Cover image for The terrible secret : suppression of the truth about Hitler's "final solution" : with a new introduction by the author
The terrible secret : suppression of the truth about Hitler's "final solution" : with a new introduction by the author
Laqueur, Walter, 1921-
Personal Author:
First Owl books edition.
Publication Information:
New York : H. Holt, 1998.
Physical Description:
262 pages ; 21 cm
General Note:
"Owl books."
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
D810.J4 L278 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Laqueur's new introduction, written for this paperback edition of his classic work, revives the lesson of the Holocaust and broadens our understanding of one of history's most terrible crimes. Despite the outrage that swept the world when the Nazi death camps were first liberated in 1945, the truth about the extermination of European Jewry had been an open secret since at least 1941. Using sources and documentaries only recently made available, Walter Laqueur examines when and how information about the genocide became known to millions of Germans, international Jewish organizations, leaders of Jewish communities throughout Europe, and top government officials in neutral and Allied countries. Laying bare the lethal combination of disbelief and indifference that met this news, The Terrible Secret offers a brilliant and chilling demonstration of paralysis in the face of ultimate evil.

Author Notes

Walter Louis Laqueur was born in Breslau, Germany on May 26, 1921. At the age of 17, he fled just a few days before Kristallnacht and found his way to Palestine, where he was known as Ze'ev. He worked briefly on a kibbutz before moving to Jerusalem, where he spent a year enrolled in the Hebrew University and covered the Middle East as a journalist. In 1955, he moved to London, where he was a founder and editor of The Journal of Contemporary History and a founder of Survey, a foreign affairs journal. From 1965 to 1994 he was director of the Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide, a leading archive in London.

He became a scholar of the Holocaust, the collapse of the Soviet Union, European decline, the Middle East conflict, and global terrorism. He wrote numerous books including A History of Zionism, A History of Terrorism, The Terrible Secret, Putinism: Russia and Its Future with the West, and The Future of Terrorism: ISIS, Al Qaeda, and the Alt-Right written with Christopher Wall. His memoirs included Thursday's Child Has Far to Go; Worlds Ago; Best of Times, Worst of Times; and Reflections of a Veteran Pessimist. He was also the editor of The Holocaust Encyclopedia. He died on September 30, 2018 at the age of 97.

(Bowker Author Biography)