Virtual Book Talk: Empire of Destruction: A History of Nazi Mass Killing

Nazi Germany killed approximately 13 million civilians and other non-combatants in deliberate policies of mass murder, mostly during the war years. Almost half the victims were Jewish, systematically destroyed in the Holocaust, the core of the Nazis’ pan-European racial purification programme.

Alex Kay argues that the genocide of European Jewry can be examined in the wider context of Nazi mass killing. For the first time, Empire of Destruction considers Europe’s Jews alongside all the other major victim groups: captive Red Army soldiers, the Soviet urban population, unarmed civilian victims of preventive terror and reprisals, the mentally and physically disabled, the European Roma and the Polish intelligentsia. Kay shows how each of these groups was regarded by the Nazi regime as a potential threat to Germany’s ability to successfully wage a war for hegemony in Europe.

Combining the full quantitative scale of the killings with the individual horror, this is a vital and groundbreaking work.

About the Speakers

Dr Alex Kay is Senior Lecturer in the Department of History at the University of Potsdam and lifetime Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. His research and teaching focuses on the history of Germany from 1918 to 1945, National Socialist policies of extermination, and comparative research on genocide and violence. He has published five acclaimed books on Nazi Germany, including The Making of an SS Killer.

Professor Dan Stone is Professor of Modern History and Director of the Holocaust Research Institute at the Royal Holloway University of London. He is a historian of ideas who works primarily on twentieth-century European history. His research interests include the history and interpretation of the Holocaust, comparative genocide, history of anthropology, history of fascism, the cultural history of the British Right and theory of history.

Click here to view recording. 

For more information, please contact us