Eternal Treblinka? Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust by Charles Patterson
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Author: Charles Patterson

Reviewed by: Richard H. Schwartz, Jewish Vegetarians of North America


Eternal Treblinka
Eternal Treblinkabr
Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust
By Charles Patterson, Ph.D
ISBN: 1-930051-99-9
Book (Paperback)
Lantern Books

Review by Richard H. Schwartz, Jewish Vegetarians of North America:

This book explores the similar attitudes and methods behind modern society's treatment of animals and the way humans have often treated each other, most notably during the Holocaust. The book's epigraph and title are from "The Letter Writer," a story by the Yiddish writer and Nobel Laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer: "In relation to them, all people are Nazis; for the animals it is an eternal Treblinka.

The first part of the book (Chapters 1-2) describes the emergence of human beings as the master species and their domination over the rest of the inhabitants of the earth.

Charles Patterson spells out how the evil intent of the master species of humans denigrates and exploits other humans as well as other species in order to make themselves feel and look superior in their own eyes and put fear in the hearts of others. This they do with brutality. They degrade to make the objects of their evil intent appear to deserve the pain and suffering imposed upon them.

Judy Chicago wrote: "I began to wonder about the ethical distinction between processing pigs and doing the same thing to people defined as pigs. Many would argue that moral considerations do not have to be extended to animals, but this is just what the Nazis said about the Jews." (p. 49)

The second part (Chapters 3-5) examines the industrialization of slaughter (of both animals and humans) that took place in modern times.

Adolf HItler was very impressed with the assembly line killing methods of the Chicago's Union Stockyards and the production systems employed by Henry Ford, a Nazi supporter and believer in eugenics, which the Nazis used as an excuse to exterminate the "inferior" races. The concentration camps were production line human slaughterhouses, mirroring our animal slaughterhouses.

When we look at the similarity between the ways the Jews were transported, housed and systematically murdered and disposed of, and the ways we warehouse, transport and slaughter animals, we see the same lack of compassion and indifference to pain and suffering. As long as the master race survives, no other living being matters.

We see this as a blueprint for the destruction of the human race, for unless we stop this trend, there will always be those who believe that they can murder their way to the top, utilizing more and more powerful and efficient means (I.e. nuclear weapons). Charles Patterson's book is a warning to us all. Only we can stop our present trend from becoming eternal.

The last part of the book (Chapters 6-8) profiles Jewish and German animal advocates on both sides of the Holocaust, including Isaac Bashevis Singer himself.

Knowing some of the people referenced in this part of Eternal Treblinka adds a personal connection to the human suffering of the past. By knowing how these people have worked and are working to end suffering of both humans and animals clearly illustrates how we can return goodness and compassion for evil and bring peace to this earth without seeking revenge.

We highly recommend Eternal Treblinka.

Other Reviews

"Compelling, controversial, iconoclastic...strongly recommended.
—Midwest Book Review

"Whether the comparison between the extermination of the Jews
and our daily slaughter of millions of 'food' animals evokes
agreement or outrage, you will want to read this meticulously
researched and compelling treatment of a painful and controversial
—Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles

"Eternal Treblinka is an eye-opening, thought-provoking book
that I highly recommend."
—Michael Fein, The Gantseh Megillah, Montreal

"As an international webcaster I have interviewed many authors
on many different subjects. NEVER before have I read or
interviewed anything as IMPORTANT, compelling, and well-done
as Eternal Treblinka by Charles Patterson. This expose is more
than you could ever have known before and a valuable addition
to every library and school and home in America. I can't say
enough about it, it's number one on my list of recommended
—Meria Heller, The Meria Heller Show, Phoenix AZ

"Important and timely...written with great sensitivity and
compassion...I hope that Eternal Treblinka will be widely read."
—Martyrdom and Resistance (Holocaust publication)

"Charles Patterson's book will go a long way towards righting
the terrible wrongs that human beings, throughout history,
have perpetrated on non-human animals. I urge you to read it
and think deeply about its important message."
—Dr. Jane Goodall

"Today I just finished reading one of the all-time BEST books,
Eternal Treblinka, and I must thank you for your immense
contribution to humanity. It is my hope that your masterpiece
will be translated into many languages and that it will receive
the distribution it so richly warrants."
—Karen Marcus, J.D.

"Your book is powerful, moving, gut-wrenching, brilliant--
destined to be a classic, I'm sure of it. I am grateful to be
in it. I wish you every success in getting this stunning book
the recognition and readers it so richly deserves. Mazel Tov on
your achievement!"
—Aviva Cantor, journalist and author

Forward by Lucay Rosen Kaplan

The Foreword is by Lucy Rosen Kaplan, former attorney for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and daughter of Holocaust survivors.

About the Author:

Charles Patterson is a social historian, Holocaust educator, editor, and therapist. He is the author of Anti-Semitism: The Road to the Holocaust and Beyond, The Oxford 50th Anniversary Book of the United Nations, The Civil Rights Movement, and From Buchenwald to Carnegie Hall (co-authored with Marian Filar). He is a graduate of Amherst College, Columbia University (Ph.D.), and the Yad Vashem Institute for Holocaust Education in Jerusalem. Dr. Patterson now lives in New York City. He is a member of PEN, The Authors Guild, and the National Writers Union.

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