- List of Maps, Tables, and Illustrations
- List of Contributors
- List of Abbreviations
- Origins of Modern Germany
- Senses of Place
- Women and Men: 1760–1960
- States, People, and Nation, 1760–1860
- International Conflict, War, and the Making of Modern Germany, 1740–1815
- Cosmopolitanism and the German Enlightenment
- The Atlantic Revolutions in the German Lands, 1776–1849
- The End of the Economic Old Order: the Great Transition, 1750–1860
- Escaping Malthus: Population Explosion and Human Movement, 1760–1884
- Protestants, Catholics, and Jews, 1760–1871: Enlightenment, Emancipation, New Forms of Piety
- The Formation of German Nationalism, 1740–1850
- German Literature and Thought From 1810 to 1890
- Germany: The Nation State
- Nation State, Conflict Resolution, and Culture War, 1850–1878
- Authoritarian State, Dynamic Society, Failed Imperialist Power, 1878–1914
- The Great Transformation: German Economy and Society, 1850–1914
- Race and World Politics: Germany in the Age of Imperialism, 1878–1914
- Germany 1914–1918. Total War as a Catalyst of Change
- The German National Economy in an Era of Crisis and War, 1917–1945
- Dictatorship and Democracy, 1918–1939
- Piety, Power, and Powerlessness: Religion and Religious Groups in Germany, 1870–1945
- The Place of German Modernism
- Nationalism in the Era of the Nation State, 1870–1945
- Todesraum: War, Peace, and the Experience of Mass Death, 1914–1945
- The Three Horseman of the Holocaust: Anti-Semitism, East European Empire, Aryan Folk Community
- On the Move: Mobility, Migration, and Nation, 1880–1948
- Germany 1945–1989
- Germany is No More: Defeat, Occupation, and the Postwar Order
- Democracy and Dictatorship in the Cold War: the Two Germanies, 1949–1961
- Generations: The ‘Revolutions’ of the 1960s
- Industrialization, Mass Consumption, Post-industrial Society
- Religion and the Search For Meaning, 1945–1990
- Culture in the Shadow of Trauma?
- The Two German States in the International World
- Contemporary Germany
- <i>Annus Mirabilis</i>: 1989 and German Unification
- Germany and European Integration Since 1945
- Toward A Multicultural Society?
Abstract and Keywords
This article traces the three main issues which dominated Hitler's regime in Germany during the Holocaust. Two interpretive traditions have, since Hitler's day, commanded scholarly efforts to understand the Holocaust. One emphasizes ideas, recounting the intellectual history of anti-Semitism and the aims and political actions of those gripped by its poisoned talons. Paired with this approach is the conviction that history is made by human beings' conscious choice: beliefs inspire purposive behaviour seeking their realization. Historical actors are aware of their actions and responsible for them. In Holocaust historiography, this widespread understanding of history and human behaviour has yielded the ‘intentionalist’ argument. This holds that anti-Semitic ideology of a uniquely aggressive type flourished in late nineteenth-and early twentieth-century Germany; and the anti-Jewish policies (Judenpolitik) of Hitler's ‘Third Reich’ led, if perhaps by a ‘twisted path’, to a mass murder which the Nazis' anti-Semitic ideas, and the dictator Hitler's in particular, authorized and even commanded.
William W. Hagen is Professor of History at the University of California, Davis.
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