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date: 05 December 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article demonstrates how lesser-known ‘problem solvers’ were essential Holocaust protagonists during four phases of Nazi Jewish policy: in 1933–1939, when the regime disemancipated, isolated, and impoverished the Jews of Greater Germany and drove over half of them abroad; in 1939–1940, when the regime sought to clear its expanding empire of Jews through schemes of massive ethnic cleansing; in 1941, when the definition of a ‘Final Solution’ to the self-imposed Jewish Question became systematic and total mass murder; and in 1942–1945, when the Third Reich tried to achieve this goal. At every turn, the regime encountered myriad problems. In a political culture encouraging activism and initiative, cadres of middle-echelon experts, functionaries, and technocrats ‘working toward the Führer’ made many of the decisions and devised many of the measures that drove this lethal radicalization.

Keywords: Holocaust, Nazi Jewish policy, Jews, ethnic cleansing, Final Solution, Third Reich, Germany

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