FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL JEWISH BOOK AWARD * SHORTLISTED FOR THE LIONEL GELBER PRIZE “The mass killings of Jews from 1918 to 1921 are a bridge between local pogroms and the extermination of the Holocaust. No history of that Jewish catastrophe comes close to the virtuosity of research, clarity of prose, and power of analysis of this extraordinary book. As the horror of events yields to empathetic understanding, the reader is grateful to Veidlinger for reminding us what history can do.” —Timothy Snyder, author of Bloodlands Between 1918 and 1921, over a hundred thousand Jews were murdered in Ukraine by peasants, townsmen, and soldiers who blamed the Jews for the turmoil of the Russian Revolution. In hundreds of separate incidents, ordinary people robbed their Jewish neighbors with impunity, burned down their houses, ripped apart their Torah scrolls, sexually assaulted them, and killed them. Largely forgotten today, these pogroms—ethnic riots—dominated headlines and international affairs in their time. Aid workers warned that six million Jews were in danger of complete extermination. Twenty years later, these dire predictions would come true. Drawing upon long-neglected archival materials, including thousands of newly discovered witness testimonies, trial records, and official orders, acclaimed historian Jeffrey Veidlinger shows for the first time how this wave of genocidal violence created the conditions for the Holocaust. Through stories of survivors, perpetrators, aid workers, and governmental officials, he explains how so many different groups of people came to the same conclusion: that killing Jews was an acceptable response to their various problems. In riveting prose, In the Midst of Civilized Europe repositions the pogroms as a defining moment of the twentieth century. A Macmillan Audio production from Metropolitan Books
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The mass killings of Jews in 1918–21 are a bridge between local pogroms and the extermination of the Holocaust. No history of that Jewish catastrophe comes close to the virtuosity of research, clarity of prose, and power of analysis of this extraordinary book. As the horror of events yields to empathetic understanding, the reader is grateful to Veidlinger for reminding us what history can do.
Timothy Snyder, author of Bloodlands
"Revelatory . . . Veidlinger’s crisp prose and extensive research makes the scale of the tragedy immediate and devastating. This is a vital addition to understanding how the Holocaust happened.
— Publishers Weekly
A work of singular importance: a meticulous, original and deeply affecting historical account, one that provides new insights into the conditions that catalyzed mass-murder on an industrial scale.
— Philippe Sands, author of East West Street
In this extraordinary work Veidlinger disinters a largely forgotten history of tragic and portentous dimensions. Compelling and well-written, the book will find a broad audience. This is a story that needs to be told.
— Ronald Grigor Suny, author of Stalin: Passage to Revolution
In this deeply learned but highly readable book, Veidlinger demonstrates how the all-but-forgotten pogroms in the collapsing Russian Empire in 1918–21 set precedents for the horrors that were to follow just two decades later.
— Zvi Gitelman, author of A Century of Ambivalence
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About Leighton Pugh
Leighton Pugh trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art after studying modern languages at Queen’s College, Oxford. He has narrated audiobooks for Penguin, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Random House, Hachette, and Quercus. His radio work includes the plays Murder by the Book and Scenes from Provincial Life for BBC Radio 4 and the voice of Heinrich von Kleist in the BBC Radio 3 documentary The Tragical Adventure of Heinrich von Kleist. From 2010–2011 he was in four productions at the National Theatre, including The Habit of Art and A Woman Killed with Kindness.