Books and Essays
- Fresh Wounds ,University of North Carolina Press, 1998
- Socialist, Anti-Semite, and Jew, Louisiana State University Press, 1972
Professor Donald Niewyk is interested in the temptations of Nazi-style right wing political movements
in conservative capitalist societies and in their capacity to end in genocide.
His first book, Socialist, Anti-Semite, and Jew, examines the efforts of Germany’s most committed
democrats to combat Hitler’s rise to power by contradicting his attacks on the Jews.
Niewyk’s findings anticipated what has become something approaching scholarly consensus: most Germans held
ambivalent views of the Jews before the Nazi seizure of power, but they were not potential “willing
executioners” of racial minorities generated an anthology, The Holocaust: Problems and Perspectives of Interpretation, that surveys the historiography of Nazi genocide.
Now in a third edition, it is used in college-level Holocaust courses throughout the English-speaking world. Along the same lines is The Columbia Guide to the Holocaust, which is more encyclopedic in its coverage.
Both volumes encourage students and general readers to take a critical stance on such issues as Holocaust origins, perpetrator motivations, victim responses, and rescue possibilities. They also seek to make readers thoughtful about the uses and abuses of Holocaust commemoration in our own time.
Recently Niewyk has returned to the subject of pre-Nazi anti-Semitism and Holocaust roots by exploring the Jews’ role in the German economy during the Imperial and Weimar years. Impatient with simplistic theories of Judeophobia based on scapegoat models, he seeks to sharpen our understanding of Jewish-gentile relations in the years from Bismarck to Hitler by probing both real and imagined
conflicts of interest.