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Hitler's willing executioners : ordinary Germans and the Holocaust / Daniel Jonah Goldhagen.

By: Goldhagen, Daniel Jonah.
Material type: TextTextPublisher: New York : Vintage Books, 1997Edition: 1st Vintage books ed.Description: x, 634 pages : illustrations, maps ; 21 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 0679772685; 9780679772682; 9781439571651; 1439571651.Other title: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust.Subject(s): Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) -- Causes | Antisemitism -- Germany | War criminals -- Germany -- Psychology | National socialism -- Moral and ethical aspects | Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) | Antisemitism | National socialism -- Moral and ethical aspects | War -- Causes | War criminals -- Psychology | Germany | Tweede Wereldoorlog | Holocaust | Oorlogsmisdadigers | Antisemitismus | Judenvernichtung | Schuld | BMBF-Statusseminar | Antisémitisme -- Allemagne | Criminels de guerre -- Allemagne -- Psychologie | National-socialisme | Juifs -- Extermination (1939-1945) | Juifs -- Persécutions -- Allemagne | 1939-1945DDC classification: 940.53/18 Other classification: 15.70 | NQ 2360
Contents:
Introduction: Reconceiving central aspects of the Holocaust -- Understanding German antisemitism : the eliminationist mind-set: Recasting the view of antisemitism : a framework for analysis ; The evolution of eliminationist antisemitism in modern Germany ; Eliminationist antisemitism : the "common sense" of German society during the Nazi period -- The eliminationist program and institutions: The Nazis' assault on the Jews : Its character and evolution ; The agents and machinery of destruction -- Police battalions : ordinary Germans, willing killers: Police battalions : agents of genocide ; Police Battalion 101 : the men's deeds ; Police battalion 101 : assessing the men's motives ; Police battalions : lives, killings, and motives -- Jewish "work" in annihilation: The sources and pattern of Jewish "work" during the Nazi period ; Life in the "work" camps ; Work and death -- Death marches : to the final days: The deadly way ; Marching to what end? -- Eliminationist antisemitism, ordinary Germans, willing executioners: Explaining the perpetrators' actions : assessing the competing explanations ; Eliminationist antisemitism as genocidal motivation -- Epilogue: The Nazi German revolution -- Afterword to the Vintage edition -- Appendix 1: A note on method -- Appendix 2: Schematization of the dominant beliefs in Gernalm about Jews, the mentally ill, and Slavs -- Appendix 3: Foreword to the German edition -- Pseudonyms -- Abbreviations.
Awards: National Book Critics Circle Award for NonfictionSummary: Daniel Jonah Goldhagen has revisited a question that history has come to treat as settled, and his researchers have led him to the inescapable conclusion that none of the established answers holds true. That question is: "How could the Holocaust happen?" His own response is a new exploration of those who carried out the Holocaust and of German society and its ingrained anti-semitism - and it demands a fundamental revision of our thinking about the years 1933-1945. Drawing principally on materials either unexplored or neglected by previous scholars, Goldhagen marshals new, disquieting, primary evidence - including extensive testimony from the actual perpetrators themselves - to show that many beliefs about the killers are fallacies: They were not primarily SS men or Nazi Party members, but perfectly ordinary Germans from all walks of life, men (and women) who brutalized and murdered Jews both willingly and zealously. And they did so, moreover, not because they were coerced (for, as he shows irrefutably, so many were informed by their own commanders that they could refuse to kill without fear of retribution) ... not because they slavishly followed orders (a view seemingly supported by Stanley Milgram's famous Yale "obedience experiment") ... not because of any tremendous social, psychological, or peer pressure to conform to the behaviour of their comrades (for no such evidence exists) ... and not for any reasons associated with Hannah Arendt's disputed notion of the "banality of evil." They acted as they did because of a widespread, profound, unquestioned, and virulent antisemitism that led them to regard the Jews as a demonic enemy whose extermination was not only necessary but also just. Again and again, it is the killers' own words that give us a portrait, both shocking and immediate, of their world: the organization of their daily lives, how they did what they did, their reactions to it, even their recreations in the killings fields, which included everything from sports and entertainment to the hobby of taking snapshots of their deeds and victims - to be freely exchanged and collected among themselves - leaving a devastating record of self-indictment that the author reproduces here. All of Goldhagen's documentary evidence is set within a fresh analysis of the phenomenon of German antisemitism itself, which revises many conventional views. He shows that it was already deep-rooted and pervasive in German society before Hitler came to power, and that there was a widely shared view that the Jews ought to be eliminated in some way from German society. When Hitler, ultimately, chose mass extermination as the only "final solution," he was thus easily able to enlist vast numbers of Germans to carry it out.
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Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode
New book University of Texas At Tyler
New book shelf - 2nd Floor
D804.3 .G648 1997 (Browse shelf) Checked out 08/02/2019 0000002330009

"With a new afterword"--Page 4 of cover.

