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The Other Victims: First-Person Stories of Non-Jews Persecuted by the Nazis

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A series of personal stories from some of the non-Jews, including gypsies, political and religious activists, the physically challenged, and other "undesirables," who were persecuted but escaped the fate of the five million Gentiles murdered by the Nazis. A series of personal stories from some of the non-Jews, including gypsies, political and religious activists, the physically challenged, and other "undesirables," who were persecuted but escaped the fate of the five million Gentiles murdered by the Nazis.


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A series of personal stories from some of the non-Jews, including gypsies, political and religious activists, the physically challenged, and other "undesirables," who were persecuted but escaped the fate of the five million Gentiles murdered by the Nazis. A series of personal stories from some of the non-Jews, including gypsies, political and religious activists, the physically challenged, and other "undesirables," who were persecuted but escaped the fate of the five million Gentiles murdered by the Nazis.

30 review for The Other Victims: First-Person Stories of Non-Jews Persecuted by the Nazis

  1. 5 out of 5

    Marsha

    So far this is an interesting and earnest book but I'm a bit disturbed by the fact that the author detours around the biggest "other victim group" of the Nazis -- the Ukrainians. This book was published in 1990, so perhaps the author didn't have access to the wealth of primary material that is now available. Even so, it's a pretty big omission: more than 10 million Ukrainian civilians were killed by the Nazis, and that's not counting the millions who were killed by the Soviets during the same pe So far this is an interesting and earnest book but I'm a bit disturbed by the fact that the author detours around the biggest "other victim group" of the Nazis -- the Ukrainians. This book was published in 1990, so perhaps the author didn't have access to the wealth of primary material that is now available. Even so, it's a pretty big omission: more than 10 million Ukrainian civilians were killed by the Nazis, and that's not counting the millions who were killed by the Soviets during the same period, nor does it touch on the many millions of military deaths by both the Soviets and Nazis. Addendum -- finished the book. My initial assessment stands: the author has gone out of her way to diminish the Nazis' murderous intentions toward Ukrainians. Most chapters are made up of a short first person account by a survivor of a representative group (Gypsy, Czech, French etc) and these are introduced by the author with a historical overview for context. The first person accounts talk about their own treatment, but most also mention the horrible treatment meted out to Ukrainians -- yet the author herself has avoided the topic and did not bother to include a single Ukrainian survivor in her interviews. The book does more to perpetuate racism than dispel it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Brian Fall

    This book told very good perspectives about the other humans that were involved with the holocaust. It was very detailed and interesting. I liked it because it showed that the holocaust was not only about the jews but about other people that were in trouble for doing something wrong or they spoke out twards the germans.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Crawford

