• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10
  11. 11
  12. 12

The Holocaust was the result of Hitlers long held grand design to pursue a programme of annihilation against the Jews. Discuss with reference to the sources.

Extracts from this document...


?The Holocaust was the result of Hitler?s long held grand design to pursue a programme of annihilation against the Jews.? The Holocaust is the name given to describe the systematic and deliberate attempt to exterminate the Jewish people during the Second World War, orchestrated by the Nazi Germans but perpetrated with the active or passive help the majority of the European population. The mass genocide of over 6million Jews, gypsies, Slavs and other minority groups is arguably the most monumental yet nefarious tragedies in western antiquity, an inextirpable event permanently engrained in the history of the western world. Almost inevitably the Holocaust has become an area of intense historical interest and debate amongst intellectuals and historians alike. A major issue in contemporary Holocaust studies is the question of structuralism versus intentionalism. These terms were coined by the British Marxist historian Timothy Mason in a 1981 article to describe two schools of thought about the origins of the Holocaust. These two antipodal interpretations led to the development of a third, middle ground, school of thought; the Consensus interpretation emerged in the late 1980?s. By analysing a broad spectrum of sources, I hope to present a clear and effective assessment of this controversial debate. Intentionalists hold that the Holocaust was the result of a long-term master plan on the part of Hitler, Hitler being the driving force behind tragedy. The intentionalist view was the first to arise, flourishing post war in the late 1950?s and early 1960?s. Intentionalists like Lucy Dawidowicz (1981) and Daniel Goldhagen (1997) argue that the Holocaust was planned by Hitler from the very beginning of his political career, at very least from the early 1920?s. Structuralists stress that the Nazi anti-Semitic policy was constantly evolving in ever more radical directions developing through the increasing radicalization of the Nazi regime and the influence the Second World War; The Holocaust was the end product. ...read more.


Hitler needed a solution to this ?Jewish Question?. Structuralists point to the fact that in the 1930s, Nazi policy aimed at trying to make life so unpleasant for German Jews that they would leave Germany. In 1939 a Central Offics for emigration was set up. Structuralists have noted that in German documents from 1939 to 1941, the term "Final Solution to the Jewish Question" was to be understood as a "territorial solution", and that the entire Jewish population was to be expelled from Germany. Structuralist historians assert that Nazis aimed to expel all of the Jews from Europe, but only after the failure of these schemes did they resort to genocide, sometimes referred to as the "crooked path" to Judeocide. OWN SOURCE 5 THE MADAGASCAR PLAN ?I hope that the concept of Jews will be completely extinguished through the possibility of a large emigration of all Jews to Africa or some other colony.?.However cruel and tragic each individual case may be, this method is still the mildest and best, if one rejects the Bolshevik method of a people out of inner conviction as un German and impossible? - May 1940, Heinrich Himmler This entirely undermines the Intentionalists argument, proving that other plans and solutions were explored before the mass genocide and that the idea of the ?final solution? was at first, a territorial one; emphasis at first was placed upon exportation rather than extermination; between 1933 and 19838 453,271 German Jews emigrated to over 27 countries. This evidence of exportation policies supports the Structuralist belief that the war was the main factor in proliferating extreme removal policies; the disruption of war seemed to initiate Nazi plans for the emigration of the Jewish community. Himmler was the leader of the SS, and a very close associate of Hitler?s, therefore this source is reliable in the respect that it demonstrates that close influential associates of Hitler advocated emigration as a genuine policy, with no mention of mass genocide. ...read more.


