How the Holocaust Could Happen Again
It's not as unlikely as you might think
The modern world lives in the shadow of World War II and the Holocaust. More than any other recent historical event, Adolf Hitler’s actions and the world’s reaction to them have shaped the world we live in.
To many today, the Holocaust is an unthinkable atrocity — a historical aberration easily avoided in the future. But history is long and memories are short. Is it possible that something like the Holocaust could happen again?
This week on War College, we sit down with historian Timothy Snyder to discuss his new book Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning. Snyder spent countless hours delving into the history of the Reich and the Holocaust, and Black Earth breathes a fresh perspective into a tired topic.
The book opens with a solid explanation and examination of Hitler’s world view and his plans. To Hitler, the Jews weren’t just a lesser race, but a supernatural force disrupting a global struggle for survival. America was not, at first, a great enemy but rather an admired nation he sought to emulate.
Snyder explains the ideology that led to the Holocaust, but stresses that such poisonous thinking can only take root if global conditions are right. For Snyder, the world of today looks a lot like the world before Hitler’s rise to power.
That’s why Black Earth isn’t just a history, but a warning.