    This is an incredible and incredibly upsetting book about the various people who were non-Jews, but who were still singled out for extermination and enslavement by the Nazis. It brings the horror and reality of the Nazi period of Germany's history to full life. Each chapter covers a separate group. What I will do here is point out only some of the major points of each section. First, the book points out that some 5 million non-Jews were killed, almost as many as the number of Jews who were killed This is an incredible and incredibly upsetting book about the various people who were non-Jews, but who were still singled out for extermination and enslavement by the Nazis. It brings the horror and reality of the Nazi period of Germany's history to full life. Each chapter covers a separate group. What I will do here is point out only some of the major points of each section. First, the book points out that some 5 million non-Jews were killed, almost as many as the number of Jews who were killed (6 million). Also: 1. There was only one party allowed-the Nazi party. 2. In the arts, Hitler would decide what was acceptable. 3. Hitler wanted only the physically fit to have children. 4. Blacks and homosexuals were to be eliminated. Chapter 1: This is about a gypsy. Gypsies were to be exterminated totally, like the Jews were supposed to be. 1. Jews and Romani (Gypsies) were not allowed to join guilds. 2. The policies against Gypsies were pre-Hitler, going back to 1899. 3. In the time of the Nazis, around half-a-million Romani were murdered. 4. In Dachau, a brown triangle meant a person was a Gypsy; a red triangle meant political prisoner; green triangles were for criminals; purple ones were for Jehovah's Witnesses; pink were for homosexuals, and yellow was for Jews. Chapter 2: Homosexuals. German hatred of homosexuals also pre-dated Hitler and the Nazis. Homosexual became a criminal offense as of 1871. 1. The Nazis started rounding up homosexuals in 1934. 2. Many were used for medical experiments. 3. The number of homosexuals who died in the camps was between 5000 and 15000. Chapter 3: Christians. The Nazi plan was to do away with the Old Testament, and rewrite the New Testament so it reflected Nazi ideals. Many priests, pastors and nuns were sent to camps. Chapter 4: Jehovah's Witnesses. They refused to serve in the German army or navy. They encouraged others not to fight, and this was considered treason by the Nazis. By 1939 they were required to wear a purple armband. Over 6,019 were imprisoned out of 25,000 that were there. Chapter 5: Sterilization. Any group the Nazis did not like were subject to sterilization. Jews were included, of course, but so was anyone who was hereditarily blind, deaf, physically or mentally handicapped, or were alcoholic. Between 1934 and 1939, between 350,000 and 400,000 were sterilized. Also, some 75,000 mentally ill and retarded people were killed. There was a lot of close cooperation between the scientists and the government in this effort. Chapter 6: Marriages between Jews and non-Jews. This goes into that topic, plus how children were considered half Jews or fell into some other category, and what happened to them when they did. Chapter 7: Blacks. The Germans hated blacks long before Hitler came to power. Children of German women and blacks were considered “Rhineland Bastards.” Under the Nazis, those children were to be sterilized. Chapter 8: Censorship: This chapter is about book-burnings, censorship, the arts, and also Jews. Chapter 9: People with dissenting opinions and what happened to them. Chapter 10: People of Czechoslovakia and what happened to them. Chapter 11: The Underground Medical School in Poland. Poles were also gathered up and killed, since they were one of the groups Hitler declared to be subhuman. Polish high schools and colleges were closed. Chapter 12: Forced labor. Chapter 13: Related to that chapter, this one is about the people forced to work on the V-2 rockets. As I said, it's not a nice book to read, but it's essential to read if one wishes to understand how the Nazis hatred of people resulted in millions of deaths, starvation, forced labor, sterilization, and attempts to control how people think, adding, of course, all of this on top of six million Jews who were murdered.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Drew

    After reading the book “The Other Victims” by Ina R. Friedman I think the book was very intriguing, in learning how and what these men and women of all types had to endure to survive. In reading this book one gains knowledge of the pain and struggles faced by many, but sadly many of them are unable to tell their stories, but those who still have a voice are heard and we all can learn from what they have to say. Also thrown in with the survival stories Friedman has written in more detail on some After reading the book “The Other Victims” by Ina R. Friedman I think the book was very intriguing, in learning how and what these men and women of all types had to endure to survive. In reading this book one gains knowledge of the pain and struggles faced by many, but sadly many of them are unable to tell their stories, but those who still have a voice are heard and we all can learn from what they have to say. Also thrown in with the survival stories Friedman has written in more detail on some of the events to fill in the blanks witch is helpful to the reader as to enhance the reading. The book can be enjoyed if the reader is into this era of history. The reason Friedman wrote this book was to let us hear the voices and the stories of those who were able to attain survival and continue their journey through life. By writing this book she has given voices to those whose tales may leave you in awe in how such events occurred. She has not only given voices to the survivors but also those who shared the experiences of pain. People like Bubilis’ family, like his father and his uncle who were murdered because they were gypsies, and were unable to tell their own tales. She also does not tell of the death of the Jews but of all the other victims that many people did not even know were victims. The theme of this book in my opinion falls between two very important concepts. The first and most easily seen one is that from hearing these survival stories, we must never let such horrible crimes ever happen to anyone at any time or any place. Most people know this since it is so important that we never let history repeat itself. The second one and maybe less easily seen one is that the Jews were not the only victims of these crimes and that we must know of the sufferings of all the others that were affected. This includes many different people like the blacks, gays, gypsies, those with different religious or political views, and many others. Friedman wrote the book in an exposition style as to explain the views of the victims of the Holocaust and to also be able to add a little bit of analysis in there. This worked very well for her since it has the firsthand accounts of the victims while also allowing her to inform the reader on what they may not understand about the events in the book. This is probably the best fitted style for this type of book for these reasons and really made the book easy to follow. I would say that this book is definitely at least a four star pushing close to possibly a five star since it is very informative while still keeping the reader interested. Much is learned about other victims of the Holocaust that was not common knowledge and is at the same time very entertaining with the stories of what unimaginable events took place in these men women and even children’s lives. So I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is interested in that type of stuff especially to those who are interested in the Holocaust. It is not much like any other books I have read except the survival story of Elie Wiesel in the book “Night”.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Susan Riegger

