Browning also argues that Goldhagen does not look at more than one cause, namely hatred of Jews. The Catholic Church maintained its own “silent anti-Judaism” which “immuniz[ed] the Catholic population against the escalating persecution” and kept the Church from protesting against persecution of the Jews, even while it did protest against the euthanasia program. He also brings up the point that Goldhagen largely ignores the other victims of Nazi oppression and brutality, seeking to focus exclusively on the Jews. The book, which began as a Harvard doctoral dissertation, was written largely as an answer to Christopher Browning ‘s book Ordinary Men: In this afterward Browning calls into question the legitimacy and accuracy of Goldhagen’s work. Goldhagen argued that it “strains credibility” to imagine that “ordinary Danes or Italians” could have acted as he claimed ordinary Germans did during the Holocaust to prove that “eliminationist” anti-Semitism was uniquely German.

Several critics, including David North, [3] [78] have characterized Goldhagen’s text as adopting Nazi concepts of identity and utilizing them to slur Germans. The New York Times. He concludes that eliminationist assaults are preventable because “the world’s non-mass-murdering countries are wealthy and powerful, having prodigious military capabilities and they can band together “, whereas the perpetrator countries “are overwhelmingly poor and weak”. Alfred Knopf pp. Goldhagen replied to his critics in an article Motives, Causes, and Alibis: HarperCollins, page

daniel goldhagens thesis

The Holocaust on TrialNew York: Browning does not believe that Goldhagen has met the “burden of proof” to establish the correctness of his claim. Despite having a generally critical view of Goldhagen, Bauer wrote that the final chapters of Hitler’s Willing Executioners dealing with the death marches were ” Genocide, Eliminationism, and the Ongoing Assault on HumanityGoldhagen described Nazism and the Holocaust as “eliminationist assaults”.

There were regional variations in anti-Semitism even within Germany. It can do nothing of the sort.

Cambridge University Press, p. The vast majority of German anti-Semitics did not wish to abolish formal Jewish goldgagens. Much of Goldhagen’s book is concerned with the actions of the same Reserve Battalion of the Nazi German Ordnungspolizei and his narrative challenges numerous aspects of Browning’s book.


Daniel Goldhagen

The book was a “publishing phenomenon”, [2] achieving fame in both the United States and Germany, despite its “mostly scathing” reception danel historians, [3] who were unusually vocal in condemning it as ahistorical and, in the words of Holocaust historian Raul Hilberg”totally wrong about everything” and “worthless”. Goldhagen argued that it “strains credibility” to imagine that “ordinary Danes or Italians” could have acted as he claimed ordinary Germans did during the Holocaust to prove that “eliminationist” anti-Semitism was uniquely German.

Under its influence the vast majority of Germans wanted to eliminate Jews from German society, and the perpetrators of the Holocaust did what they did because they thought it was “right and necessary. Goldhagen’s first notable work was a book review titled “False Witness” published by The New Republic magazine on April 17, Browning argued that the men of Unit agreed willingly to participate in massacres out of a dwniel obedience to authority goldhwgens peer pressurenot thedis or primal hatred.

This is a striking statement to make, but Browning does back it up well and shows several glaring wholes in Goldhagen’s argument. If we are not constantly goldhagen guard against our own hatred and let our intolerance get the better of us we are just as capable of perpetuating something as terrible as the Nazi “Final Solution.

Indeed, fascist Spain was a haven for Jews during the Holocaust” he said.

Alfred Daniek p. In one instance, the commander of the unit gave his men the choice of opting out of this duty if they found it too unpleasant; the majority chose not to exercise that option, resulting in fewer than 15 men out of a battalion of opting out.

daniel goldhagens thesis

Retrieved January 4, He also mentions several key facts about the Police Battalion that help make his point about this calamity being uniquely German. He grew up in nearby Newton. His work synthesizes four historical elements, kept distinct for analysis; as presented in the books A Moral Reckoning: Goldhagen himself mentions that a large proportion of the Jewish upper classes in Germany converted to Christianity in the nineteenth century.


In a society where eliminationist norms were universal, and in which Jews were rejected even after goldhagdns had converted, or so he argues, the rise of this extreme form of assimilation of Jews would hardly have been possible.

Historical Controversies and Historians. Author goes to Berlin to debate Holocaust. InGoldhagen resigned from Harvard to focus on writing.

Hitler’s Willing Executioners – Wikipedia

Goldhagen wanted to investigate who the German men tnesis women who killed the Jews were, and their reasons for killing. Archived from the original on July 29, And the Helmbrechts death march case, he argues, demonstrates that Jews were killed even when orders have been given to keep them alive, and hence the driving motive for the killing was not compliance to government policy or obedience to orders, but thfsis deep personal hatred of the perpetrators for their Jewish victims that had been inculcated by German culture.

He argues that the Germans were fundamentally different from other peoples, especially in regard to anti-Semitism. Goldhagen was awarded the Democracy Prize in by the German Journal for German and International Politicswhich asserted that “because of the penetrating quality and the moral power of his presentation, Daniel Goldhagen has dnaiel stirred the consciousness of the German public.

daniel goldhagens thesis

V Middle German Regional Association of the Central Association of German Citizens of Jewish Faith complained to Goerdeler about Haake’s actions and asked him to enforce the existing antisemitic laws, which at least allowed some Jewish doctors to practice. Originally in The New RepublicJuly 13—20,

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