Originally published in hardcover in slightly different form by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., New York, in 1996.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Introduction: Reconceiving central aspects of the Holocaust -- Understanding German antisemitism : the eliminationist mind-set: Recasting the view of antisemitism : a framework for analysis ; The evolution of eliminationist antisemitism in modern Germany ; Eliminationist antisemitism : the "common sense" of German society during the Nazi period -- The eliminationist program and institutions: The Nazis' assault on the Jews : Its character and evolution ; The agents and machinery of destruction -- Police battalions : ordinary Germans, willing killers: Police battalions : agents of genocide ; Police Battalion 101 : the men's deeds ; Police battalion 101 : assessing the men's motives ; Police battalions : lives, killings, and motives -- Jewish "work" in annihilation: The sources and pattern of Jewish "work" during the Nazi period ; Life in the "work" camps ; Work and death -- Death marches : to the final days: The deadly way ; Marching to what end? -- Eliminationist antisemitism, ordinary Germans, willing executioners: Explaining the perpetrators' actions : assessing the competing explanations ; Eliminationist antisemitism as genocidal motivation -- Epilogue: The Nazi German revolution -- Afterword to the Vintage edition -- Appendix 1: A note on method -- Appendix 2: Schematization of the dominant beliefs in Gernalm about Jews, the mentally ill, and Slavs -- Appendix 3: Foreword to the German edition -- Pseudonyms -- Abbreviations.

Daniel Jonah Goldhagen has revisited a question that history has come to treat as settled, and his researchers have led him to the inescapable conclusion that none of the established answers holds true. That question is: "How could the Holocaust happen?" His own response is a new exploration of those who carried out the Holocaust and of German society and its ingrained anti-semitism - and it demands a fundamental revision of our thinking about the years 1933-1945. Drawing principally on materials either unexplored or neglected by previous scholars, Goldhagen marshals new, disquieting, primary evidence - including extensive testimony from the actual perpetrators themselves - to show that many beliefs about the killers are fallacies: They were not primarily SS men or Nazi Party members, but perfectly ordinary Germans from all walks of life, men (and women) who brutalized and murdered Jews both willingly and zealously. And they did so, moreover, not because they were coerced (for, as he shows irrefutably, so many were informed by their own commanders that they could refuse to kill without fear of retribution) ... not because they slavishly followed orders (a view seemingly supported by Stanley Milgram's famous Yale "obedience experiment") ... not because of any tremendous social, psychological, or peer pressure to conform to the behaviour of their comrades (for no such evidence exists) ... and not for any reasons associated with Hannah Arendt's disputed notion of the "banality of evil." They acted as they did because of a widespread, profound, unquestioned, and virulent antisemitism that led them to regard the Jews as a demonic enemy whose extermination was not only necessary but also just. Again and again, it is the killers' own words that give us a portrait, both shocking and immediate, of their world: the organization of their daily lives, how they did what they did, their reactions to it, even their recreations in the killings fields, which included everything from sports and entertainment to the hobby of taking snapshots of their deeds and victims - to be freely exchanged and collected among themselves - leaving a devastating record of self-indictment that the author reproduces here. All of Goldhagen's documentary evidence is set within a fresh analysis of the phenomenon of German antisemitism itself, which revises many conventional views. He shows that it was already deep-rooted and pervasive in German society before Hitler came to power, and that there was a widely shared view that the Jews ought to be eliminated in some way from German society. When Hitler, ultimately, chose mass extermination as the only "final solution," he was thus easily able to enlist vast numbers of Germans to carry it out.

Includes bibliographical references (pages 487-613) and index.

National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Though scholarly, this work, originally a Ph.D. thesis, promises to have a wide influence. Goldhagen (government, Harvard) endeavors to show that the common apologia for the Germans‘that Hitler "brainwashed" them‘is nonsense and that most Germans gave their active assent to genocide. An ordinary German commander, for example, might feel himself bound by a strict code of conduct yet not be at all averse to murdering Jews. The book ends with a detailed notes section and an appendix that explains the correct methodology for studying the Nazi period. Like Raul Hilberg's great Destruction of the European Jews, Goldhagen's work is a landmark in Holocaust studies. It does not supersede any of the standard histories of the Holocaust by Hilberg, Dawidowicz, Levin, Gilbert, and others simply because its primary aim is not to describe events but to explore and explain motivation. In so doing it provides a fuller understanding of the Holocaust. The work will be the subject of an international symposium held at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., on April 8. Highly recommended for most libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 11/1/95.]‘Paul Kaplan, Lake Villa District Lib., Ill. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

CHOICE Review

Goldhagen's indispensable but provocative book on the Holocaust contends that although the Nazis were the driving force behind the persecution and eventual slaughter of the Jews, the endemic antisemitism of the German people created the necessary enabling condition for the extermination program to unfold. Goldhagen persuasively argues that Hitler was adored by the vast majority of the German people, who were committed to the ideology of elimination that the Nazis mobilized against the Jews. What distinguished Germans from other antisemitic peoples in Europe was that only in Germany did an openly rabid anti-Jewish movement, committed to genocide, come to power. No other country's antisemitism was so wedded to racism and to such a pernicious image of Jewry that it allowed "ordinary" citizens to believe that the wholesale murder of its Jews was in fact a necessary duty to preserve the nation. Goldhagen comes down clearly on the side of the "intentionalist" school, which holds that elimination and extermination of the Jews was always the central motif of Hitler's ideology and only awaited the opportunity for implementation. All levels. J. Fischel Millersville University

Author notes provided by Syndetics

<p>nbsp;<br> Daniel Jonah Goldhagen is an Associate of Harvard University's Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies.nbsp; His doctoral dissertation, which is the basis for the book, was awarded the American Political Science Association's 1994 Gabriel A. Almond Award for the best dissertation in the field of comparative politics.nbsp; After publication of this book in Germany, in 1997 Daniel Johan Goldhagen won the highly prestigious Democracy Prize.nbsp; He is the author of A Moral Reckoning: The Role of the Catholic Church in the Holocaust and Its Unfulfilled Duty of Repair .</p>

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