    "The Other Victims" was compiled by Ina Friedman with help by her husband Sam Starobin and is an autobiographical novel. The interviewers took place in the United States and Germany. This is for the adult reader who has prior knowledge of the Holocaust, the Nazi's and concentration camps. The summary of this book is the many first hand accounts of the Nazi's war against homosexuals,Jehovah's Witnesses, and blacks. The use of mind control, kidnapping, and slave labor needed to aid in the Nazi wor "The Other Victims" was compiled by Ina Friedman with help by her husband Sam Starobin and is an autobiographical novel. The interviewers took place in the United States and Germany. This is for the adult reader who has prior knowledge of the Holocaust, the Nazi's and concentration camps. The summary of this book is the many first hand accounts of the Nazi's war against homosexuals,Jehovah's Witnesses, and blacks. The use of mind control, kidnapping, and slave labor needed to aid in the Nazi world domination efforts.This book is the stories of the non-jewish victims of the holocaust. I enjoyed reading this book because I had never really read any material that dealt with non-jewish accounts of the butchery and propaganda efforts that the holocaust was not happening. This book should accompany any history class that deals with the holocaust or World War Two classes. While the jewish population had the most devastating effects of the concentration camps and holocaust I fell that students of all religions and cultures should knows the entire story.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    The overall concept of the book was very enjoyable. Sometimes I think we as humans overlook particularly during the Holocaust the other non-Jews who suffered the same issues as the Jews. The first thought that comes to mind when reading any book about the Holocaust and World War II is that we presume it to only be from the perspective of a Jewish person. Before reading this book I knew of the other groups of people whom were discriminated upon by the Nazis. But I had never read or heard about so The overall concept of the book was very enjoyable. Sometimes I think we as humans overlook particularly during the Holocaust the other non-Jews who suffered the same issues as the Jews. The first thought that comes to mind when reading any book about the Holocaust and World War II is that we presume it to only be from the perspective of a Jewish person. Before reading this book I knew of the other groups of people whom were discriminated upon by the Nazis. But I had never read or heard about someone belonging to these groups and their experiences and stories. The concept is something I very much found interesting; however, the fact that the book skipped around a lot of the time and left massive gaps in these individuals and their story line worsened the book in my opinion. Something I would sincerely request for anybody else writing about a topic similar to this and in this fashion is to go more in depth and in detail about the lives of these people rather than shortly summarize their struggles in one chapters worth of writing.

  7. 4 out of 5

    April Helms

    This book is a compilation of first-hand accounts of people who, for one reason or another, found themselves caught in Hitler's crosshairs. The stories themselves are good reference material for scholars and sobering reading: a young Roma teen forced into a concentration camp; a deaf teen forced to undergo sterilization; a Jehova's Witness family who refused to serve in the Nazi armies; and others. I had mixed feelings about this book. While the stories themselves are worth reading, I kept feeli This book is a compilation of first-hand accounts of people who, for one reason or another, found themselves caught in Hitler's crosshairs. The stories themselves are good reference material for scholars and sobering reading: a young Roma teen forced into a concentration camp; a deaf teen forced to undergo sterilization; a Jehova's Witness family who refused to serve in the Nazi armies; and others. I had mixed feelings about this book. While the stories themselves are worth reading, I kept feeling what should have been a high school level book was "dumbed down" to elementary school-age. I can understand the first-persona accounts being a bit disjointed at times, but the intros to the chapters felt clunky. Another warning: This book is dated (it refers to East and West Germany).

  8. 4 out of 5

    Whitney

    I enjoyed how the author has facts about the holocaust but also how individual stories were included from survivors who experienced the Nazis's brutality. I knew that there was six million Jews killed in the Holocaust but I did not know about the other five million that Hitler wanted to exterminate that were not Jewish. I learned a lot from this book. I thought that it was interesting how he would sterilize deaf people. This small community he saw as a threat. Hitler ruled with words and propaga I enjoyed how the author has facts about the holocaust but also how individual stories were included from survivors who experienced the Nazis's brutality. I knew that there was six million Jews killed in the Holocaust but I did not know about the other five million that Hitler wanted to exterminate that were not Jewish. I learned a lot from this book. I thought that it was interesting how he would sterilize deaf people. This small community he saw as a threat. Hitler ruled with words and propaganda, if he couldn't get through to them by the spoken word he would not be able to control their minds and create what he thought was a greater society.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Luke Pensallorto

