Dan McMillan

discusses

How Could This Happen:
Explaining the Holocaust

This event includes a book signing

Date

May
6
Tuesday
May 6, 2014
7:00 PM

Location

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes historian DAN MCMILLAN for a discussion of his book How Could This Happen: Explaining the Holocaust.

The Holocaust has long seemed incomprehensible, a monumental crime that beggars our powers of description and explanation. Historians have probed the many sources of this tragedy, but no account has united the various causes into an overarching synthesis that answers the vital question: How was such a nightmare possible in the heart of western civilization?

In How Could This Happen, Dan McMillan distills the vast body of Holocaust research into a cogent explanation and comprehensive analysis of the genocide’s many causes, revealing how a once-progressive society like Germany could have carried out this crime. The Holocaust, he explains, was caused not by one but by a combination of factors—from Germany’s failure to become a democracy until 1918, to the widespread acceptance of anti-Semitism and scientific racism, to the effects of World War I, which intensified political divisions within the country and drastically lowered the value of human life in the minds of an entire generation. Masterfully synthesizing the myriad causes that led Germany to disaster, McMillan shows why thousands of Germans carried out the genocide while millions watched, with cold indifference, as it enveloped their homeland. 

Dan McMillan
Dan McMillan

Dan McMillan

Dan McMillan holds a Ph.D. in History from Columbia University and a law degree from Fordham University, and has worked as a prosecutor and a history professor. The need to understand the Holocaust has shaped McMillan’s life since he first read about this tragedy at the age of 14: he became completely fluent in German, studied History at Stanford University and at the Freie Universität in Berlin, earned his doctorate in German history at Columbia, and taught history at universities in Illinois, New Jersey, and New York. He lives in New York City. 

Photo Credit: Sigrid Estrada

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.

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