There is no doubt that Hitler was fiercely Anti-Semitic however, I believe that the holocaust was the result of a combination of timing and events which Hitler used opportunistically to carry out his own ideology. In Mein Kampf Hitler repeatedly states his inexorable hatred of the Jewish people, but no-where does he proclaim his intention to exterminate the Jewish people; the events that occurred between 1933 and 1941 coincide with a gradual growth in harshness and hostilities, undermining the intentionalist argument and promoting the idea of circumstantial reaction. The statement is a limited assessment of the causation and origins of the holocaust as it focuses solely on the role of Hitler and his personal ideology and deep rooted ‘plans’. The existence of background anti-Semitism in Europe, the role of propaganda, Hitler’s ideology and the competitive polycratic nature of state as well as failure of policies like emigration and the impending losses in the War are all part of a synthesised cause of the Holocaust. The consensus view uses evidence from a broad spectrum of sources, of a longer period of time rather than focusing solely upon Hitler’s early writings or the events that unfolded. The championing historians are far less open to bias and give a wider perspective on the events. The Israeli historian Otto Dov Kulka has praised Kershaw’s concept of "working towards the Führer" as the best way of understanding how the Holocaust occurred. The consensus view demonstrates both Hitler’s central role in the "Final Solution" and why there was no need for any order from Hitler for the Holocaust to occur, as the progress that led to the event was "worked out" toward the Führer by almost the entire German population. Therefore the holocaust did not just stem from Hitler’s fierce anti-Semitic ideas but from a range of other interconnected factors, all cohering in the mass genocide that was the Final Solution. Bibliography Websites http://www.martinfrost.ws http://www.historyplace.com/pointsofview/goldhagen.htm http://history.unc.edu/people/faculty/browning.html http://www.edexcel.com/ http://www.jewishagency.org/ http://www.historyplace.com/ http://www.zionism-israel.com/ http://www.southerninstitute.info/ http://www.ushmm. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 essays

  1. Assess the view that the failures of the Congress of Vienna outweighed the successes.

    the first half of the nineteenth century as a period of relative stability. Rene Albrecht-Carrie acknowledges that 'In our time of greater trouble and uncertainty, the nineteenth century appears by contrast with the present a period of relative stability and minor disturbances.'33 Charles Mowat also praised the peacemaking at Vienna

  2. Assess the view that the Holocaust was mainly a result of a long term ...

    The wording of this account is enlightening in regard to a "plan" as the author uses the phrase "long term" on three occasions, but never "plan"; rather "goals", "intentions" and "ideal". This draws our attention to the other key word "eliminate", because the meaning of this was never clarified.

  1. How far did the achievements of Stalin's economic modernisation programme justify the costs?

    "In 1940 it carried a prison sentence"24. To add to this appalling treatment of the workers they were forced to carry labour books which outlined whether they had worked hard or not, anything but good comments could lead to prison, and with a prison sentence being 3 years or over the prisoners were sent to labour camps to provide cheap labour.

  2. The Rise and Fall of Adolf Hitler.

    That is why he wanted people to say "Heil Hitler" over and over. 21. What is the most significant event in American History that this person contributed to? Use between 3 and 10 sentences. The most significant event in American History that Hitler contributed to was the American involvement in World War II.

  1. Leni Riefenstahl The Propagandist or Artist? A Historiographical Debate.

    * Whilst appearing in the films, Riefenstahl also had many opportunities to stand behind camera and learn about film directing, camera work and editing. * These experiences were to provide a stepping stone to her first work, The Blue Light (1932), which she wrote, directed, produced and starred in.

  2. Goebbels was more influential than Himmler. Discuss

    Goebbels's relationship with Hitler emerged due to the fact that Goebbels abandoned the socialists hence Hitler rewarded him with the position of the Gauleiter of Berlin. This impressed Goebbels and he begun to focus on the common beliefs that the two shared such as anti Semitism.

  1. How did the Holocaust happen, and who is responsible?

    The Nazi's bombarded the Jews with countless attacks. It began in 1933 with Hitler ordering a one-day boycott of Jewish business' and shops. This alone is seemingly harmless, and just simply a jest that would be supported by those who had began to believe that it was the fault of

  2. Evaluate the Nazis economic policies from 1933 - 1939. To what extent were the ...

    Within four years the German economy must be ready for war.18 At any rate, the first task is to obtain adequate supplies of raw materials. The Nazi leaders did stress a lot on increasing foodstuffs and industrial material productions, especially on steel, oil, and rubber.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work