• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How far were the German people responsible for the Holocaust?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How far were the German people responsible for the Holocaust? The Oxford compendium defines responsible as liable to be called to account, morally accountable for one's actions; capable of rational conduct and being the primary cause. Popular historiography is contrasted over different historian's views on whom or what was responsible for the Jewish1 pogrom. This question in its current vernacular gives the distinct impression that the German people did already have something to do with the holocaust and that they were either wholly or partly to blame for it. This however leaves doubt as to whether there is any possible outcome, where the German people having no responsibility at all. A historian whose book2 is written in complete controversy to this is Daniel Goldhagen. His book was written largely to rebut the claims of Christopher Browning as to German motives. Goldhagen's view is that the German people not only knew about the Holocaust but they were actively in favour of it. This is because of a supposedly truculent anti-Semitism in the German nature3. Other historical scholars of the Holocaust have rejected Goldhagen's work as marketable but at the expense of academic quality and integrity. As I have said there are contrasting views relating to other factors involved with the Holocaust. ...read more.

Middle

The rejecters of the 'Final Solution' come with many different angles. H Elmer Barnes an American sociologist9. was at first a sympathiser for the German people's anger towards the Treaty of Versailles. He then began to question whether the Third Reich had any involvement in the Holocaust whatsoever. He is quoted as saying: ''it is almost alarmingly easy to demonstrate that the atrocities of the allies in the same period were more numerous as to the victims and were carried out for the most part by methods more brutal and painful than alleged exterminations in gas ovens.'' The use of the word 'alleged' defines his view on the whole issue. Another amateur historian who also denied the Holocaust was Arthur Butz. He took a different slant, he said that the there were concentration camps, but they were merely transit camps/ghettos where Jews were taken for their own safety due to the advancement of the Red Army towards the western front. Dawidowicz was quoted as saying that Butz's book was ''clearly the product of an unhinged mind.'' Although they did have evidence to back up their arguments their work was still an insult to professional historians of the Holocaust. In 2005 60 years after the war there are still instances of Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism. ...read more.

Conclusion

2 Hitler's Willing Excecutioners-1996 3 According to Goldhagen this rampant eliminationistic attitude had grown from medieval inclinations based on religious grounds, which over time became generally secular. 4 Zionism was a movement for (originally) the re-establishment and (now) the development of a Jewish nation in what is now Israel. 5Hereafter referred to as PR 6 This was however the brainchild of Hitler not G´┐Żebbels, however he did launch a campaign against the Poles pending the invasion in September of 1939 7 Hitler commissioned Leni Riefenstahl to make films for him the first being 'Triumph of the will'' which gave an account of the Nuremberg rally in 1934, and also by the Olympics Committee to make a film about the Berlin Olympics in 1936 'Olympia' 8 Where Himmler was at Hitler's bunker he telephoned Heydrich and said to him ''Transport of Jews from Berlin. No liquidation.'' 9 However Barnes was not a historian so his evidence is not very credible. He was also anti-Semitic, which could be the reason for his need to explain away the Holocaust. 10 He was the leader for the Austrian Nazi Party. 11 A fortified area of land, belonging to Czechoslovakia with a high percentage of German speaking population. 12 Two Million by September 1939 13 Daniel Goldhagen in His book 'Hitler's Willing Executioners' puts the responsibility of the Holocaust in the hands of the German people. ?? ?? ?? ?? Andrew Teague-History coursework Page 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Germany 1918-1939 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 GCSE Germany 1918-1939 essays

  1. Who was responsible for the Holocaust?

    clear idea of how to solve the 'Jewish problem', but many intentionalists point out that Hitler was still consolidating his power in 1934 and that Hjalmar Schacht, Minister of Economics, recognised Jewish firms as making an important contribution to the feeble German economy.

  2. Describe how Jews were persecuted in the twentieth century before the Holocaust.

    These armies also took the leaders of Israel way into exile. By 444BCE some Jews were allowed to return to Israel and they re-built the temple but in 70CE the temple was destroyed again this time by the armies of the Roman Empire.

  1. Why did the Holocaust Happen?

    Source 2 has very little to do with Hitler or the holocaust but source 3 is an account written by Hitler himself. It again highlights how anti-Semitic Hitler was and shows that this solely could be responsible for the Holocaust.

  2. The Holocaust

    This source is from a biased American view (anti - Nazi). However compared to many sources this source is quite accurate. The glass was shattered all over Germany. "The main streets of the city were a positive litter of shattered glass.

  1. The responsibility of the Holocaust can always be argued. It is not as simple ...

    During the war they were as aware of the horrific acts that were being carried out in Poland, Germany, and Russia. Maybe many lives could have been saved? The Nazi Party are also considered as responsible for the Holocaust as any other factor.

  2. The Italian Conquest of Abyssinia: How far was the LoN to blame?

    In my opinion, this aspect of the speech would have worried the members of the league as it is implying how ruthless Italy can be/are. When that is put into perspective with the league's actions, things can become very concerning for the league.

  1. Anti -Semitism

    The source clearly dictates that he was a member of the Hitler youth in 1938 meaning that he will have almost certainly have been one of the Hitler youth who helped to trash synagogues on November the 9th and 10th of the year 1938 (I know that the Hitler youth were involved due to my own studies).

  2. The Final Solution Sources Coursework

    In the 1930s they were encouraged to migrate. In 1933 there was a boycott of Jewish shops and burning of Jewish books. The Nuremberg Laws were introduced in 1915 which allowed all those of German blood to be German citizens and forbade marriage or sexual relations between Jews and German citizen, in 1938 the SS started a week

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