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Hitler's First Victims by Timothy W. Ryback
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Hitler's First Victims

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Hitler's First Victims by Timothy W. Ryback
Paperback $18.00
Oct 13, 2015 | ISBN 9780804172004

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  • Oct 13, 2015 | ISBN 9780804172004

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  • Oct 21, 2014 | ISBN 9780385352925

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“Chilling. . . . Harrowing. . . fascinating.” —The Wall Street Journal

“Unflinching and utterly compelling. . . . Ryback’s prose is well paced and highly readable, his conclusion unerring. . . . the story of the first killings at Dachau has scarcely been more urgent.”
The Herald Scotland

“Gripping. . . . In sparing us no detail of the nauseating brutality of the SS guards [Ryback] reminds us yet again of the depths of bestiality to which these men descended. . . . Anyone who thinks that Nazism came to power legally and without violence needs to read this account.”
The Guardian (London)
“Has all the makings of a legal thriller.”
The Boston Globe

“Ryback’s account is gripping—and thoroughly chilling—as it provides a snapshot of a moment when the Nazis still required a veil of legality. . . . diligently researched works such as this are as necessary now as they were decades ago, to keep both memory and vigilance alive.”
The Telegraph (London)
“Fascinating, disturbing. . . . Ryback’s book is a decades-overdue recognition.”
Jewish Times

“Valuable. . . .Turns the spotlight on the rapid erosion of state power in the early months of Nazi rule. . . . Ryback’s vivid narrative of an ordinary German lawyer’s experience makes this feel much more immediate, bringing home the terrible realities of early Nazification.”
The Times Higher Education (London)

“Examines an early but enormously significant episode in the evolution of the Nazi program of genocide. . . . An important addition to Holocaust collections.”

“A chilling, lawyerly study with laserlike focus.”

“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 of 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 of China 1945

“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 of 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 of 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 of 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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