Order of Terror The Concentration Camp

ISBN-10: 0691006857
ISBN-13: 9780691006857
Edition: 1997
List price: $39.95 Buy it from $18.98
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Description: During the twelve years from 1933 until 1945, the concentration camp operated as a terror society. In this pioneering book, the renowned German sociologist Wolfgang Sofsky looks at the concentration camp from the inside as a laboratory of cruelty  More...

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Book details

List price: $39.95
Copyright year: 1997
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 6/6/1999
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 368
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.75" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.144

During the twelve years from 1933 until 1945, the concentration camp operated as a terror society. In this pioneering book, the renowned German sociologist Wolfgang Sofsky looks at the concentration camp from the inside as a laboratory of cruelty and a system of absolute power built on extreme violence, starvation, "terror labor," and the business-like extermination of human beings. Based on historical documents and the reports of survivors, the book details how the resistance of prisoners was broken down. Arbitrary terror and routine violence destroyed personal identity and social solidarity, disrupted the very ideas of time and space, perverted human work into torture, and unleashed innumerable atrocities. As a result, daily life was reduced to a permanent struggle for survival, even as the meaning of self-preservation was extinguished. Sofsky takes us from the searing, unforgettable image of the Muselmann--Auschwitz jargon for the "walking dead"--to chronicles of epidemics, terror punishments, selections, and torture. The society of the camp was dominated by the S.S. and a system of graduated and forced collaboration which turned selected victims into accomplices of terror. Sofsky shows that the S.S. was not a rigid bureaucracy, but a system with ample room for autonomy. The S.S. demanded individual initiative of its members. Consequently, although they were not required to torment or murder prisoners, officers and guards often exploited their freedom to do so--in passing or on a whim, with cause, or without. The order of terror described by Sofsky culminated in the organized murder of millions of European Jews and Gypsies in the death-factories of Auschwitz and Treblinka. By the end of this book, Sofsky shows that the German concentration camp system cannot be seen as a temporary lapse into barbarism. Instead, it must be conceived as a product of modern civilization, where institutionalized, state-run human cruelty became possible with or without the mobilizing feelings of hatred.

List of Tables and Figures
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Entry
Absolute Power
On the History of the Concentration Camps
Space and Time
Zones and Camp Plans
Boundary and Gate
The Block
Camp Time
Prisoner's Time
Social Structures
The SS Personnel
Classes and Classifications
Self-Management and the Gradation of Power
The Aristocracy
Mass, Exchange, Dissociation
Work
Work and Slavery
The Beneficiaries
Work Situations
Violence and Death
The Muselmann
Epidemics
Terror Punishment
Violent Excesses
Selection
The Death Factory
Epilogue
Selected Glossary and Abbreviations
Abbreviations Used in Notes and Bibliography
Notes
Bibliography

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