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Ebook Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen read! Book Title: Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust
Date of issue: March 29th 1996
ISBN: 0679446958
ISBN 13: 9780679446958
The author of the book: Daniel Jonah Goldhagen
Language: English
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 28.32 MB
Edition: Knopf

Read full description of the books Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust:

A work of the utmost originality and importance--as authoritative as it is explosive--that radically transforms our understanding of the Holocaust and of Germany in the Nazi period.

Daniel Jonah Goldhagen has revisited a question that history has come to treat as settled, and his researches 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 antisemitism--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 won 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 behavior of their comrades (for no such evidence exists)...and not for any reason 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: they organization of their daily lives, how they did what they did, their reactions to it, even their recreations in the killing 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.

Hitler's Willing Executioners will provoke intense debate, for it asks us to reconsider fifty years' worth of accumulated views and assumptions. It will change the way that this greatest horror of the twentieth century is understood.

Daniel Jonah Goldhagen is Assistant Professor of Government and Social Studies at Harvard University and an Associate of Harvard's Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies. His doctoral dissertation, which is the basis for this book, was awarded the American Political Science Association's 1994 Gabriel A. Almond Award for the best dissertation in the field of comparative politics.

With 33 photographs and 8 maps.

Jacket illustration: Thousands of Germans gather at a mass antisemitic rally on August 15, 1935, in Berlin. The two banners read: "The Jews Are Our Misfortune" and "Women and Girls, the Jews Are Your Ruin." Photograph courtesy of Rijks Instituut Voor Oorlogsdocumentatie, Amsterdam, Netherlands; Jacket design by Barbara de Wilde

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Ebook Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust read Online! Daniel Jonah Goldhagen is a controversial American author and former associate professor of political science and social studies at Harvard University. Goldhagen reached international attention and broad criticism as the author of two books about the Holocaust: Hitler's Willing Executioners (1996) and A Moral Reckoning (2002). He is also the author of Worse Than War(2009), which examines the phenomenon of genocide.

"The book [Hitler’s Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust] sparked controversy in the press and academic circles. Some historians have characterized its reception as an extension of the Historikerstreit, the German historiographical debate of the 1980s that sought to explain Nazi history. The book was a "publishing phenomenon", achieving fame in both the United States and Germany despite being criticized by some historians, who called it ahistorical and, according to Holocaust historian Raul Hilberg, "totally wrong about everything" and "worthless." Due to its alleged "generalizing hypothesis" about Germans, it has been characterized as anti-German. The Israeli historian Yehuda Bauer claims that "Goldhagen stumbles badly," .. Bauer argues that "Goldhagen's thesis does not work." and charges "...that the anti-German bias of his book, almost a racist bias (however much he may deny it) leads nowhere." The American historian Fritz Stern denounced the book as unscholarly and full of racist Germanophobia. Hilberg summarised the debates, "by the end of 1996, it was clear that in sharp distinction from lay readers, much of the academic world had wiped Goldhagen off the map."[ Source:]

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