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16 Pages

Introduction

ByJANE CAPLAN, NIKOLAUS WACHSMANN

This collection of essays offers the first overview in English of recent scholarly research – the ‘new histories’ – on the Nazi concentration camps. Written by experts in the field from Germany, England, Israel and the USA, it provides a guide to the current state of knowledge and historiography on the subject for an English-speaking readership. Although each contributor is a specialist in his or her topic, the volume does not aim to present detailed archival research into selective aspects of camp history; nor is it a general or comprehensive survey of the camps as a whole. The collection is, rather, guided by the editors’ belief that the remarkable scope and findings of the new histories now deserve to be made accessible to readers who are not specialists in the field. Each essay therefore approaches the Nazi camps from one of the key perspectives prominent in recent research, analysing and evaluating the scholarship on the topic and including extensive references to the secondary literature. The essays integrate a critical analysis of these historiographies, highlighting some of their main conclusions, commenting on continuing areas of debate and suggesting possible directions for future research.