The New Inquisition (1939)


"We Are Not Human Beings. We Are Fish in a Bowl,
Kept There to Be Slaughtered."

Heiden, Konrad. The New Inquisition. New York: Modern Age Books / Alliance, 1939.

Octavo. Paper Wrappers. 1st Edition.

First edition of one of the earliest accounts available in America of Nazi atrocities, including reports from Dachau, Sachsenhausen, Oranienburg, and Buchenwald and a prediction of eventual mass murder. Konrad Heiden was a German-Jewish journalist who wrote his first book about the Nazis as early as 1932. Fully aware of their plans for the future, Heiden went into exile in 1933, traveling through Switzerland and eventually landing in France. In 1937, Heiden's German citizenship was revoked and his property was confiscated. When the Nazis occupied France, Heiden escaped from internment and fled to the United States with the help of Varian Fry and the International Rescue Committee. He spent the remainder of his life as a chronicler of the Nazi era, investigating its leaders and emergence and even identifying the author of Protocols of the Elders of Zion (a hoax text written by a Russian working for the Soviet intelligence services to drum up antisemitism). This work, written not long after the revocation of Heiden's citizenship when he was still living in France, aims to expose the horrors of life under Nazi rule. Heiden writes about the early concentration camps; the intentional starvation of the Jews; the destruction of Jewish sites; and, above all, the mass cruelty and brutality. He carefully recounts the circumstances of individual murders, shedding light on the violence of the Nazi regime and the lack of hope for those persecuted by it. He offers this summation of events: "To drive 600,000 people by robbery into hunger, by hunger into desperation, by desperation into wild outbreaks, and by such outbreaks into the waiting knife--such is the coolly calculated plan. Mass murder is the goal, a massacre such as history has not seen." Bump to bottom corner of text, light wear to extremities, mild toning to small portion of cover and to spine. A near-fine copy of a very rare title.