Hitler’s First Victims

Hardcover $26.95

Knopf | Oct 21, 2014 | 288 Pages | 5-5/8 x 8-1/4 | ISBN 9780385352918

  • Paperback$16.00

    Vintage | Oct 13, 2015 | 304 Pages | 5-3/16 x 8 | ISBN 9780804172004

  • Hardcover$26.95

    Knopf | Oct 21, 2014 | 288 Pages | 5-5/8 x 8-1/4 | ISBN 9780385352918

  • Ebook$13.99

    Knopf | Oct 21, 2014 | 288 Pages | 5-5/8 x 8-3/8 | ISBN 9780385352925

Praise

“Mr. Ryback’s important book shows how even such a small, stubborn, apparently futile determination to adhere to the rule of law can, with fortune on its side, help see final justice done. It is fitting acknowledgment of a forgotten German or (as Hartinger might have preferred) Bavarian hero.”
The Wall Street Journal

“Fascinating…Has all the makings of a legal thriller.”
The Boston Globe

“Fascinating, disturbing…Ryback’s book is a decades-overdue recognition.”
Jewish Times

“Ryback…here examines an early but enormously significant episode in the evolution of the Nazi program of genocide….An important addition to Holocaust collections.”
Booklist

“A chilling, lawyerly study with laserlike focus.”
Kirkus

“In recounting the compelling story of a prosecutor who sought to bring to justice the perpetrators of crimes at Dachau in the early days of the Nazis’ reign, Timothy Ryback’s book is all the more startling and important for bringing to life an episode so little known. It suggests what might have been if more Germans at the time had done their professional duty with equal moral compass. ”
—Raymond Bonner, author, Anatomy of Injustice

“This is an extraordinary, gripping, and edifying story told extraordinarily well by Timothy Ryback. I read it with a sense of amazement at the capacity of one good man to stand tall in the face of evil, and at the capacity of others to fall into unspeakable barbarism.”
—Richard Bernstein, author, Dictatorship of Virtue

“In this finely researched and deeply disturbing account of how Jews and Communists murdered in Dachau in 1933 became ‘Hitler’s first victims,’ Timothy W. Ryback finds a rare point of light in the courage of an obscure Bavarian prosecutor who tried to fight the escalating Nazi savagery with the rule of law. Thanks to his documented record of the atrocities taking place at Dachau, Ryback can now demonstrate how, within weeks of coming to power, the Nazis had already set off along the dark path that would lead to genocide.”
—Alan Riding, author, And the Show Went On: Cultural Life in Nazi-Occupied Paris.

“Timothy Ryback’s Hitler’s First Victims is a significant addition to the Holocaust canon. The story of the first four Jews murdered at Dachau, as well as the astonishing account of the German prosecutor (surely a precursor of Claus von Stauffenberg) who, in 1933, attempted to charge the vicious Nazi concentration camp commandant with murder, form the heart and soul of Ryback’s amazing book. The author’s research is prodigious and his accumulation of new details make the reader feel as if he is observing the first spreading of the Nazi plague through a microscope. This is history come alive in your hands.”
—Robert Littell, author, The Amateur

“In this horrifying and heartbreaking account of Dachau’s early days, Timothy Ryback restores, to the murderers and the murdered alike, something crucially, necessarily missing from most Holocaust histories: their individuality. Then, by capturing, meticulously and understatedly, the retail barbarity of the place, he helps anticipate the wholesale annihilation to follow. And by recounting the striking heroism of two men—a local prosecutor and a medical examiner, simply trying to do their jobs—he  allows us at least to ponder whether, had more such good Germans come forward, it all might just have been stopped.”
—David Margolick, author, Beyond Glory: Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling, and a World on the Brink

“Timothy W. Ryback’s gripping account of one man’s fight against Nazi atrocities holds important lessons for us. Experience demonstrates that the authors of genocide and crimes against humanity frequently test the waters before fully implementing their murderous plans. The Holocaust was no exception. Ryback shows how this genocidal act may have been averted had more people acted with vigilance and determination. Our challenge today is to act on Ryback’s historical insights before new rounds of mass atrocities unfold.”
—Kenneth Roth, executive director, Human Rights Watch

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