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For nearly tow decades after 1945 it was generally assumed that Hitler was totally responsible for the Holocaust and the Nazi regime.

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Introduction

For nearly tow decades after 1945 it was generally assumed that Hitler was totally responsible for the Holocaust and the Nazi regime. The Third Reich was seen as a monolithic state where all power was concentrated in the Fuhrer's hands. Hitler's vitriolic hatred of all Jews was seen as sufficient evidence on its own to explain the mass murder of millions of Jews. However in the 1980s there was the emergence of a different historigraphical perspective on the Holocaust, which sparked the debate of Hitler's role and the importance of other factors that influenced and were involved in what could be considered as the most horrendous crime in History. Intentionalist historians believe that Hitler was an all powerful dictator whose will was invariably translated into action regardless of the means. Some intentionalists' like Lucy Dawidowicz view Hitler as the initiator, who conceived the idea of extermination in the 1920s and pursuing this intention remorselessly once he came to power in 1933. Intentionalists view the domestic and foreign policies of the Nazi government as a determined plan of action set out by Hitler, which would comprehensively forefill his ideological beliefs. This meant the purification of the German race and the removal of the opposition races. On the other hand Structuralist historians criticise the focus of the intentionalist evidence for the responsibility of the Holocaust. It is believed that the external factors in Germany and Europe at the time are not taken into account as they should be. The Structuralist argument analyses the responsibility not only of Hitler and his ideological views ,but the German people, European anti Semitism, Jewish collaboration and the internal government structure including the influence and role of Nazis such as Heydrich and Himmler. To address the statement "No Hitler: No Holocaust" it is important to study both these arguments and come to an informed and concise conclusion. In the context of Nazi Germany, the race war and the chain of events that led to genocide is a complex issue to come to a clear uncompromised conclusion. ...read more.

Middle

As earlier in 1936 Eichman had been made Jewish affairs minister and in 1938 was put in charge of orchestrating the mass emigration of the Jews. However the policy of emigration conflicted with the taxation that Goebbels inflicted on the Jewish people, which in effect prevented them from emigrating. This is the point at which many Historians believe that the term 'Eliminate' began to change from the removal under 1% of the German Jewish population to the murder of almost 10 million Jews. The unrestrained political battles between the Nazi's can be attributed some of the responsibility for the increasingly likely 'final solution', But another significant factor in the eventual extermination of the Jewish people was the beginning of World War II. In 1939 Hitler Invaded Poland in pursuit of 'Lebensraum' (living space) for his 1000 year Reich sparking the Second World War. However this meant that he encountered a population of Polish Jews highlighting the need for a more effective method of removal. In 1940 the first concentration camp was set up in Lodz Poland implying that the calm before the storm was over. This was made very apparent in 1941 when Hitler's attack on the Soviet Union began a 'General Plan East'. Hitler sought after a 'Lebensraum' in Russia as it would secure the future of the German people, but the irony for the Jewish population was that is was going to confirm the decision for mass extermination, due to the almost 5 million Soviet Jews that Hitler encountered. Historian Ian Kershaw's article 'The decision to kill the Jews' provided considerable evidence suggesting that the decision to exterminate the Jews took place in 1941. Einsatzgruppen (killing squads) were set up in May 1941 and throughout July and August extensive shootings were carried out. In September Himmler reported Hitler's wish to clear Jews out of the Reich leading to continued emigration from Germany to Poland and the East. ...read more.

Conclusion

After the victory in June 1940 over France, the plans to push Jews into a reservation in Poland were replaced with another project for a territorial solution. This was then so called the Madagascar plan. From this point in History the Role of Himmler in the Holocaust can be examined, as early as the 25th of May Himmler presented Hitler with a memorandum that included the following statement: 'By means of possibility of a large emigration of all Jews to Africa or some other colony I hope to see the concept of the Jew completely extinguished'. In the typical governing style that Hitler ran the Nazi party by, he gave no judgement or direct instruction but left it to Himmler to follow up on the matter, giving him explicit authority. Another example of the power that the upper Nazi circle had was in the organisation of the Wannsee Conference in January 1942, as it served Heydrich's intention to present the mass murders in the various occupied areas as a part of a general plan ordered by Hitler. Heydrich was making it clear that a new 'possible solution' had been explicitly authorised by Hitler. His objective was to distinguish between the two chronological stages, the Impending 'final solution' and the provisional measures intended for the near future. This future 'final solution' was to be that of the Holocaust and the annihilation of almost 11 million Jews. This action could be interpreted as a form of bring new ideas and initiatives to the forefront of the political party, but also suggest that Hitler did not have a direct influence over the policy, but an indirect role in its ideology and aims. However even if Hitler himself delegated a lot of responsibility for the construction of Nazi policy, it was always in accordance with the Fuhrer. . "No Hitler: No Holocaust" how far is this statement by the historian Michael Marrus accurate and comprehensive in attributing responsibility for the Final Solution? 1of ...read more.

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