jewish citizens of Holland who were massacred.”
‘Time Literary Supplement’
“A monumental history of the Jewish victims of the Holocaust and a detailed and moving description of how it came to happen.”
‘Hampstead & Highgate Express’
“The most authoritative and comprehensive account of the sufferings and destruction of Dutch Jewry.”
‘Liberal Judaism Today’
“A graphic and detailed account of the destruction of Dutch Jewry… Essential reading for anyone who wants a proper understanding of the destruction of European as well as Dutch Jewry.”