    This book was very good, it gave me a different point of view on different groups during the Holocaust. It talked about Gypsies, young teenagers, Jews married to Christians, and etc. Really opened my eyes of what other people went through. What I liked most about this book was that it gave so many different point of views on different groups so you didn't have to stick with the character the whole way. Also it just made everything more interesting. This book just kept the reader intrigued about This book was very good, it gave me a different point of view on different groups during the Holocaust. It talked about Gypsies, young teenagers, Jews married to Christians, and etc. Really opened my eyes of what other people went through. What I liked most about this book was that it gave so many different point of views on different groups so you didn't have to stick with the character the whole way. Also it just made everything more interesting. This book just kept the reader intrigued about all different people during the Holocaust.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kimber Burnett

    I won this book as a first read from goodreads!! I have read other reviews of this book and thought and thought about what I read. I do not like to criticize anyone's work as I know I do not have the talent nor discipline to sit down and write a book. Having said that, I just didn't really care for this book. For me there just wasn't enough detail or substance. I won this book as a first read from goodreads!! I have read other reviews of this book and thought and thought about what I read. I do not like to criticize anyone's work as I know I do not have the talent nor discipline to sit down and write a book. Having said that, I just didn't really care for this book. For me there just wasn't enough detail or substance.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Libby

    To make the horrors of Nazism understandable without drowning the reader in despair is difficult. Friedman does this telling about different categories of people (that in itself is telling!) persecuted by the Nazis, and then including the story of one individual from that group who actually survived - rays of hope in the midst of near choking evil. Highly recommended.

  12. 4 out of 5

    J.M.

    Very moving accounts of people who were not Jewish but who were still persecuted by the Nazis during the reign of the Third Reich. An eye-opener for anyone unfamiliar with Hilter's all-encompassing plan for racial and ethnical cleansing. A must read if only to keep the memory of the horrors of the Holocaust alive so we don't repeat them. Very moving accounts of people who were not Jewish but who were still persecuted by the Nazis during the reign of the Third Reich. An eye-opener for anyone unfamiliar with Hilter's all-encompassing plan for racial and ethnical cleansing. A must read if only to keep the memory of the horrors of the Holocaust alive so we don't repeat them.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    A great book with some fascinating stories. I've read a lot of Holocaust books bec. it's a historical interest to me, but most of them have focused on stories of Jewish people. This book looked at the Holocaust from all sorts of lives affected by the Nazi craziness. I learned a lot and was engaged for the entire book. I own this book if anyone wants to borrow it. A great book with some fascinating stories. I've read a lot of Holocaust books bec. it's a historical interest to me, but most of them have focused on stories of Jewish people. This book looked at the Holocaust from all sorts of lives affected by the Nazi craziness. I learned a lot and was engaged for the entire book. I own this book if anyone wants to borrow it.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Allyson

    I found this book difficult and challenging to follow. While I liked the first person narratives, the book included a lot of background knowledge on how each subgroup was being treated during Nazi Germany.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Ainger

    "Each of us has a responsibility to safeguard the rights of others. If we do not, our own rights could vanish." Today, January 20 2017, this has never hit home so hard before. A much needed reminder for all of us. "Each of us has a responsibility to safeguard the rights of others. If we do not, our own rights could vanish." Today, January 20 2017, this has never hit home so hard before. A much needed reminder for all of us.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Edwina Callan

    When Dwight D. Eisenhower, George Patton and Omar Bradley inspected Ohrdruf concentration camp, "Eisenhower turned white. Patton threw up. Bradley was too stunned to speak." We must NEVER forget The Holocaust. When Dwight D. Eisenhower, George Patton and Omar Bradley inspected Ohrdruf concentration camp, "Eisenhower turned white. Patton threw up. Bradley was too stunned to speak." We must NEVER forget The Holocaust.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This book is a great reminder that many others besides Jews were persecuted during the Holocaust. Touching and an important reminder of history's darkest moments. This book is a great reminder that many others besides Jews were persecuted during the Holocaust. Touching and an important reminder of history's darkest moments.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jayette Hightower

    Great perspective on others' experiences during the Holocaust. Great perspective on others' experiences during the Holocaust.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Isabella

    Amazing

  20. 4 out of 5

    drowningmermaid

  21. 4 out of 5

    Trevor

  22. 4 out of 5

    Levy Davis

  23. 5 out of 5

    Liz

  24. 5 out of 5

    Erikka

  25. 4 out of 5

    Miranda

  26. 5 out of 5

    Christi

  27. 5 out of 5

    Seth Marcus

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ben Coffey

  29. 4 out of 5

    JUDI ALIFF

  30. 5 out of 5

    Olivia

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