Review of H. Marcuse, Legacies of Dachau (Cambridge University Press, 2001)

From Booklist
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
[text from webpage]

Dachau was the first concentration camp to be set up. More than 200,000 prisoners were held there, and about 35,000 were documented to have died or been killed there. In the first 50 years since it was liberated, in April 1945, more than 21 million people visited the site. How did the Dachau memorial site come to be? What are the lessons it teaches, and who decided how to convey them? Marcuse wrote this book to provide answers to those questions. Part 1 recounts the history of Dachau, from its beginnings as a market town centuries ago through its repressive and genocidal phase, 1933 to 1945. Part 2 focuses on the decade from 1945 to 1955. Part 3 traces the images of Dachau embraced and propagated by the groups most involved in shaping its postwar history. Part 4 outlines the process of overcoming, since 1970, what Marcuse terms "the mythically distorted collective images of the Nazi era." This massive study is a crucial and definitive account of one important aspect of the Holocaust.
George Cohen

[back to Harold Marcuse homepage]