Most Jews were socially indistinguishable from the rest of their countrymen but a few occupied key positions in scientific fields and the arts. Nazi propaganda exaggerated this small number into a worldwide Jewish conspiracy to control international affairs. Seizing power in , the Third Reich instigated legislative measures to strip German Jews of their rights and property, handing them instead over to Aryan Germans, and forcing Jews to inhabit designated ghettos.
Originally intended for the purpose of detaining political prisoners, camps like Dachau became the means by which Nazi Germany sought to implement its Final Solution, the wholesale eradication of Jews from German territories. Many of these concentration camps were converted into highly efficient execution machines, as one of the more grotesque Auschwitz facts attests to: Auschwitz crematoria had the capacity for processing up to 20, bodies per day.
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Hitler, the Germans, and the Final Solution
Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Kershaw was a founding historian of the social history of the Third Reich, and he has throughout his career conducted pioneering research on the societal causes and consequences of Nazi policy. His work has brought much to light concerning the ways in which the attitudes of the German populace shaped and did not shape Nazi policy.
This volume presents a comprehensive, multifaceted picture both of the destructive dynamic of the Nazi leadership and of the attitudes and behavior of ordinary Germans as the persecution of the Jews spiraled into total genocide. Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. More Details Original Title. Adolf Hitler. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Hitler, the Germans, and the Final Solution , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about Hitler, the Germans, and the Final Solution.
Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Mar 26, Paul Bryant rated it liked it Shelves: holocaust-literature. As the Nazis intensified the pressure on Jews sacking them all from public jobs, forcing them to wear the star of David, etc etc was there any protest from the non-Jewish population? So, does that mean the Germans were profoundly anti-Semitic? And even with the evil genius Goebbels and his propaganda machine, the Germans mostly remained indifferent.
And even when the awful fate of the Jews started to trickle out mass shootings, camps there was no reaction. The Germans shrugged and went about their daily lives. It does not exist. What explains this lunacy?
Holocaust and Genocide Studies
How could the Final Solution Endlosung which involved construction of extermination camps as opposed to concentration camps and experimenting on methods of mass slaughter shoot them all? No, too demoralising for the poor soldiers who have to do it…carbon monoxide? No, too time-consuming…. Xyklon B? Historians debate the chaotic nature of the power struggles within the Nazi party; maybe Himmler decided to get the Final Solution organised by the SS as a power grab, and kind of slipped it into conversation with Adolf over dinner, and Adolf nodded and told Heinrich he was a real Trojan and keep up the good work and pass the salt, maybe these vast events are decided by a few casual sentences exchanged between ghastly men.
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View all 19 comments. Mar 16, Harpal rated it really liked it. This book is an excellent summary of the historiography of an extremely complex event of world historic significance, namely the holocaust and the complicity of everyday Germans in the genocide. Kershaw himself is one of the leading scholars on Hitler and Nazism.
While succinctly summarizing the views of competing historians, Kershaw firmly but thoughtfully asserts his moderate position that most of the German population can be divided into three groups: a rabidly anti-Semitic, violent minority, This book is an excellent summary of the historiography of an extremely complex event of world historic significance, namely the holocaust and the complicity of everyday Germans in the genocide. When I think about it though, the question makes perfect sense.
Understanding the genesis of historical questions is important because knowing where a question came from aids comprehension of a subject's historiography.
David Cesarani - Lethal Indifference | Literary Review | Issue
Simply put: historians and their interests ultimately determine the path that historiography takes. One of the most important path-breakers of German history and the history of the Final Solution is Ian Kershaw, whose latest book might be described as an autobiography of a historian's historiography--a mouthful that requires explanation. Hitler, the Germans, and the Final Solution , contains no new research, nor is it simply a random collection of essays.
Each of the book's fourteen selections--divided into four themes--has been published elsewhere. Carefully selected and organized thematically, each grouping of essays represents a point in Kershaw's career when he was writing about a particular issue in German history.
Accompanying the essays is a highly personal introduction to the book that explains and illuminates Kershaw's evolving intellectual interests and career path, revealing a lot about him and his intellectual journey in the process. The book, then, is an autobiography of sorts. Scholars can use this collection as a companion to the historiography of Nazi Germany, a field in which Ian Kershaw features as one of the most important scholars.
Kershaw's personal geography seems to have led to a lifelong passion for social history.
As a young man growing up in postwar Britain, he became interested in German history; living in a democracy made him wonder why otherwise rational people would support a dictatorial regime that led them and the world into war and genocide. While working in Munich in the mids, he focused his research on German society and popular attitudes toward the Nazi regime. During this phase of his career, he was especially interested in how German society functioned and why ordinary Germans supported Adolf Hitler's dictatorship.
This facet of Kershaw's work is reflected in the first section of the book, entitled "Hitler and the Final Solution," which contains four essays that span Kershaw's career.