Fifty years after Adolph Hitler’s failed attempt to exterminate the Jews of
Europe, there still remains no consensus upon the causes of this event. Daniel
Jonah Goldhagen, author of Hilter’s Willing Executioners, attempts to provide a
new approach and new explanations to the perplexing questions left in the
aftermath of 1945. Upon it’s publication, Goldhagen’s thesis came under much
scrutiny by his academic peers. Goldhagen’s argument is that the usual
historical explanations of the Holocaust do not add up. The Holocaust was not
perpetrated by a small band of Nazis but by “ordinary Germans” in the hundreds
of thousands. The abrupt transformation of Germans from bakers, bankers and
bureaucrats to mass murderers was due to a particularly virulent strain of
anti-Semitism. Goldhagen’s indictment focuses on the citizenry’s complicity in
three of Nazi Germany’s institutions of mass killing; the Ordnungspolizie (the
Nazi Police Battalions), the work camps where Jews were incarcerated, and the
death marches from the those camps led by prison guards and their charges
near the end of the war.
While Goldhagen efficiently states the thesis to his dissertation, his
organizational style leaves much to be desired. One of the primary problems
with his style is it’s irritatingly repetitive nature. Goldhagen simply reiterates his
position, particularly in the opening chapters. In these chapter, on no less than
five occasions, he states the need for academicians to “reconceive our
understanding of modern German anti-Semitism by applying the theoretical and
methodological prescriptions enunciated here, including the dimensional
framework, to a more specific analysis of the histor...
... middle of paper ...
...oners. However, these people were
guilty for failing to protest Hitler’s murderous intentions and policies while there
was still time, and for this, they should be ashamed.
Goldhagen, Daniel Jonah. Hitler’s Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the
Holocaust. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1996
Complete Pagination: 622 pages
Map Pagination: 8 maps appear throughout the text.
Appedices Pagination: 2 Appendices include 9 total pages.
Indices Pagination: 15 pages
Chart Pagination: N/A
Bibliography: The extended bibliography is found in the Notes section of the work. The
pagination of the note section is 126 pages.
2 pages entitled Acknowledgement
1 page entitled Pseudonyms
2 pages entitled Abbreviations
2 pages of Photo Credits
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- Hitler's Willing Executioners Fifty years after Adolph Hitler’s failed attempt to exterminate the Jews of Europe, there still remains no consensus upon the causes of this event. Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, author of Hilter’s Willing Executioners, attempts to provide a new approach and new explanations to the perplexing questions left in the aftermath of 1945. Upon it’s publication, Goldhagen’s thesis came under much scrutiny by his academic peers. Goldhagen’s argument is that the usual historical explanations of the Holocaust do not add up.... [tags: Papers]
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